Born Black, Politically White – Why Class Negates Race in the Identity Stakes

Born Black, Politically White – Why Class Negates Race in the Identity Stakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Chuka Ummuna prefers to fight
‘anti-Semitism’ – the new anti-communism – rather than the Windrush Scandal

Even Labour
MP Keith Vaz has joined Clive Lewis in opposing Marc Wadsworth’s racist expulsion.
Even Vaz can see the naked racism that was evidenced in the lynch mob when 20+ White
Labour MPs accompanying Ruth Smeeth to Marc’s disciplinary hearing.  Even Keith Vaz, who has long been on the
right of the Labour Party has been sufficiently angered by the blatant racism
of Maggi Cosins and the National Kangaroo Court.  But not Chuka Ummuna, Progress’s ever faithful lap dog.
Last
Monday, two days before the beginning of Marc’s hearing, the Independent carried
an article
by Chuka Ummuna on Labour’s false anti-Semitism campaign. Chuka is too modest
or rather dishonest to acknowledge that, as a loyal Blairite, he failed to vote
against the 2014 Immigration Act
, which led to the Windrush Affair. Let us remind ourselves that this Act, whose
purpose was to create a ‘hostile
environment’
to ‘illegal immigrants’, set a new low in British racism by effectively
removing citizenship from those who had previously been granted it
automatically by virtue of section 1(1) of the 1948 British Nationality Act.  Only Israel removes citizenship en masse from
its (Arab) citizens.
First the
Tories destroyed thousands of landing cards which were the proof of the right
to citizenship of Black people from the West Indies under the 1948 Act. The 2014 Act then shifted the burden of proof from
the State to the individual to prove they were citizens. In effect if you are
Black it was assumed that you weren’t a citizen unless you could prove otherwise. Those without passports or who hadn’t formally acquired
citizenship, had to prove that they were British citizens which meant proving when they
entered Britain.  They also had to prove
that they were in this country for every year since their arrival and to do
that they had to supply 4 sets of documents for each year.  An almost impossible task.
Chuka
however is not interested in the Windrush scandal.  It is beneath him. Racism against Black
people bores him.  He is an honorary
White.  Black people have described him to me as a coconut.  I pass no
judgement.  Thus he has set himself up as
an expert on ‘anti-Semitism’, the false anti-racism of the Right.  All of Chuka’s parliamentary career
demonstrates that he is not in the slightest concerned about  state racism against Black people. 
The idea
that ‘money whitens’ used to be applied to the
Brazilian and other slave economies of South America in the 19th
century and to Mulattos in particular. It is equally applicable to Chuka’s
politics and his support of Israel, the world’s only apartheid state.

A
response to Chuka’s Labour can’t talk with credibility about racism until we tackle the
antisemitism in our ranks
 

Chuka
Ummuna tells us that we can’t attack the racism that ‘may’ (not must) lie
behind the ‘mistreatment’ (that’s the
mildest term he can think of) of the Windrush generation until we tackle
‘anti-Semitism’.  Why not? Note how Chuka excuses the
racism behind Theresa May’s immigration policy by promoting ‘anti-Semitism’
into an equivalent form of racism.
How is it
that on 30th January, when the 2014 Immigration Act which brought in
these hostile measures was voted on in the House of Commons, Chuka
abstained alongside all those others who are also concerned about Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’
such as John Mann, Smeeth and Ian Austin?
Home Affairs Select Committee
It is
worth reminding ourselves that those who voted against the 2014 Act included
Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbot. 
Isn’t it strange that those who are apparently responsible for ignoring
anti-Semitism in the Labour Party today were the only ones who opposed what was
happening to Black people in 2014?  According to Ummuna’s ‘logic’ being an opponent of ‘antisemitism’ he should also have voted against the 2014 Act.
As
Marlene Ellis from Momentum Black Connexions observed, Chuka may have been born Black
but politically he was part of the racist White Establishment.
Ummuna’s
support for May’s ‘climate of hostility’ is not unrelated to his views on his own
constituents, Black or White.  Ummuna
seems to have forgotten what he said on an elite social networking site when he
asked how he could avoid meeting ‘trash’,
i.e. the people who are unfortunate to have elected him.  Labour’s Chuka Umunna under fire
for labelling people ‘trash’ on elite social network
George Orwell’s Animal Farm
Ummuna
quoted from the Report of the House of Commons
Home Affairs Select Committee

which was published in October 2016, of which he was a member. This was not
however a neutral report.  Its primary
purpose was to denigrate and attack Jeremy Corbyn, Shami Chakrabarti and others
in the Zionist firing line such as Jackie Walker and NUS President Malia
Bouattia.
David
Plank, a former specialist adviser to the House of Commons Social Services
Committee, made a devastating critique of this Report in Open Democracy.  David said that ‘the Committee’s Report was not worth the paper it was written on
firstly because ‘A Select Committee must
be clear about what it intends to do, which is why clear terms of reference for
inquiries are essential.’
 It had no
terms of reference.
David
also criticised the methodology of the report which was ‘to invite certain bodies to give evidence to them which came from a
particular strand of British Jewish hues of opinion which happened to be
heavily identified with a pro-Israel perspective’
and ignore others.
David
asked why those criticised in the Report, Jackie Walker and NUS President Malia
Bouattia were not called to give evidence. 
‘I would expect as a basic that
the Committee would call for evidence. But I see no sign of such a call for
this enquiry. Why not? I find that stunning
’.  David states that ‘there are pages of criticism in the Committee Report in relation to the
NUS President, and she was not given any opportunity to read the draft and
comment upon it. That is disgraceful.’
Likewise Jackie Walker ‘offer(ed) to give evidence and her offer
was declined… (she is) traduced in the report. She is readily identifiable:
her name appears in one place, and it is assumed that she is guilty.’
Racist cartoon from the Campaign Against Antisemitism
In short Chuka
Ummuna and his Tory friends, the same friends who were behind the racism of the
Windrush scandal, who were engaged in what is colloquially known as a ‘stitch up’. In David Plank’s words it is
not worth the paper it is written on.
Chuka
states that ‘when talking about
antisemitism, it is important to define the term.
’ I agree.  There is however a very simple definition used
by most dictionaries.  For example the OED states that anti-Semitism is ‘Hostility to or
prejudice against Jews
.’  Or perhaps the de luxe definition by Dr Brian
Klug of Oxford University, an expert on anti-Semitism: 
Antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are
perceived as something other than what they are”
The
IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which Ummuna and his Select Committee pushed for
consists of some 450 words not the above 21 words. Why?  Because
it comes with 11 ‘examples’ of anti-Semitism, 7 of which related to opposition
to Zionism and Israel.  The Select Committee Report said,
echoing the IHRA, that it is not antisemitic to hold the Israeli Government
to the same standards as other liberal democracies. 
The
problem with this is, as Sir Stephen Sedley, a Jewish former Court
of Appeal Judge said in Defining Anti-Semitism that this assumes that
Israel is a country like any other’
which it isn’t and thus the IHRA ‘places
the historical, political, military and humanitarian uniqueness of Israel’s
occupation and colonisation of Palestine beyond permissible criticism.’
Sedley
goes on to state that ‘the official
adoption of the definition, while not a source of law, gives respectability and
encouragement to forms of intolerance which are themselves contrary to law…’
The
current wave of suspensions and expulsions in the Labour Party are evidence of
this.  Not only was I, a Jewish
anti-fascist and anti-Zionist expelled recently, but Jackie Walker, another
Jewish anti-racist has been suspended and been targeted for expulsion.  Marc Wadsworth, a Black anti-racist activist
who was interviewed for the 3 part BBC documentary ‘The
Murder that Changed a Nation’
on the murder of Stephen Lawrence, has
also just been expelled for having dared to criticise Labour’s racist drama
queen, Ruth Smeeth MP.
Chuka
referred to his late father, who always supported the Labour Party
because Labour ‘historically have always
been anti-hate and anti-racist
.’  This
is however untrue.  Labour was
traditionally as supportive of the British Empire and colonialism as the Tory
Party.  It was Labour that presided over
the horrors of the Malayan counter insurgency which began in 1948. When the
Tory Party turned Kenya into a concentration camp and perpetrated the most
horrific tortures and abuse on those deemed to be members of the Mau Mau in the
1950’s, the Labour Party (with the exception of Barbara Castle and ironically
Enoch Powell) was silent.
 Indeed
Labour historically combined both avid support for Zionism with anti-Semitism.
For example Lord Passfield, Colonial Secretary in the 1929-31 Labour government
exclaimed that ‘there are no Jews in the
British Labour Party
” and that whereas “French,
German, Russian Socialism is Jew-ridden. We, thank heaven are free
”,
something he put down to there being “no
money in it
”.  The Labour Party, anti-Semitism
and Zionism
 The
examples Ummuna gave of ‘anti-Semitism’ were no such thing.  If someone accuses you of being ‘in the pockets of ‘The Lobby’.”  why
is that anti-Semitic?  It is self-evident
that there is a pro-Israel and Zionist lobby in Britain.  Joan Ryan, Chair of the Labour Friends of
Israel was secretly recorded
accepting £1m from the Israeli agent Shai Masot on its behalf.
The
accusation that Ummuna and friends are “a
bunch of embittered Zionists who are intent on smearing”
Jeremy Corbyn is a
statement of fact.  Chuka seems to have a
problem in distinguishing between a political ideology, Zionism and Jews.  Not all Jews are Zionists and not all
Zionists are Jews as Chuka demonstrates.
Another
example of ‘anti-Semitism’ which Chuka gave was that of Peter Kirker, a member
of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy executive who wrote in the Morning Star under
the headline “Enough already with this
Zionist frenzy
”, that “the noise
around anti-Jewish racism has been engineered from within the murky right-wing
world of British Zionism.”
What is anti-Semitic about this?
Chuka
seems to have forgotten the evidence of Sir Mick Davies, former Chairman of the
Jewish Leadership Council  to his own
Select Committee (para 27) that ‘criticising
Zionism is the same as antisemitism, because Zionism is so totally identified
with how the Jew thinks of himself.’
 
If you
believe this is true then opposition to Zionism is clearly anti-Semitic and anti-Semitism
is therefore rife within the Labour Party. 
But this is a verbal conjuring trick because if Sir Mick is correct then
95% of pre-war German and Polish Jews were also anti-Semitic!  It means that all anti-Zionist Jews are anti-Semitic
today. That is the kind of argument we expect from white racists like Donald
Trump. It is clear that Chuka Ummuna has become an honorary White racist.
It is somewhat
unfortunate that someone who helped produce a Report on Anti-Semitism is so
ignorant of the differences between Zionism and Anti-Semitism.
Chuka
also suggested that concerns about ‘anti-Semitism’
have been met with an ‘avalanche of
“whataboutery
”’ such as ‘what about
Gaza?’
Isn’t it strange that Ummuna is so concerned about non-existent ‘anti-Semitism’
in the Labour Party but has nothing whatsoever to say about the shooting dead
of 41 unarmed Palestinians, so far, in Gaza. 
The Board
of Deputies, from whom Chuka takes his lead and which is so concerned about
‘anti-Semitism’ issued a statement justifying the actions of the Israeli
government. 
Chuka asked
“Why should any Jewish person vote
Labour?”
to which there is a simple answer. 
Because British Jews also have an interest in fighting racism,
anti-Semitism included.  There is no
Jewish interest in supporting Israel and Zionism.  Chuka claims to have experienced racism.  Unfortunately the conclusions Chuka has drawn
are that now he has made his escape racism can be ignored.  That is why he refused to vote against the
2014 Immigration Act.  Chuka should hang his
head in shame that he is supporting a State that has been described by
anti-Apartheid activists in South Africa, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a
Nobel Peace Prize winner, as worse than Apartheid.’
However
it is de rigeur among the Labour
Right not to criticise Israel’s slide into a form of clerical fascism.  That is why Chuka is silent about Israel’s
proposed deportation of 40,000 Black African refugees.  He is one of those Black reactionaries who
are only concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’ when Israel is up for discussion
The only
question in my mind is why Labour members of Streatham Labour Party haven’t
deselected this honorary white racist.
Tony
Greenstein 

 

 

 

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