A seven-year-old branded a bigot. How on earth have we come to this?
By Melanie Phillips:
The word ‘Orwellian’ has become over-used to the point of cliche. Yet there is really no other way to describe the deeply sinister, upside-down onslaught upon common sense that has extended even into the school playgrounds of politically correct Britain.
So what was the heinous act this child had committed to cause him to be branded in this way? Why, merely to have asked a five-year-old boy in the playground whether he was ‘brown because he was from Africa’.
What on earth is racist about that question? It does not express a hateful dislike of, or racial superiority over, another person on account of the colour of their skin. It merely wonders, in a child-like way, about the reason for that colour.
It is thus a perfectly inoffensive question from a curious child. The reason for the five-year-old’s brown skin is, indeed, that his ancestry lies in another continent.
So how can a correct assumption constitute a prejudice? The school’s gross over-reaction suggests that racism is being redefined to include not only hateful references to someone’s colour, but any reference to it at all.
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