Thursday, October 23, 2014

New York Times: What Is the True Crime in Rotherham? Westerners' "Easy, Powerful Stereotypes" Against "Asian" Perpetrators Which "Overshadow the Bigger Picture"!

“The blindness is fascinating.”

The blindness of Western citizens, that is.

You knew this was coming, didn'tcha?

The New York Times' Katrin Bennhold pens a story on the "legacy of Rotherham" warning of the danger of… easy stereotypes and, indeed, indirectly calling for more laws and more repression for all citizens.

She starts off by linking the rapes of hundreds of teens by untold numbers of Pakistanis by untold numbers of Asians, reflecting at least some aspects of their Islamic culture, to the abuse perpetrated by BBC host Jimmy Savile (along with Rolf Harris, Max Clifford, and Stuart Hall), the work of a handful of members of the élite acting against the values of their country's general culture.

In the process, Katrin Bennhold gets into a talk about class warfare and decides that the point to remember about Rotherham was that the victims were among the low-status part of society.

This is all the same problem, you see.
First there was abuse at the hands of a popular BBC host. There were scandals at private schools and in the church and talk of a pedophile ring in Parliament. Then there was Rotherham: over a thousand teenagers sexually exploited as the authorities looked away.

Over the past two years, high-profile revelations of sexual abuse of children have painted a picture of Britain as a place where such abuse is not just endemic but systematically covered up — either because the perpetrators are of the very highest status or because the victims are of the very lowest.

There are two lessons here, scholars and officials say. The first is that sexual abuse is far more common than previously believed: Currently, 2,500 children in England have child protection plans because they are deemed to be at risk of sexual abuse. But the police now speak publicly of “tens of thousands” of victims a year.

The second lesson is that the main driver of abuse is impunity: “Abuse happens in a context of permissibility,” said Helen Beckett, an expert on the subject at the University of Bedfordshire.
Of course, it is of vital importance that we learn that "Mr. Savile … was a friend of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher" (needless to say, how the strength of this friendship — two public figures smiling before the camera? — is judged is never established; nor, why the alleged friendship would matter in light — or in darkness — of Savile's hidden life).

Moreover, immediately afterwards (with only one intervening sentence), we learn about "allegations that Cyril Smith, a former member of Parliament who died in 2010, abused boys in a care home in his constituency." Notice that no party is given (Smith was of the Liberal Party, in the British sense); color me paranoid, if you will, but it would hardly surprise me if a left-leaning writer like a Times writer wouldn't mind if it were thought that one of the abusers was of the same party, or of the same bent, as the conservative Thatcher. 
 … Nothing, it seemed, could still shock this country — but in August an outside report on the northern town of Rotherham exploded in the headlines: At least 1,400 white girls had been abused, raped and trafficked by groups of men, mostly of Pakistani heritage, from 1997 to 2013.
Notice how Katrin Bennhold puts the actions of a handful of (very) bad apples — all members of the élite — on the same level as the scandal of mass rape in entire neighborhoods of a British town.
Simon Bailey, the lead officer on child abuse for the Association of Chief Police Officers, last week warned of “many more Rotherhams to come.”

The abusers relied on powerful stereotypes, said Alexis Jay, the author of the Rotherham report, most prominently the idea of lower-class girls being problematic and promiscuous. The police routinely referred to 12-year-old victims as “prostitutes” or worse.

Now, of course, another powerful stereotype risks taking hold: that of the Asian perpetrator and the white victim. The legacy of Rotherham, Ms. Beckett warned, must not be to replace one set of blinkers with another. “If we focus too much on the race factor, we inadvertently give the message that you don’t have to look at risk anywhere else,” she said.
See, folks. The problem is not rape. Or not only rape. It's stereotypes. Y'know, the thing that you clueless clods are so guilty of in everyday life.

Well, actually, yes, it's also rapes. And any one of you could have it happen to your child, just as you might potentially be a child rapist yourself.

So, let's take care of the rape factor, with more and more laws, more and more suspicion, and more and more repression on common citizens from a Western culture which does not support, and has never supported (well, not until the 1960s Sexual Revolution), child sex.

Having ascertained that, we all need to start on the next project: working against "powerful stereotypes" (tch, tch) as well.
“The blindness is fascinating,” said Ms. Berelowitz, adding that the same was true for victims. “Ethnic minority victims are falling through the cracks.”

Her concerns were echoed by Mr. Bailey, who warned that “an unhealthy focus” on the Asian-on-white model of abuse overshadows the bigger picture. “That bigger picture is that 90 percent of child sexual abuse takes place in the home,” he told The Guardian last week.

But when it comes to child abuse, stereotypes die hard. “It’s easier to report that a particular ethnic group is guilty or that victims are troubled,” Ms. Beckett said. “No one wants to believe this could happen to someone near them.”