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July 29, 2015

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Karen M

Trust the Groan to think racist parochialism is something to boast about.

David

Trust the Groan to think racist parochialism is something to boast about.

Quite. Her game of stereotype-the-honkies was particularly charming. As is her use of the “whitepplrannoying” hashtag. And as we all know, north of Watford it’s just one big wasteland of pale-skinned hill people.

Below, Birmingham and Manchester, as seen from Guardian Towers:

David

Incidentally, Ms Mirza has chosen not to reply to, or even read, any of the comments finding fault with her argument and offering factual corrections. It seems she prefers to “lol” and dismiss all responses to her article, even those she hasn’t read, as ignorant and beneath contempt.

I suspect the irony escapes her.

Sam

"A few years ago, I walked into a pub in Cornwall with my then boyfriend, who was white. A man at the bar asked him “What’dya bring that in here for?” referring to me (and before you go into overdrive searching for an alternative meaning to his statement, let me save you time: it’s because of the colour of my skin)."

I smell bullshit.

Joan

The Guardian mods are frantically deleting all the comments that complain about her racism.

Jonathan

Lives in a majority black country + doesn't like black people = Racist scum.

Lives in a majority white country + doesn't like white people = Well paid gig at the Graun.

David

The Guardian mods are frantically deleting all the comments that complain about her racism.

Busy, busy bees. So much WrongThought™ to expunge.

svh

I feel the comfort of London peel away whenever my train pulls out of King's Cross and the threat of overt racism is increased.

Guardian writer needs-to-get-a-grip shock.

David

Meanwhile, Ms Mirza’s fans are applauding “a cultural nuance that only non-whites will detect within the article.”

Nuance.

Rafi

Your beautiful white children will go to schools full of beautiful white children and the rest of the world will validate you and them forever. That is not the way I experience the world and it is not the way I want to. That is not the way my body moves through it.

Give me strength.

David

Give me strength.

Ms Mirza, a would-be writer and professional intellectual, tells us, “I have been unemployed for way too long here.”

Jimmy

Her body is the site of a lot of smug racism.

Her friend Piro is good for a laugh too. "Know you place, White man!" he commands.

I fear the future looks bleak for naughty and insufferably tolerant whitey.

Bart

If being surrounded by white people so awful for her, I think she's living on the wrong continent. And is she sure all white kids will be validated by the whole world for their entire lives? Might there hypothetically be some white girls in, say, Rotherham who perhaps don't necessarily feel this to be the case?

Anna

And they wonder why the Groan is losing readers hand over fist.

David

And they wonder why the Groan is losing readers hand over fist.

While busily deleting comments that complain about Ms Mirza’s racial bigotry (and deleting comments that complain about those comments being deleted), the Guardian team have found time to quietly change the title of her article. It now reads, “London’s super-diversity is a joy. Why would you ever want to leave?”

Stuck-Record

I must be out of touch. I thought the use of the phrase, "...That is not the way my body moves through it," had been declared illegal many years ago.*

I shall notify the police immediately.

* See Anti-Pretension Act 2001.

Paul A'Barge

View Aisha here:
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/8/16/1313501635336/UK-Feminista-summer-schoo-008.jpg

She is the one on the left, holding the microphone as if it is a penis.

Steve 2 - Stevement Day

Hmmm...

I have had panic attacks on the tube

Wow. This is more revealing than she perhaps intended.

For me, London is the smell of Pakistani cooking through the window of a Haringey council house, it’s the reggae coming from my neighbour’s garden and it’s a primary school newsletter translated into 11 languages.

Gosh, she makes it sound so appealing.

I feel the comfort of London peel away whenever my train pulls out of King’s Cross and the threat of overt racism is increased.

More panic attacks? Maybe she's just allergic to trains.

A few years ago, I walked into a pub in Cornwall with my then boyfriend, who was white. A man at the bar asked him “What’dya bring that in here for?” referring to me

Rrright...

sH2

the Guardian team have found time to quietly change the title of her article. It now reads, “London’s super-diversity is a joy. Why would you ever want to leave?”

From the article *under* the new headline:

loud, dirty
I have been unemployed for way too long here
I have had panic attacks on the tube
I have survived an attempted mugging here
I have tasted the bitterness of… [Londoners] who will never have houses.
a primary school newsletter translated into 11 languages.
this capitalistic nightmare
there is a psychic toll of living in a place where you have to fight, for space, time, money.
the psychic burden of living in the city with the highest living costs in the developed world is very real

On the other hand, diversity!

David

I have tasted the bitterness of… [Londoners] who will never have houses.
a primary school newsletter translated into 11 languages.
this capitalistic nightmare

Heh. No, she’s not exactly selling it as a place to take root.

Rob

If she lives in an area of London surrounded by white people, she is probably quite wealthy and privileged.

brilton

I've just been reading the comments from that Guardian article. Hoo boy!

David

From what I can make out after poking through its wreckage, the article is basically a glorified accusation of “check your privilege, whitey.” (Ms Mirza approvingly retweets someone using the term “white supremacy.”) This alleged privilege hinges on an assumption that leaving The Hell That Is London™ and living somewhere else simply isn’t an option for people with brown skin because… well, apparently they’ll be hunted for sport anywhere north of Watford.

Fellow Guardianista Sunny Hundal, whose deep and radical thoughts have entertained us before, is of course a fan.

brilton

Certainly from what I read in the comments section of that article, a good 85% or so are rather caustic rebuttals about the article, and how its title has been changed. Still, I only went back to comments that were about two hours old. If they pop like soap bubbles due to the mods and I've just been fortunate enough to see them before their ephemeral nature induces them to vanish, then I consider myself lucky. If, however, they stay, then I would have to grudgingly say that the Guardian's moderation policy is more robust than some of the online publications here in Oz.

Hal

So I got as far as Living in London, the Guardian’s Aisha Mirza is, naturally, unhappy: and then had the browser search for the phrase that someone would have lobbed in . . . Oh.

Well, then I will be the first. Gender is noted as irrelevant, yes.

Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
Samuel Johnson

John D

"The headline and text of this article were amended on 29 July 2015 to ensure consistency with Guardian editorial guidelines."

wtp

No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

I have cousins who feel that way about Pittsburgh. Accidents of birth, I suppose.

As for the veracity of our subject's experience in Cornwall, via Patterico the not-so-funny cartoonist Ted Rall has been called, by his own employer, on a fabulation and dealt with in the proper manner (something must have gone wrong at the LA Times):

In a May 11 post on The Times’ OpinionLA blog, Ted Rall — a freelance cartoonist whose work appears regularly in The Times — described an incident in which he was stopped for jaywalking on Melrose Avenue in 2001. Rall said he was thrown up against a wall, handcuffed and roughed up by an LAPD motorcycle policeman who also threw his driver’s license into the sewer. Rall also wrote that dozens of onlookers shouted in protest at the officer’s conduct.

Since then, the Los Angeles Police Department has provided records about the incident, including a complaint Rall filed at the time. An audiotape of the encounter recorded by the police officer does not back up Rall’s assertions; it gives no indication that there was physical violence of any sort by the policeman or that Rall’s license was thrown into the sewer or that he was handcuffed. Nor is there any evidence on the recording of a crowd of shouting onlookers.
...
Rall’s future work will not appear in The Times.

http://patterico.com/2015/07/28/ted-rall-dumped-by-l-a-times-for-dishonesty/

And they say there's no good news.

Sam Duncan

“Nuance.”

Guardian for “bullshit”.

“Your beautiful white children will go to schools full of beautiful white children and the rest of the world will validate you and them forever. That is not the way I experience the world”

So how does she know anyone else does, then? It sure as bloody hellfire isn't the way I've ever experienced it. “Validate”? She wants to try being be a spotty short kid with glasses in a Glasgow secondary before she starts moaning about being moderately attractive and a bit foreign-looking.

Hal

. . . . being moderately attractive and a bit foreign-looking.


Hmmm. I fail to see a cause for complaint.

John D

Best comment over there:

To sum up. I don't want to leave London because I don't feel comfortable living with people who happen to be a different colour to me, and this is right. People who leave London do so because they don't feel comfortable living with people who happen to be a different colour to them, and this is wrong.

David

Why, it’s almost as if identity politics were designed to perpetuate tribal animus.

Henry

Says Mizra in the 1st paragraph:

I have survived an attempted mugging here

Wasn't much of a mugging, then? Sounds like they weren't trying hard enough.

But I note the use of the word "survive" here - I wonder if it gives us a tiny little clue about her social set and the kind of language and assumptions they employ.

PiperPaul

"Why, it’s almost as if identity politics..."

Critical thinking, not theory (although the left always conflates the two, intentionally).

Jamie

What, isn't that multiculturalism working out for her then ?

Jimmy

ut I note the use of the word "survive" here - I wonder if it gives us a tiny little clue about her social set and the kind of language and assumptions they employ.

The way she talks about her body gives it away for me...

That is not the way my body moves through it

I'm betting her body is also the site of trauma and struggle and all the other things that happens to feminist bodies.

Drake D

Nothing boosts your employment prospects like broadcasting your racial bitterness and sneering at white children while you're at it. Well done!

While I'd be afraid to leave her alone with my kids, I'm sure job offers are probably flooding in already!

Tim Newman

Yes, them northerners have always refused to recognize the tagents of black folk.

Tim Newman

*talents*

Hal

Yes, them northerners have always refused to recognize the talents of black folk.

If you don't shut up, I'll come and move in next door to you. . . . .

Bob-B

She seems very pale for a person of colour. I suspect my Polish wife could pass as a person of colour after a bit of sunbathing. Maybe the Guardian would then employ her.

JuliaM

Ted Rall is lucky he didn't try that stunt here, or getting sacked might be the least of his worries:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-33687420

David

The more I think about it, the more this may exemplify the perfect Guardian article. The ideal to which other Guardian columnists should aspire.

It’s haughty, smug and obnoxious in tone, is laughably ignorant of regional demographics and other relevant subject matter, is frequently question-begging, and its imagined righteousness is premised on a blatant double standard, which the author somehow ignores. It extrapolates wildly and in hyperbolical prose from one personal anecdote – an anecdote that doesn’t sound terribly credible - and casually implies that, outside of London, the country is simply unsafe for anyone with skin browner than mine. Because, hey, white people. It goes on to make spiteful and baldly racist comments as if they were a measure of leftist piety - among them, the claim that “living surrounded only by white people” is “worse” than panic attacks, unemployment, unaffordable housing and even being mugged.

And the dogmatic and resentful woman who wrote the thing, badly, sneers at the people who read it, found it wanting and corrected her on points of logic and fact. Indeed, the author dismisses them en masse as ignorant and beneath contempt while congratulating herself and refusing to actually read any of their rebuttals.

Quite an achievement, really.

Drake D

This silly gal has clearly internalized the liberal shibboleth that people of color can never be guilty of racism, no matter what they say, because THEY are the powerless victims of racist white oppression, people!

Thus the cognitive dissonance when so many people point that she is, in fact, quite the raving, ranting, racist bint. "But but but ... I CAN'T be a racist. I'm brown!"

David

Mentioned upthread, one of Ms Mirza’s supporters.

His stated interests include travel, activism and “provoking whiteness.”

Watcher In The Dark

"train pulls out of King’s Cross"

Is this a euphemism for coitus interruptus?

Drake D

"Provoking whiteness."

It's certainly provoking giggles. Is that a white thing?

Steve 2 - Stevement Day

His stated interests include travel, activism and “provoking whiteness.”

Eh. He'll have to do better than that to provoke my whiteness. I've been insulted by the best - teachers, sergeants, my wives...

Sorry, Shortround.

jabrwok

Something not directly related, but of possible interest to the commentariat; NewSpeak advances (if that's the right word) apace: http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6697.

R. Sherman

Question invoked after seeing Mr. Saracino's tweet above:

When did people start getting the idea that spewing 140 characters into the ether was the functional equivalent of being Leonidas at Thermopylae pass?

David

Is that a white thing?

I suspect it’s a chippy narcissist thing, as cultivated in the Clown Quarter of academia (see the tweeted references to Judith Butler, Edward Said and “critical theory.”) The Clown Quarter being where the future unemployable go to become captious, incoherent and mentally inflexible while feeling terribly clever. And before feeling resentful and disappointed with their lives.

Certainly, he’s a confused chap. In one breath he says, “Whiteness and colonial narrative often doesn’t take into account personhood.” Which is to say, he objects to stereotypes and the lumping together of “unique racial identities.” Say, confusing people from South Korea with people from Thailand. And then in practically the next breath he’s making crass racial generalisations, performing every vice he’s just denounced and treating random white people – people he doesn’t know - as if they were some monolithic collective entity, collectively guilty of infinite sin, and in need of collective chastisement from now ‘til the end of time.

But then for someone who denounces racism in others, real or imagined, he does spend an awful lot of time banging on about “racial identities,” as if an incidental and rather uninteresting aspect of an individual were The Most Important Thing There Is™. And as if banging on about it continually, and being needlessly obnoxious in order to assert his own imagined status, were The Obvious Way To Make The World Happier And Less Tribal™. Still, given his dogmatism and spectacular chippiness, I’m sure he’ll fit in well among his identitarian peers, for whom such things are credentials.

Min

Shut up and know your place… white man.

What a racist tosser.

David

What a racist tosser.

But being a tosser is the reward for all that pretension and pseudo-piety. Yes, Marxoid identity politics typically makes a person look adolescent and foolish, but it does offer endless excuses to take gratuitous, self-congratulatory rage dumps on unfortunate passers-by.

For example:

That’s the kind of attitude regarded as a credential among devotees. So you can imagine the kind of personalities it attracts.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

I see Wiki listed the filthy Irish as a subgroup in England. As a descendant of a filthy Irish person who cam to America, I say, you need to do something about those filthy Irish enclaves.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

And she has a case of Active Bitch Faces, as opposed to Resting, the poor thing.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

I went there but noticed this: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33611482. Other Tunisians tried to stop this Tunisian gunman from murdering white tourists. I'm sure Ms. Mirza would disapprove, the supercilious ninny. I wonder why she's unemployed. Probably that bitchass attitude of hers.

dicentra

I suspect the irony escapes her.

But aren't Hipsters all about Teh Irony? Perhaps it's wet fish syndrome.

Hal

But aren't Hipsters all about Teh Irony?

The fantasy is of inflicting irony . . . not having it inflicted upon them.

In the meantime, anyone claiming taste, style, a clue, and being admired---while being a hipster---will always remain mere demonstrative objects of irony.

Hal

Oh. Dear. The world somehow failed to come to an end as protesters invade a mostly Muslim area of Sweden and outnumber those in a march that was staged in the area.

A march through a predominantly Muslim area of Stockholm, Sweden, by gay activists has passed relatively peacefully, though the marchers were greatly outnumbered by anti-racists who said the march was "provocative."

Tensta resident and politician Mohammed Noor, while criticising the march, said he doubted it would be met with hostility. . . .

"Pride has been taking place in Sweden since 1991, and we have never had any clashes," said Noor. "In the end, as a Muslim, I don't think it's our place to judge anyone that walks on this earth, leave the judging to God."

Jimmy

I can't keep up with politics on the left. Muslims are a race now? Thai, Iranian, Afghan, Saudi, whatever; all just one big racial group.

Hal

Muslims are a race now?

Ayup! What I can never remember is if they're the marathon, 60 meters. or something else.

Jimmy

First one to complete 7 laps around the Kabe wins.

Richard Powell

Eleanor Penny? Laurie's smarter older sister?

David

Laurie’s smarter older sister?

Younger, I believe. And let’s just say she’s every bit as smart as Laurie.

sackcloth and ashes

""A few years ago, I walked into a pub in Cornwall with my then boyfriend, who was white. A man at the bar asked him “What’dya bring that in here for?” referring to me (and before you go into overdrive searching for an alternative meaning to his statement, let me save you time: it’s because of the colour of my skin)."

I smell bullshit'.

Definitely clickbait, possibly a pack of lies. I entertain serious doubts about whether Johann Hari was the only Grindie 'journalist' to make shit up.

David Gillies

I automatically discount stories like this. It's not that they don't happen, it's just that the number of proven hoaxes is so high that the signal to noise ratio has dropped below the point at which reliable inference as to their frequency can be drawn. In fact I'd say the SNR is now below 0dB.

Drake D

“What’dya bring that in here for?”

Well, having dated a Very Angry Woman™ myself a lifetime ago, I can see a scenario where a boyfriend could walk into a bar (no, make that RUN into a bar) being trailed by a screaming, irrational, emasculating lunatic unhinged over some slight and not at all shy about airing her insanity in public.

I suspect this is familiar territory for our Ms. Mirza.

In which case, of course, “What’dya bring that in here for?” makes perfect sense. It's either an act of compassionate bartender outreach or, depending on the tone, a subtle hint to shut her the hell up on behalf of everyone else. In either case, there's nothing racist about it at all.

Ah yes, Ms. Mirza commands that we don't search for an alternative meaning. That seals it for me.

BD Sixsmith

Your beautiful white children will go to schools full of beautiful white children and the rest of the world will validate you and them forever. That is not the way I experience the world and it is not the way I want to. That is not the way my body moves through it.

Stay in London then, Ms. Mirza. Your beautiful progressive children will go to schools full of beautiful progressive children and the rest of the ideological bubble will validate you and them forever. That is not the way I experience the world and it is not the way I want to.

Ὀρέστης

@Drake D (7/31 16:01)
"a screaming, irrational, emasculating lunatic unhinged over some slight and not at all shy about airing her insanity in public."

I am thus made mindful of this news photo: http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/pepper-spray-image-at-occupy-portland-goes-viral

For some reason the photo caption classifies the action as disturbing. I quite imagine the "peaceful female demonstrator" might have had her mouth open to vent as described above. Leave the door open, and the fly comes in; as the old song admonishes. About a year later, the privileged female-sans-colour Elizabeth Nichols from that photo was found guilty of two counts of disobeying police, fined $260, and billed an additional $7100 by the City to recoup costs. Pass the popcorn, somebody.

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