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Author Topic: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness  (Read 2407 times)

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Offline consortium11Topic starter

Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« on: August 27, 2014, 03:21:15 PM »
For those colonials on the other side of the pond  :P, I have no idea if this story has made it over there but suffice to say it's a huge one in the UK right now.

You can get the gist of it here:

Quote
Blatant failures of political and police leadership contributed to the sexual exploitation of 1,400 children in Rotherham over a 16-year period, according to an uncompromising report published in the aftermath of allegations of gang rape and trafficking in the South Yorkshire town.

Written by Prof Alexis Jay, a former chief inspector of social work, the investigation concluded that the council knew as far back as 2005 of sexual exploitation being committed on a wide scale by mostly Asian men, yet failed to act.

This is the fourth report clearly identifying the problem of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham. The first, commissioned by the Home Office back in 2002, contained "severe criticisms" of the police and local council for their indifference to what was happening under their noses. But instead of tackling the issue, senior police and council officers claimed the data in the report had been "fabricated or exaggerated", and subjected the report's author to "personal hostility," leading to "suspicions of collusion and cover up", said Jay.

Council and other officials sometimes thought youth workers were exaggerating the exploitation problem. Sometimes they were afraid of being accused of racism if they talked openly about the perpetrators in the town mostly being Pakistani taxi drivers.

In very brief terms, in Rotherham (a fairly large town in the North of England) a gang of men almost entirely made up of those with Asian (primarily Pakistani) heritage had been abusing girls as young as 11 since around 1997. The report indicates that around 1,400 girls were abused, with many being raped, gang-raped, forced to take drugs, forced into prostitution and all manner of other disgusting acts, while some who even hinted at speaking out or going to the authorities were doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight (to give one example).

While this is shocking enough, the other aspect is that those in power did nothing to step in and try to prevent this from happening... and worse actually tried to cover up the scale and nature of the abuse. Social services and the police had been aware of these cases on an individual basis since the start of the time period and since roughly 2000/2001 had been aware that there were groups of men who organised and directed them. But little to nothing was done until 2010 when five men were prosecuted and that was essentially the tip of the iceberg. Some of this was due to what, for lack of a better term, could be considered the "normal" issues with investigating sexual abuse; victims (and let's remember the majority of victims in these cases were young-to-mid teenage girls) being heavily questioned about their sexual history and their drink/drug use (again, let's remember that part of the modus operandi of the gang in question was to get the girls addicted to drink and drugs) etc etc.

But perhaps the most insidious part of why this issue wasn't taken seriously was the fear of the authorities (both individually and collectively) being seen as racist and/or Islamophobic. As the gang in question were nearly all Asian (and primarily Pakistani) Muslims both social services and the police feared that concentrating on these cases or putting serious efforts into investigating them would open them up to criticism and possible prosecution. The report makes clear that while those "at the coal face" tended to want to push harder (especially within social services) they came under pressure from managers and those higher up to underplay both the extent of the abuse and the background of the perpetrators. Instead the authorities tended to pass the buck to local community leaders who were either unable or unwilling to step in and prevent further abuse.

Were those fears justified?

Unfortunately it's hard not to say yes, they were.

In 2004 Nick Griffin gave a speech talking about Muslim grooming gangs in the North of England and the lack of will or action by the authorities to deal with them. He was arrested (something he actually predicted in the speech) and prosecuted for inciting racial hatred and while after two trials he was eventually acquitted it was still a pretty clear message that discussing grooming and rapes by Muslims would see one branded racist and face prosecution.

Don't get me wrong... Nick Griffin is a vile, hateful, racist man and the BNP a vile, hateful, racist party which has thankfully been reduced to near nothingness after a moment in the sun. The fact that he was right about this is a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day rather than his own insight. But he was right about this... and for that he faced imprisonment. I can certainly understand why someone would be concerned with publicising or pushing this case for fear of the same happening to them.

The backlash against those who looked into the mirk wasn't limited to prosecutions. In the wake of convictions in similar circumstances in Rochdale (another Northern town) the Times investigated and noted that the vast majority of those involved in the pimping and abuse of young girls in the area were Muslims from Pakistan. A typical response from other media groups?

Quote
The efforts of the Times to stand up this investigation are certainly considerable: selectively quoting or misquoting some groups, and inventing a category of "on-street grooming" that does not exist in law and was not recognised by any of the agencies I spoke to. It is also worth asking how responsible it is to provide ammunition to the violent racist extremists already active in these areas on such flawed evidence.

Back in 2004, Channel 4 (one of the major broadcasters in the UK which everyone with a TV can get) ran a documentary called "Edge of the City" which focused on the efforts of social services in Bradford and Keighley (two Midlands towns). It covered many aspects of social services work but drew attention because one of them was the grooming of young white girls by Muslim men from Pakistan. The police made Channel 4 delay the broadcast for a number of months because it could "inflame racial tensions". To show another typical response when it was shown:

Quote
I am sorry if Ms Hall is upset by the controversy. But I am more concerned by its impact on communities already facing discrimination and racial abuse. Let's just recap. In 2001, Bradford was torn apart by race-related riots. Two years later, Lord Ouseley's report on the disturbances warned of increasing intolerance. In May, four BNP candidates were elected to Bradford council. Under the circumstances, a little sensitivity might be in order.

A request for care is not a demand for censorship. The problem is that, despite her caveats, Hall repeatedly stresses that the men are overwhelmingly Asian and the victims white - without ever explaining why this is significant.

So even without the threat of prosecution I can see why people may have found it tempting to stay on the side of "sensitivity" rather than publicise and delve into the issues.

And I should note, this doesn't appear to be a one-off failure. I've already mentioned Rochdale and Rotherham but there have been similar prosecutions in Oxford, Chesham/Amersham, Banbury, Peterborough, Leeds, Burton and a host of other places. And while it is certainly a good sign that prosecutions and convictions are finally occurring it is notable how long the abuse has gone on in most of the cases and how frequently social services have failed the children in question. Tragically I suspect that there is much more to come out from across the country if we peel back the curtain.

Now of course the sexual exploitation of underage girls is not limited to the Muslim and/or Pakistani community and nor are the failures of social services and the police when dealing with sexual abuse. But this specific form of abuse; the targeting of young girls by gangs, the use of drink and drugs and the subsequent trafficking as well as the unwillingness by the authorities to confront it do appear to be centered on that community.

"Political correctness" gets blamed for a lot of things that aren't necessarily its fault. But in a situation where people are being repeatedly sexually abused and having their lives ruined perhaps its about time we were all a little less sensitive and a little less scared of "inflaming racial tension" or appearing to give succor to racists and a little more intent on calling a spade a spade and stopping pedophiles and sexual abusers from getting away with it.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 05:48:32 PM »
"Political correctness" gets blamed for a lot of things that aren't necessarily its fault. But in a situation where people are being repeatedly sexually abused and having their lives ruined perhaps its about time we were all a little less sensitive and a little less scared of "inflaming racial tension" or appearing to give succor to racists and a little more intent on calling a spade a spade and stopping pedophiles and sexual abusers from getting away with it.

I spent four years in the UK living in Leicester from 1992-1996 (as a South Asian) - and the England I read about today is almost unrecognizable to what I remember from growing up there.  On one hand, this is a true testament to the compassion and benevolence of the ethnic British people to even engage this kind of a civil conversation - as opposed to simply "calling a spade a spade" and actively putting the blame on the South Asian community.  On the other hand, I can't help but wonder why the ethnic British population still has this unfettered, idealistic belief in multiculturalism.

Even so called "racist" men in England, such as Tommy Robinson (ex-head of EDL) are not mindlessly hating an ethnic group.  Rather, they are responding to inaction on the part of authorities.  In a documentary I saw recently about this topic, he even states his deep respect for Mohammed Shafiq - a founding member of Ramadhan Foundation, which openly speaks out against Muslim child grooming and Islamic terrorism.  Shafiq has openly discussed how many Pakistani men often think "white girls are worthless and can be abused" - a sentiment that much of the press fails to properly investigate, due to fear of being called racist.  In other words, what prompts these so-called "racists" to riot is more a result of inaction by authorities, or denial of blame from the vast majority of the Muslim community.

My honest perspective is that this level of multiculturalism is a recipe for disaster for a small country like UK.  Unless ethnic British decide to realize that there is indeed great benefit in preserving the overall ethnic homogeneity of their country, these issues will only continue to increase.  Rates of immigration from Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe are unprecedented in scale, and cases of "white flight" are greater than ever.  These are issues that can only be ignored for so long.

There is nothing racist or wrong with suggesting that the cultural traditions of the UK are vital to maintaining a free society in line with British values.  It is also not racist to put pressure on minority groups to actively integrate and conduct themselves in a manner which is representative of the values of British society.  This is a clear case of crime perpetrated by South Asians - and as consortium says, one often needs to call a spade a spade.

I would be less critical of the dominant South Asian cultures in the UK if they attempted to integrate more heavily into mainstream British life.  But self-segregation of ethnic groups, especially in major cities, has been a hallmark of the Muslim community.  There are areas of London now, like Southall, which are more reminiscent of India or Pakistan, than the UK. 

In other past news, a Caribbean man in the UK claimed that it is racist for the British to fly their own flag, and managed to convince the town hall to reduce the time it would fly the flag.  Unfortunately, the BNP has largely used the Union Jack flag as their mascot, in the same way that the American Tea Party has used the Stars and Stripes as theirs:




Offline Formless

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2014, 06:47:31 AM »
To Consortium :

I'm quite curious to ask if the British authority are aware of the Islamic teachings? Do they have any sort of Muslim advisers within their structure?

Because I see how the fear to ' incite racial flames ' can be a problem while dealing with the likes of these people. However , Islam itself loathe their actions. Islam itself can be used against these so called Muslims.

Maybe it is because Britain has its own constitution and prosecution process , I honestly would not know , But I'd like to know what you think of this.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2014, 07:13:50 AM »
I'm not sure how it is in the UK, but here in the US, there are vocal minorities who will go off the deep end if a homogenous group is accused of bad behavior - even if it is made clear that the participants in the bad behavior do not represent the vast majority of those that share their common characteristic.  (And quite frankly, the composition of that homogenous group has little bearing on whether or not this happens, as long as it is homogenous or nearly so.)

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2014, 07:44:48 AM »
To Consortium :

I'm quite curious to ask if the British authority are aware of the Islamic teachings? Do they have any sort of Muslim advisers within their structure?

Because I see how the fear to ' incite racial flames ' can be a problem while dealing with the likes of these people. However , Islam itself loathe their actions. Islam itself can be used against these so called Muslims.

Maybe it is because Britain has its own constitution and prosecution process , I honestly would not know , But I'd like to know what you think of this.

The police and authorities do have Islamic advisory groups and generally try to build contacts with local mosques and the like. Unfortunately they've picked some rather strange people (including some with pretty serious ties to extremist groups) to be advisers and in this specific case the report made clear that the authorities had a tendency to "delegate" (for lack of a better term) dealing with these groups to the local mosques who were unable and/or unwilling to actually do anything about it.

As Oniya says it tends to be those with the more extreme views who shout the loudest and there are more than enough groups in the UK who would start screaming if there was even a hint of tying the crimes of an individual Muslim into part of a wider pattern, even if that wider pattern wasn't aimed at Islam or Muslims as a whole. Britain's police force has a rather ignoble history when it comes to race relations; the Stephen Lawrence murder and the institutional racism it revealed in the Met Police were somewhat of a watershed but the downside of the positive improvements the police forces made in the wake of it was a reluctance to do anything that could be perceived as "racist". I included examples in my first post of the reaction earlier investigations into this type of story; arrests, accusations of giving succor to racists, criticism for inflaming racial tensions, calls for more "sensitivity" etc etc.

If we want to make a wider point here it's actually about two contrasting forms of multiculturalism, something Valthazar touches on his post. One form views multiculturalism as being the integration of many cultures into one while the other views it as two largely separate cultures in the same overall territory but living in separate areas and living separate lives. One can be seen in the way that Afro-Caribbean culture has largely melded with what we'd consider "traditional" British/UK culture (or even in the way that the various traditional cultures from different areas of the UK have come together) while another can be seen in the fact that many of the more recent immigrants from the Middle East (primarily Pakistan) haven't integrated to any significant extent and that there are essentially unofficial ghettos in many parts of the country.

Offline Formless

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2014, 07:59:08 AM »
I see. But you know , Islam punishes rape by death or excess whipping. Now I am not citing that kind of punishment. But that act is punishable by Islam itself.

So if there's an undeniable proof of their involvement in such acts , isn't it easier to just cite that portion of their religion while prosecuting them?

The reason I am asking this is because that means to consider Islam's teaching while practicing the law itself. And that has many implications on the structure of law in any country , be it Britain or any other country.

While the loudest mouths are the most extremists , as Oniya has pointed out , it would be easier to stifle their voices by proving that their actions are condemned by their very own religion.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2014, 11:55:17 AM »
So if there's an undeniable proof of their involvement in such acts , isn't it easier to just cite that portion of their religion while prosecuting them?

In the majority of cases including this one, the violation of one's religion tenets isn't factored into prosecution in either the US or the UK.  However, several within the Muslim community in the UK attend Sharia Councils which act as quasi-Islamic courts that provide (unofficial) legal rulings and advice to Muslims.  For the most part, they handle issues of marriage and divorce.  If they were ever going to get targeted penalties purely on the violation of their Islamic faith, it would come through these avenues (though Sharia Councils have zero legal authority or jurisdiction in the UK, and can't impose legal penalties).  Yet, given the religious nature of many Muslims, they often place more faith in the Shariah rulings, rather than the legal code of the UK.  I would be interested to see if Sharia Councils in the UK make any remarks about the Rotherham Abuse.  Though I think it is quite certain that most of us, myself included, are glad that a violation of one's religious faith is not a justifiable prosecution from a legal standpoint.

Unfortunately, moderate Muslims in the UK are not actively decrying the faith many of their fellow Muslims place in these Shariah Councils.  Rather than moderate Muslims attempting to encourage faith in the British Rule of Law, they prefer to take a "live and let live" approach to orthodox Islam.  If the Muslim community is choosing to segregate itself from wider British society, it is imperative that they have a regulatory mechanism in place by its moderate members to prevent radicalization and deviation away from the Rule of Law.  (Again, I want to emphasize that Shariah Councils have no legal authority - and operate purely on religious faith in the institution by its constituents).

While there have certainly been a few outspoken moderate Muslims who empathize with the concerns of the ethnic British in the UK, it hasn't been enough to swing the pendulum.  Developing practical solutions for this is key - yet as consortium mentions, these issues become contentious because of its political nature.  Those campaigning for increased racial sensitivity are quick to publish quotes from moderate Muslims who condemn these actions, while those with an anti-Islam agenda are quick to criticize moderate Islam.

Until both sides can agree that there is indeed an issue in the Muslim community of UK that needs to be dealt with in a civil manner, the back-and-forth volley of political agendas will only continue.

I actually wanted to bring up a post from a while ago, from a member who was banned, regarding Islam:

My complaints and concerns about Islam are various, I believe I am on topic in this thread with my questions and comments, as stated I see and experience the sordid religion of Islam all the time, but as I have noticed that the Muslims and pc zealots on here feel my concerns are too truthful and challenging for them I will refrain from commenting further, besides as Islam allows its followers to lie to non Muslims this thread was doomed before it started.

This is a clear example of an individual who is noticing many of the problematic issues within the Muslim community, and expressing it in a very poor manner.  Rather than developing solutions by sharing his observations, he further isolates people and only makes himself look like more of a "racist."
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 12:05:27 PM by Valthazar »

Offline BitterSweet

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 08:21:26 PM »
Frankly, I'd say the coverage is racist.  There are plenty of white folks (mostly men) who have been doing the same thing - remember Savile and Starr?  And that the police didn't investigate Savile for years?  When the case for Savile broke, there wasn't a huge discussion on whether or not all white men are prone to abusing children (and adults), grooming them, using fame and influence to get access to children (in hospitals!!!) and so on.  It was considered something that a small number of men did because they were abusive criminals.  I'm sure that Savile, if he were still alive, would have all sorts of justifications for his actions - as most abusers do.  The men in Rotherham are using their list of excuses (completely violating their own religious tenants, BTW) to justify their criminal actions, but the press and conversations center not just around the fact that these guys are a bunch of perverse criminals but that they're muslim/se asian and maybe this is a characteristic of se asian men/muslims.

That is what makes the situation racist; the way we (mostly white folks) take a specific action and generalize it to an entire group, when the group is non-white, while continuing to accept that white folks who commit atrocious crimes are doing so as individuals.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 03:27:51 AM »
When the case for Savile broke, there wasn't a huge discussion on whether or not all white men are prone to abusing children (and adults)

And outside of BNP/EDL (and their successor organisations) circles I haven't seen anyone say that all Muslims or men of Asian descent are prone to abusing others. Hell, even the BNP types normally offer a slightly more nuanced view pointing out the majority of those involved in these events are Muslims of Pakistani descent; not Muslims from other countries or non-Muslim men of Pakistani descent.

The main discussion has been about how these groups were able to get away with it for so long and why the authorities failed so badly in protecting children. As part of that the that there's been discussions about the way that a fear of insensitivity or racism paralyzed the authorities and how Islam can be used to justify the mistreatment of women (arguably especially non-Muslim women). But that is little different to the discussion in the wake of Saville about how celebrity status allowed a generation of (primarily white) entertainers to freely abuse others and a general "she's asking for it" culture in the 70's and 80's allowed them to justify it. That led not only to Operation Yewtree directly but also a number of other investigations into historic sexual offences that may have been committed by celebrities and media figures.

That is what makes the situation racist; the way we (mostly white folks) take a specific action and generalize it to an entire group, when the group is non-white, while continuing to accept that white folks who commit atrocious crimes are doing so as individuals.

Chillingly, that's basically the exact same logic that was used when the authorities failed these children; it would be insensitive or racist to point out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls and that there was seemingly an issue within the community. Instead it would be better to hush it up and steal the data from anyone who noted a trend.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 04:15:26 AM »
This is arguably one of the biggest news stories in the UK.  I'd wager a bet that the reason this thread hasn't received more activity is because people are worried of coming across as offensive, akin to the UK police officers involved with this case.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2014, 11:28:03 AM »
Chillingly, that's basically the exact same logic that was used when the authorities failed these children; it would be insensitive or racist to point out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls and that there was seemingly an issue within the community. Instead it would be better to hush it up and steal the data from anyone who noted a trend.

Well, that's the thing... it is racist. Can you show me a single news source that talks about the YFZ Ranch as a "group of American Christian men" or a "group of white Christian men" grooming and raping young girls? Having a different standard because the people involved are a different colour is racism. Why does it matter that they're Muslim if nobody's saying Muslims as a category are like that? Why does it matter that they were of Pakistani descent unless someone is saying that Pakistan encourages child rape?

As for the police fears of being seen as racist: You know what could've solved that problem? Less racism. The reason they were afraid of this is because there's a track record there of actually being appallingly racist, and because of this focus on the ethnicity and religion of the perpetrators. Maybe, instead of looking at the abusers as Pakistani Muslims, we could look at them first as abusers? Maybe, instead of letting racists use this as an excuse to say "We were right!" and get bolder about spreading their filth, we should start looking more closely at any extremely community that disengages from society as a whole and seeks to avoid government scrutiny?

Abusers aren't always brown, victims aren't always white, and I can guarantee that the intense focus on the skin colour and faith of those involved is actively harming other victims elsewhere.

Offline Qt

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2014, 11:54:23 PM »
This is arguably one of the biggest news stories in the UK.  I'd wager a bet that the reason this thread hasn't received more activity is because people are worried of coming across as offensive, akin to the UK police officers involved with this case.

I suspect that's true, one might refrain from posting due to being afraid.

But yeah I agree that in this case, since they are Pakistani Muslims, we shouldn't be afraid of saying that. After all, the statistics couldn't be racist could they?

We also shouldn't be afraid of being called racists. Those that call this racism are just trying to censor, to get people to shut up.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2014, 09:46:35 AM »
Having a different standard because the people involved are a different colour is racism.[/i] Why does it matter that they're Muslim if nobody's saying Muslims as a category are like that? Why does it matter that they were of Pakistani descent unless someone is saying that Pakistan encourages child rape?

I would say coverage of this particular event has been pretty neutral since these revelations came out. 

"Attacks in isolation and grooming tend to be perpetrated by white men. Collectively, the transferring of girls among young men for sex involves Pakistani men," Mark Williams-Thomas said. (BBC)  "Where you have Pakistani men, Asian men, disproportionately employed in the night-time economy, they are going to be more involved in this kind of activity than perhaps white men are." (Nazir Afzal)

Also, when you look at the victims - they are disproportionately white when compared to the offenders.  If this were white on black violence, this would be plastered everywhere in the media.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Having a different standard because the people involved are a different colour is racism.[/i] Why does it matter that they're Muslim if nobody's saying Muslims as a category are like that? Why does it matter that they were of Pakistani descent unless someone is saying that Pakistan encourages child rape?

I don't know if you are familiar with the Pakistani/Indian community in the UK (I am an Indian who lived there for 4 years), but they have a tendency to segregate themselves unlike here in the US and Canada.  Over here in the US, if you ask an American born person of Indian/Pakistani heritage, "Where are you from?," you'll probably get an answer of "Chicago" or "Los Angeles." 

But chances are that if you ask a British born person of Indian/Pakistani heritage, "Where are you from?," many of them will probably give you an answer of "Pakistan" or "India."

They actually want to maintain their identity as a unique ethnic group, and many often do not want to fit into the mainstream of British life, as we often take it for granted here in the US.  This is actually one of the biggest criticisms of how multiculturalism is approached in Europe versus the US/Canada.  As consortium mentioned earlier:

One can be seen in the way that Afro-Caribbean culture has largely melded with what we'd consider "traditional" British/UK culture (or even in the way that the various traditional cultures from different areas of the UK have come together) while another can be seen in the fact that many of the more recent immigrants from the Middle East (primarily Pakistan) haven't integrated to any significant extent and that there are essentially unofficial ghettos in many parts of the country.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2014, 06:57:29 PM »
I would say coverage of this particular event has been pretty neutral since these revelations came out. 

"Attacks in isolation and grooming tend to be perpetrated by white men. Collectively, the transferring of girls among young men for sex involves Pakistani men," Mark Williams-Thomas said. (BBC)  "Where you have Pakistani men, Asian men, disproportionately employed in the night-time economy, they are going to be more involved in this kind of activity than perhaps white men are." (Nazir Afzal)

Also, when you look at the victims - they are disproportionately white when compared to the offenders.  If this were white on black violence, this would be plastered everywhere in the media.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
You're talking a lot, but you're not answering the questions. They're pretty straightforward, and I chose my example carefully.

1. Why is the ethnicity of the offenders (as opposed to them being in an insular and detached community) relevant to the offenses?

2. Why is the matter of religion and ethnicity focused on in alarmingly broad strokes when the perpetrators are brown Muslims, but not when they're white Christians?

I don't know if you are familiar with the Pakistani/Indian community in the UK (I am an Indian who lived there for 4 years), but they have a tendency to segregate themselves unlike here in the US and Canada.  Over here in the US, if you ask an American born person of Indian/Pakistani heritage, "Where are you from?," you'll probably get an answer of "Chicago" or "Los Angeles." 

But chances are that if you ask a British born person of Indian/Pakistani heritage, "Where are you from?," many of them will probably give you an answer of "Pakistan" or "India."

They actually want to maintain their identity as a unique ethnic group, and many often do not want to fit into the mainstream of British life, as we often take it for granted here in the US.  This is actually one of the biggest criticisms of how multiculturalism is approached in Europe versus the US/Canada.
I... I don't think you're terribly familiar with multiculturalism in Canada. We have ethnic neighbourhoods and people who very proudly maintain distinct or uniquely-blended cultural identities. The only thing that sounds terribly different from what we've got here is the isolation. So maybe the problem is isolated communities that aren't engaging with or engaged by the wider society, not the colour of the skin of the people in that community? (Again, there's a reason I mentioned the YFZ Ranch in particular.)

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2014, 07:02:07 PM »
So maybe the problem is isolated communities that aren't engaging with or engaged by the wider society, not the colour of the skin of the people in that community? (Again, there's a reason I mentioned the YFZ Ranch in particular.)

The isolation and age of victims aspects bear a striking resemblance to the Warren Jeffs situation from not-too-long-ago here in the States.

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2014, 07:24:28 PM »
1. Why is the ethnicity of the offenders (as opposed to them being in an insular and detached community) relevant to the offenses?

Because they are almost exclusively the ones performing this particular form of grooming and pimping.

I provided a quote from Mark Williams-Thomas, former police detective and child protection expert, where he even calls out "white men" for typically attacking in isolation and grooming.  To the contrary, grooming and transferring girls collectively amongst themselves is a crime overwhelming characteristic of UK criminals who are of Pakistani heritage.

In numerous British cities.... Rochdale, Rotherham, Derby, Luton, Oxford, the story is the same. 

"Gangs of men, mainly of Pakistani Muslim heritage, lure white girls as young as 10 with gifts and displays of affection. Next, the girl is raped as a way of “breaking her in”. Once the child’s spirit is subdued, and her mind fogged with drugs, she is sold for sex to multiple men at £200 a time. If the girl tries to break away, a gang member might threaten to behead her or firebomb her home. Mohammed Karrar, who was found guilty in the Oxford sex-grooming case this week, took a scalding hairpin and branded one girl so she would know she was his property. Later, the gang gave the same girl a DIY abortion. She was 12 years old.  And this, all this, is happening in Britain now." (Source)

If characteristic features, such as branding, collective pimping, and DIY abortions are hallmarks of singular combined crime that is overwhelming dominated by a certain ethnic group that is in the minority in a European country, it is only responsible to report it.

2. Why is the matter of religion and ethnicity focused on in alarmingly broad strokes when the perpetrators are brown Muslims, but not when they're white Christians?

Because currently, the Pakistani Muslims are still a minority in England, and this is a variety of crime almost singularly conducted by that minority group (according to the quote above, and the statistics I posted).

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2014, 07:57:51 PM »
Because they are almost exclusively the ones performing this particular form of grooming and pimping.
Really? 'cause from what I've seen, including the quote you provide in this very post, it sounds like bog-standard child-sex-trade stuff to me. (In fact, very little of it is even exclusive to child exploitation in particular; it's pretty common across the entire illicit sex trade.) The two things that are unusual here are the scale on which it happened, and the lack of intervention. So... unless you're willing to assert that the entire illicit sex industry is run by Pakistani Muslims, this doesn't hold water. The entire rest of your post was predicated on this, so... well, show me some evidence that any of the traits you've mentioned is in any way unique or even overwhelmingly used by Pakistani Muslims, as opposed to human traffickers in general.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2014, 11:36:02 AM »
well, show me some evidence that any of the traits you've mentioned is in any way unique or even overwhelmingly used by Pakistani Muslims, as opposed to human traffickers in general.

Ella Cockbain and Helen Brayley are pretty much the only people to have done any serious academic investigation into this type of offense. Their report in on-street grooming by gangs found that of the cases they investigated 83% of those charged were Asian Pakistani, 11% Asian other and 6% white British. The report itself is somewhat difficult to track down but you can read them discussing their report here (where they mention the above statistics)

Now, they'd be the first to say that their report shouldn't be used as smoking gun evidence. It focused on five major cases in a limited geographic area (although it also happened to be roughly the area where the Rotherham abuse took place). Wider information is patchy and difficult to compare across areas. The closest thing we have is the CEOP study Valthazar already cited... but that doesn't break down whether it was individual or group grooming. From what evidence we do have (mainly anecdotes from those involved in child protection charities) individual grooming is traditionally carried out by white men, while group grooming of the sort mentioned in Rotherham (and Rochdale and Manchester and Oxford and a host of other places) is predominantly Asian and of that predominantly Pakistani. Cockbain and Brayley make the same point in the article referenced.

Moreover, can you not see the basic issue with the position you're presenting?

One of the things that came out of the Rochdale inquiry was that the way offences were recorded, viewed and reported was woefully inadequate at least partially down to a fear of appearing racist. Allegations weren't recorded, if they were the alleged abuser's race wasn't recorded, offenses were treated as a one-off rather than part of a larger pattern, an offence by a gang would be treated as lots of individual incidents rather than as a group etc etc. One of the key points of the investigation is that the break down in the system made it incredibly difficult to get accurate statistics and that this was at least partially down to the race of the abusers.

And now you want detailed stats on the race of the abusers before we can note there's an issue in the British-Pakistani Muslim community when it comes to child sexual abuse.

In fact... with this is mind...

Well, that's the thing... it is racist.

Sorry, I had to take a moment because this is brilliant.

As the above quote shows, you think that that to point out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls is racist.

Now you ask for evidence relating to groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls.

But you can't have such evidence without pointing out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls... otherwise how exactly can the evidence either be gathered or presented?

Which means that any evidence for what you ask for is racist. How statistics can be racist in and of themselves is another matter but let's assume for the moment that you're correct and it is racist to cite crime statistic relating to the perpetrator's religion or ethnicity.

And surely as reasonable people we'd all discard something that's racist?

Which means your question cannot be answered. Any stats we cite are racist as they'd point out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls. Which means we cannot cite any stats and thus our point has no strength.

In fact, seeing as the report into the abuse of 1400 girls (conservative estimate) in Rotherham specifically says:

Quote
By far the majority of perpetrators were described as 'Asian' by victims

Quote
In Rotherham, the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage

Then the report itself is racist as it points out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls. As were all the previous reports which noted similar things. Or the individuals working in charities who said similar things. Anyone who's ever said that certain Pakistani Muslim men were involved in such things is racist. The children who went to the police and complained are racist as they mentioned the ethnic background and religion of their abusers.

That's brilliant. It's like an automatic "I win" button in debates; preemptively say that evidence is racist and then ask for that same evidence. Either someone has to present "racist" evidence which one can therefore ignore while questioning the provider's motives or they can't present evidence.

Wonderful.

Unfortunately a similar logic was used when dealing with the real world rather than online debates and as part of that 1,400 (conservative estimate) girls were abused while being failed by the authorities and services which were meant to protect them. At least partially because they thought it was racist to point out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls. Can't offend the wider community right? Can't ask for serious engagement on the basis that there's an issue? Need to hush it up. Need to steal and destroy the data relating to it when someone pointed it out.

If the authorities had put the half the effort into preventing abuse that they did into not appearing racist then maybe a few hundred less girls would have been abused.

Why does it matter that they're Muslim if nobody's saying Muslims as a category are like that? Why does it matter that they were of Pakistani descent unless someone is saying that Pakistan encourages child rape?

Because once you establish that the offenses of this type are disproportionately committed by people from one specific you can focus resources better and provide more services for them or have a basis to engage with the wider community about how to confront the issue. As detailed in the report because there wasn't any joined up thinking or passing along information about the nature of offences (and offenders) the police and other services put very little import on engaging with the Pakistani Muslim community on the issue, at most simply passing it to traditional community leaders who were either unable or unwilling to do anything about it. One can start doing more to change a sub-culture that appears to have arisen. Without information on who to target one can't give targeted help.

Maybe, instead of looking at the abusers as Pakistani Muslims, we could look at them first as abusers?

They tried that for 16 years, looking at the abusers as individual abusers without anything tying them into a larger group. The result was at least 1,400 (a conservative estimate as the report makes clear) children being sexually abused, pimped, raped, sold to other groups and threatened with death with the failures at least partially down to the race of the abusers. This hasn't been the first report on this... Rotherham itself has had at least three reports looking at this issue. They were hushed up and buried, again at least partially because of race.

we should start looking more closely at any extremely community that disengages from society as a whole and seeks to avoid government scrutiny?

Which communities in the UK would that be? The only other one that comes to mind is the Roma... one that the police have actually engaged with quite significantly and is starting to come closer into wider society.



Just on the YFZ Ranch issue...

1) So far I haven't been able to find a single news report on the Ranch which doesn't mention it was owned, operated and occupied by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its members. Many also make direct connections between the religion and the abuse.

2) As I understand it pretty much as soon as the authorities received a report of abuse there (and I understand that specific report was actually a hoax) they went in metaphoric guns blazing and pretty much immediately evacuated the children to safety (in general; I'm not making a comment on the safety of the foster system). In contrast in Rotherham abused girls were returned to their abusers and certain Muslim councillors demanded that social workers reveal the whereabouts of Pakistani women who had fled abuse or effect reconciliation rather than supporting the women to make up their own minds.

Perhaps it would be wise to give a few words to the prosecutor who finally forced through the prosecutions of one grooming gang in Rochdale and helped spark this investigation... a Muslim of Pakistani descent himself:

Quote
"My Pakistani heritage helped cut through barriers within the black and minority ethnic communities," he says. "And white professionals' oversensitivity to political correctness and fear of appearing racist may well have contributed to justice being stalled."
« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 01:23:55 PM by consortium11 »

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2014, 02:06:44 AM »
         It shouldn't be an issue reporting race of suspects, as long as one reports race and probable cause of investigation for all suspects everywhere. 

         Now, if there are questions about the deployment of investigations in the first place or methodology by which suspects are acquired (and whether that is racially motivated), then institutions should have transparent policies and procedures for responding to those questions. 

         Although, if one supposes that the responsible institutions are hopeless on this point as a matter of custom -- Which is to say, not responsible at all...  Then we have a terrible impasse?  I don't know.  Then at the least, there's more than one side that needs to loosen up!   

        And there may be a question of what constitutes "tact" in making public reports that tend to narrow crimes down to particular geographic as well as ethnic communities.  I'm not sure if the UK has a precise equivalent to the Freedom of Information Act requirements in the US, but the government has to weigh carefully the benefits of warning parents about a potential concentration of crime and the dangers of inciting a broader population such that other sorts of unrest or discrimination might break out. 

         That is actually the largest conundrum I see with having distinct ethnic neighborhoods...  But in practice, economics have historically tended to lead toward rather segregated recent immigrant neighborhoods in US and UK cities.  So unless incomes are leveled and/or the price of real estate in city centers miraculously tumbles (which would mean totally revamping the business culture that dominates larger cities like London), I don't think all that is going away soon. 

         I wonder if another part of the problem may be the concept of due process.  Once the police are interested in a suspect, how intrusive can they be and how much disruption can they cause.  How common is it for dubious arrests and convictions to occur.  What sort of oversight is there about actual investigations, not just naming of suspects.  What I am thinking of here, is that when the police have a history of taking a relatively greater interest in particular ethnic communities, members of those communities regularly find that they are subjected to all sorts of unequal treatment. 
a few American examples of more or less everyday, unequal treatment
American police are widely known to often detain Blacks with little cause, or to detain them for very minor offenses which might go unseen in other racial contexts (or which might be easily paid for by richer violators, but then how often does one actually prosecute someone for minor offenses in a rich community anyway).  And there are certain failings of due process in the US:  Police occasionally fail to read Miranda rights in a timely manner, they engage in a great deal of baiting and rewriting the rules (just one example: street protests which are suddenly barred from using sidewalks!), there is a shortage of public defender time and individual defenders may see racially charged cases as particularly "unwinnable", people are not well informed about when they can refuse searches or questioning and they are forced into situations where it is nigh impossible to refuse and go about their public business, on and on...


Many of these problems are not limited to Blacks per se -- the police may overstep with others too -- but they become patterned "Black problems" when the police disproportionately target Black populations in general and these abuses are harder for Blacks in poor communities with generally fewer financial resources to resist.  So if there is anything of a similar problem with South Asian (and perhaps some other?) populations in the UK...  Maybe what people are concerned about in race terms, is whether once you describe such a crime as often located among a certain group, will this result in an intensification of discrimination that is already pervasive?  And there one does need to address the discrimination also.

        I am not familiar with the UK system today.  I seem to recall, 15+ years back, reading that the UK police had wider latitude than American ones in how they would pursue an investigation and how long they might detain a suspect for questioning.  So I would just toss in that, IF the moment the police set their sights on a group, all sorts of abuses are prone to break loose --- or even if human rights in the country are generally weak for all suspects --- then there might be another problem going on?  Perhaps some of the underlying mess is about due process, as well?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 02:12:18 AM by kylie »

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2014, 12:35:08 PM »
I had a munch lengthier, point-by-point reply here, but... after thinking on it more, I think I can make my point better in brief. I expressed my problems with the coverage of this issue poorly, in part, because I didn't have a clear grasp on exactly why I found the coverage problematic. I do now, and I'd like to thank consortium11 for helping me tease it out. I've left the original spoilered below because I don't believe in covering up when I go wrong.

Basically, there are two issues at play here that I think aren't even being noticed by most people.

1. Media coverage and discussion of people doing horrible things tends to dehumanize the perpetrators. We divide the world into "good, decent folks like us" and "horrible, scary, evil monsters like them". This is a big problem because it makes us reflexively dismiss the possibility that we - or anyone we put in the "good, decent folks" category at any point - could ever do something horrible. How many times have we heard of abusers flying under the radar because they looked like they belonged in "good, decent folks?" More abuse and other crimes are directly enabled by this way of thinking.

2. Coverage of this case in particular seems to be making ethnicity and religion the primary signifiers of the "horrible, scary, evil monsters" category. How do we know that these offenders were "them" and not "us"? Because they're Pakistani Muslims. Not only does this continue to reinforce point 1, but it paints all Pakistani Muslims as part of the "monsters" group. That should never be allowed to fly.

Original, lengthy version
Consortium, I have very little to say on your first point, as frankly it is so limited in scope as to be beyond useless.

Moreover, can you not see the basic issue with the position you're presenting?

One of the things that came out of the Rochdale inquiry was that the way offences were recorded, viewed and reported was woefully inadequate at least partially down to a fear of appearing racist. Allegations weren't recorded, if they were the alleged abuser's race wasn't recorded, offenses were treated as a one-off rather than part of a larger pattern, an offence by a gang would be treated as lots of individual incidents rather than as a group etc etc. One of the key points of the investigation is that the break down in the system made it incredibly difficult to get accurate statistics and that this was at least partially down to the race of the abusers.

And now you want detailed stats on the race of the abusers before we can note there's an issue in the British-Pakistani Muslim community when it comes to child sexual abuse.
One way of proving the merits of the focus on race and religion would be to show that Pakistani Muslims are vastly overrepresented among sex traffickers as a population, sure.

Or you could show that Pakistan in particular has an overwhelmingly high rate of sex trafficking.

Or you could quote authoritative Islamic sources saying that sex trafficking is good or desirable or pious.

Or any number of other things that would demonstrate in any way that these people being Pakistani or Muslim has any bearing on their being sex offenders.

In the absence of any such context, continuing to focus on their race and religion is... well, yeah, pretty much textbook bigotry. I apologize for not making that perfectly clear.

As the above quote shows, you think that that to point out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls is racist.

Now you ask for evidence relating to groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls.

I think that constantly returning, again and again, to their ethnicity and religion when it has not been demonstrated that this has any bearing on their crime is racist. And I ask for evidence that it has some bearing on their crime. Hopefully this will clear the matter up for you. It would not be racist, and I will gladly concede the point, if there was any element of this that was uniquely Pakistani or Muslim, or if Pakistanis or Muslims were disproportionately represented among perpetrators of this crime as a whole. Nobody has even pretended to have anything showing this.

Unfortunately a similar logic was used when dealing with the real world rather than online debates and as part of that 1,400 (conservative estimate) girls were abused while being failed by the authorities and services which were meant to protect them. At least partially because they thought it was racist to point out that there were groups of Pakistani Muslim men grooming, raping and pimping young girls. Can't offend the wider community right? Can't ask for serious engagement on the basis that there's an issue? Need to hush it up. Need to steal and destroy the data relating to it when someone pointed it out.
That's funny, I thought I said this should be handled as a massive sex-abuse case. Oh, wait, I did. I have not supported, and never will support, ignoring a problem like this. What I question is the huge focus that the media and conversations surrounding this issue have on the race and creed of the perpetrators - while ignoring the race and downplaying the religion of perpetrators of the same damn crime when they just happen to be white Christians.

If you care to look back, the line you quoted was part of a paragraph. The key line (note the emphasis) in that paragraph was "Having a different standard because the people involved are a different colour is racism." That is the standard I am holding to.

If the authorities had put the half the effort into preventing abuse that they did into not appearing racist then maybe a few hundred less girls would have been abused.
Sure. And I'd be all for that. See, here's the thing: I don't think that arresting people for things they actually did do, provided that those things are actually illegal and people of other skin colours woudn't be given a pass by police (neither of which appears to be a factor here), is racist. I do think a police department worrying more about its image than about actual abuse victims is completely disgusting. This does not change the fact that the overwhelming majority of the media and of discussions surrounding this issue are focused on race and religion with no basis.

I could also argue that image would have been way less of an issue if the police had put some effort into not actually being racist, so that their past racism wouldn't colour future actions and decisions.

Because once you establish that the offenses of this type are disproportionately committed by people from one specific you can focus resources better and provide more services for them or have a basis to engage with the wider community about how to confront the issue. As detailed in the report because there wasn't any joined up thinking or passing along information about the nature of offences (and offenders) the police and other services put very little import on engaging with the Pakistani Muslim community on the issue, at most simply passing it to traditional community leaders who were either unable or unwilling to do anything about it. One can start doing more to change a sub-culture that appears to have arisen. Without information on who to target one can't give targeted help.
And this might be something for the police or social services or other people actually on the ground doing the work to take into consideration, sure. That's a very, very far cry from media and bystandards stigmatizing over a billion people because a handful of them did horrible things.

They tried that for 16 years, looking at the abusers as individual abusers without anything tying them into a larger group. The result was at least 1,400 (a conservative estimate as the report makes clear) children being sexually abused, pimped, raped, sold to other groups and threatened with death with the failures at least partially down to the race of the abusers. This hasn't been the first report on this... Rotherham itself has had at least three reports looking at this issue. They were hushed up and buried, again at least partially because of race.
I am not saying to look at them as individuals; I am saying that public discussions should handle these perpetrators in the same fashion as they handle people who do these things that happen to look like them. This does not by any means preclude looking at a network as a network.

Which communities in the UK would that be? The only other one that comes to mind is the Roma... one that the police have actually engaged with quite significantly and is starting to come closer into wider society.
Okay, at this point I'm sure I was terrible at expressing my point earlier. I apologise for this. I think this is exactly the right approach to take - certainly better than the old standby of painting them all as criminals because of their ethnicity. That's... kinda my problem here. By making the discussion of the issue center on "Pakistani Muslim abusers", all Pakistani people and all Muslims are tarnished by association.

Just on the YFZ Ranch issue...

1) So far I haven't been able to find a single news report on the Ranch which doesn't mention it was owned, operated and occupied by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its members. Many also make direct connections between the religion and the abuse.
Sure, but that's not what I asked, is it? That's downplaying it as a single very specific splinter of a specific sect of Christianity, not painting them as just "Christians". The equivalent is not happening here - these offenders are described simply as "Muslim".

EDIT: In fact, I'd say the way religion is handled in the YFZ case is pretty similar to the way it's used here - to find definitions of "us" and "them" where all people who do horrifying things conveniently fall under "them". This is something I have an issue with, because it reinforces the idea that nobody we think of as "us" could possibly do these things - which blinds us to incidents that actually happen. How often have you heard of abusers flying under the radar because people didn't think they could possibly be the type?

2) As I understand it pretty much as soon as the authorities received a report of abuse there (and I understand that specific report was actually a hoax) they went in metaphoric guns blazing and pretty much immediately evacuated the children to safety (in general; I'm not making a comment on the safety of the foster system). In contrast in Rotherham abused girls were returned to their abusers and certain Muslim councillors demanded that social workers reveal the whereabouts of Pakistani women who had fled abuse or effect reconciliation rather than supporting the women to make up their own minds.
This has no bearing on the focus of discussion, which is what I've been trying to talk about here (admittedly poorly).

Perhaps it would be wise to give a few words to the prosecutor who finally forced through the prosecutions of one grooming gang in Rochdale and helped spark this investigation... a Muslim of Pakistani descent himself:

See, that's an angle worth exploring and examining in depth in the context of race. There are almost certain to be some social policy changes that will come about because of this, which will hopefully prevent this situation in the future. In this context, focusing on race would make sense.

It shouldn't be an issue reporting race of suspects, as long as one reports race and probable cause of investigation for all suspects everywhere. 

kylie highlights my issue here beautifully: That sort of equal treatment is not happening. This is a problem.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 12:50:56 PM by Ephiral »

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2014, 11:47:31 AM »
I think the reason we're crossing wires here Ephiral is that we're discussing two different things.

You appear to be focusing on the media's reaction to and presentation of this story.

I'm focusing on what the authorities did (or more appropriately in this case frequently didn't do).

In this case there were a whole load of failings by the authorities. Many of them have been discussed and noted, both officially and by commentators, previously; the tendency not to believe victims and treat them as if they are at fault, the use of information about someone's lifestyle (such as drinking or drug use) to discredit claims of abuse, a generally hostile environment when a victim reports their abuse, a failure to follow up, investigate or offer any protection etc etc. But this report is pretty much the first time that anyone has officially noted and it not been hushed up that one of the things that contributed to that failure was the race of the perpetrators and the fear of the authorities that they would appear racist if they intervened. Tragically it looks unlikely that Rotherham is the only place where this happened... Rochdale is the other striking example but I suspect there will be more if the curtain is ever pulled back far enough for people to see.

One of the issues plays into the question of limited statistics. With the authorities unwilling to note the abusers race and religious background and, if they did, not treating members of these types of grooming gangs as members of gangs but as individuals (so they didn't appear to be backing up talk of "Muslim rape gangs") it's incredibly hard to get an accurate picture of quite how extensive it is. It's only really been since about 2010 when the previously mentioned chief prosecutor started to really push these cases through that any picture at all emerges. And if one looks at the convictions that have been made since then for this type of grooming by gangs (sometimes called "on street" grooming) it's largely by Muslim men of Pakistani descent. From the limited statistics we do have, for whatever reason lone abusers tend to be white and Christian (roughly along general population percentage lines), grooming which is predominantly online by gangs tends to involve white Christians (above the general population percentage lines) and this on-street grooming by gangs tends to be by Muslim men of Pakistani descent.

Do I think there's a direct connection between either their religion or racial background and the offences? No, however hard racist groups try to spin it. I suspect it's a socio-economic one; the Pakistani community is disproportionately over-represented when it comes to the night-time economy (24 hour off-licenses/corner shops, late night takeaways, taxi firms etc etc) and the vulnerable young girls that were abused had a tendency to visit such places and the initial grooming tended to take place there. It's more a question of opportunity and circumstance then race; if a different racial and religious group dominated the night-time economy then they'd likely be over-represented when it comes to this sort of crime.

But, regardless of the reasoning behind the crime itself, if the authorities reaction and ability to intercede was hindered because the authorities were more concerned with not appearing racist then with actually helping those vulnerable girls I'd hope that we could all agree that it's a disgrace.

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Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2014, 12:00:56 PM »
Yes, I've been focused on media and bystander discussion. Cultural background is something that authorities, social workers, and other people on the front lines need to take into account, and I will not dispute that - but we, as the public, are none of these, and simply referring, constantly, to "Pakistani Muslim" abusers isn't taking cultural background into account. All it really serves to do is enable racism - which there's been a lot of surrounding this issue.

Putting the reputation of an institution above real, actual damage done to real, actual people is reprehensible - and, in cases where it isn't criminal, it probably should be. This was the big, unusual, noteworthy thing here: Even if it would've subjected the department to baseless accusations of racism, priority one should've been to stop victims getting hurt. PR is a very distant second to that. This isn't the first time it's happened (Catholic Church, US Army, I'm looking in your direction) and it won't be the last. Perhaps we need to take a closer look at how strict, hierarchic institutions approach things like in-group loyalty vs serving the public good?

One thing I feel is an important point here: The best possible defense against accusations of racism, one that the police could've availed themselves of with the effort they put into covering this up, is to build a solid track record of non-racist behaviour. Less institutional racism could've all but eliminated the "But how will this look?" question - and yet, a lot of people seem to be saying that obviously the police shouldn't be so afraid of being racist. They shouldn't let perceptions outweigh real harm, but they should absolutely fight to make sure racism is no longer a thing in their ranks.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2015, 10:28:34 AM »
There's been a subsequent report on Rotherham, this time focusing on the council, it's work, how it responded to the previous report and whether it was fit for purpose.

It's grim reading

Again, we are given evidence of systematic failures across the board... and again a focus is given to "political correctness" and how a fear of offending others meant that 1,400+ (remember, a conservative estimate) young women were allowed to be repeatedly and horrifically abused.

One issue was a feeling by non-Pakistani/Asian (using the British use of the term) heritage members of the council felt it was inappropriate for them to discuss or deal with issues that seemed to primarily impact the Pakistani/Asian community as it would be interfering, insensitive or racist. That led to the two Pakistani-heritage members of the council wielding almost total power with regard to those issues. One of those issues was that the organized child abuse and grooming was carried out disproportionately by Pakistani/Asian taxi drivers. The councilors in question had close family, political and business ties to both the community in general and the taxi industry in particular... as a result of this and the other councilors fear of appearing racist no progress was made.

The fear of appearing racist appears to have poisoned the entire process. On the fairly trivial side you have petty examples like refusing to hold meetings near to pubs (note, near to, not in) for fear of offending Muslims. On the more serious side the report notes that references to the perpetrators ethnicity was studiously scrubbed from all records which made targeting the problem almost impossible. Throughout the report makes clear that those in authority were more interested in not offending the Pakistani-heritage community and not appearing racist then it helping the abuse victims or preventing it from occurring in future. The specter of the BNP was raised as well; because the BNP talked about "Pakistani rape gangs" anything that indicated Pakistani-heritage men were systematically abusing children was seen as giving the BNP succor and it was better to let children be abused then to in any way validate the BNP's position. Beyond that individual investigations were stalled, whitewashed or simply ignored because of this fear of "racism"; when individual taxi drivers were involved in child sexual exploitation and people tried to follow up through taxi licensing it went nowhere and they were constantly reminded not to be "racist".

Worse, the culture that allowed this abuse to happen (both relating to political correctness and general failings) continued to exist in the wake of the earlier report. Rather than take the criticisms to heart councilors continued to hide behind political correctness, disclaim responsibility, score political points against rivals and underplay the serious nature of the child sexual abuse both historically and that was continuing to occur.

Thankfully there appears to be progress... but it's too little, too late for 1,400+ children (conservative estimate) who were abused.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2015, 04:26:11 PM »
An ethnically focused gang is nothing new, strange or out of sorts. The Irish mafia is oddly enough Irish. The Vor or Russian mafia, are Russian. The Mafia are Sicilian. The Yakuza are Japanese. The Triad are Chinese. The Manitoba Warriors are Native American and Canadian Aboriginals. (I could easily go on for several paragraphs listing known ethnically focused gangs around the world, I trust this small sample makes the point).

Throughout the world these ethnically focused organized crime groups are investigated and prosecuted despite the existence of politically correct culture. One small town with (to quote the official report you linked) "an archaic culture of sexism, bullying and discomfort around race" has numerous failures of leadership in performing their required civic duties and political correctness is to blame? That's a pitiful excuse for a group of people not doing their jobs when everyone else is perfectly capable of doing so.

Others, in the same environment, such as the charity group Risky Business, who according to the report were instrumental in the eventual identification and arrest of the perpetrators managed just fine. The official report that we're reading now, paid for by the crown, was able to handle describing it as a gang primarily composed of Pakistani members. What was different about Rotherham's council?

So after reading a 154 page report on the situation, I'm seeing an awful lot of failures here. I'm deeply concerned that rather than a complex understanding of the situation, there seems to be a desire to focus on pages 32 through 36 in which the "race issue" is discussed and the problems that this fear of appearing racist placed in the case. The blaming of political correctness is ignoring the reports own statements that the people involved were racist which was why they had this fear. To quote from the report. "Inspectors heard a range of views and thoughts from interviewees about attitudes to race and culture that caused them concern and reinforced the conclusion that the Council could not deal sensibly with the issue. Indeed, some Councillors held racist or wholly outdated or inappropriate views. Many of these views were known about but not challenged."

Edited for spelling mistakes.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 04:30:24 PM by Caehlim »

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: Rotherham Abuse Scandal and Political Correctness
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2015, 04:58:54 PM »
One small town with (to quote the official report you linked) "an archaic culture of sexism, bullying and discomfort around race" has numerous failures of leadership in performing their required civic duties and political correctness is to blame? That's a pitiful excuse for a group of people not doing their jobs when everyone else is perfectly capable of doing so.

This isn't a one-off or one small town and not happening anywhere else.

It's simply that Rochdale is the first time we've had the official report mention the effect of political correctness and how it hindered already flawed investigations rather than simply individual people mention it... and then normally get immediately dog-piled with accusations of racism.

There's a lot more of the failings in how the UK deals with child sexual exploitation then merely political correctness when dealing with on-street grooming. But those other issues have been known about for a while and, while still not being solved, there have at least been initiatives and attempts to improve the situation. Until now there hasn't when it came to authorities thinking it was more important to not appear racist then it was to stop children being abused. It's been almost literally hushed up with anyone who dared to even mention the subject or point out how this type of crime was disproportionately committed by Muslims of Pakistani-heritage immediately accused of being racist or giving support to racists.