Brendan O’Neill writes:
The Second Witch-Hunting of Jade Goody exposed the poisonous nature of official ‘anti-racism’. Top-down ‘anti-racism’ has nothing whatsoever to do with ensuring equality of opportunity for all (if it did, then it might focus on doing something meaningful, like overhauling the government’s all-powerful immigration controls, rather than witch-hunting a powerless woman from the wrong side of the tracks); rather it is about policing people’s behaviour and etiquette, especially amongst the lower classes.
The witch hunt showed how the meaning of the word ‘racist’ has mutated in recent years. Accusations of ‘racism’ are no longer about indicting someone for their views on ethnic minorities but rather have become a snobbish judgment on their lack of breeding. ‘Racist’ has largely become code for ‘underclass’: uneducated, uncouth, thick, fat, ‘not one of us’.
Thus, the impact of official ‘anti-racism’ is not to make society more free and equal, but more authoritarian and censorious. In the elite witch-hunting of Jade Goody – in the unabated snobbery, the demands that she be re-educated, the threats of violence – we could glimpse the deeply negative impact of official ‘anti-racism’, which paralyses society and speech and makes people less certain of how to relate to one another.
When she was in hiding, Goody said: ‘If I say something, I don’t know if people are going to say it’s wrong.’ She revealed that she had ordered a chicken tikka masala, but when it arrived she didn’t feel like eating it: ‘But I was too scared to leave it on my plate. I didn’t want anyone to think I didn’t like Indian food…’