White Backlash and the Politics of Multiculturalism

A Dialogue With a 22-Year-Old Donald Trump Supporter
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Most scholars examining the white backlash in specific urban settings have also been more willing than Frank to accept as valid a white working-class perspective and to probe liberalism's failures. However, they fear a white backlash among rank and file officers who feel they have already been passed over for promotion. Met police to downgrade entrance test for minorities. According to Norrell, Washington's life and racial leadership style were shaped in the nexus between black emancipation from slavery and the intense white backlash against the policies of Reconstruction.

To causally link the s white backlash to the federal government's tacit postwar acceptance of racist GI Bill implementation strains credibility. The GI Bill. On the issue of race, the Obama administration, fearful of a white backlash , has been careful not to do anything that might look like it favors the Black community. Democrats will Lose on November 2. Indeed, the area perfectly exemplifies the early co-ordination of trade union organisation and the movement for socialist political representation.

Arsenal workers were also key figures in establishing the highly successful co-operative for the purchase of affordable food for working-class families, the Royal Arsenal Cooperative Society. It lasted from until The locally published radical journal, The Pioneer, drew on the experiences of the Arsenal workforce to analyse the conditions of workers more widely. These accounts were in turn used by the first Woolwich Labour MP, Will Crooks, in his representations in the House of Commons concerning local and national labour issues.

The Backlash against Multiculturalism

Thus Woolwich was the first borough in the country to be represented by Labour at all levels of government. London borough of Greenwich. The moderate stance of Will Crooks was what made him attractive to many local labour and socialist activists. His ability to unite a range of disparate interests contributed greatly to his political success and to the cementing of the relationship between organised labour and mainstream political organisations — especially the Labour Party. Kingston Sutton Merton Wandsworth l. The borough of Greenwich within Greater London. The Arsenal consistently employed some 10, workers and above from the late nineteenth century, rising to 80, during World War I.

With the eventual development of electricity for land purposes these firms had an initial superiority in the market for cables for lighting and power. The area consequently became — and for much of the twentieth century remained — the centre of this industry in London. The Woolwich Arsenal also finally closed in and in the south-east London employment area there were thirty-one closures resulting in major redundancies during —9. Local people began to fear not only for their jobs but for their skills and occupational standing. See Brigadier O. Hogg, The Royal Arsenal 2 vols. II London, P.

King and Sons , p. Daniel, Whatever Happened to the Workers in Woolwich? The polarising national budgets of the s only served to emphasise the gulf between the economically stranded working class of the area and the new middle class.

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During the s, of the total borough population of ,, , inhabitants lived within the waterfront wards, some of which had male unemployment levels of above 30 per cent, reaching over 40 per cent in some months. Overall unemployment stood at nearly 15 per cent, and over the previous thirty years the area had seen a dramatic decline in manufacturing jobs available, from 33, in to just over 6, by Average earnings in the borough of Greenwich were low even for those in employment and average male earnings were far lower in Greenwich than in its neighbouring inner city boroughs to the west.

A Microcosm of Multiculturalism

Beyond its historic core, the area as a whole suffered from industrial dereliction, run-down housing estates, unattractive shopping centres and a lack of open space and recreational facilities. Some businesses and 10, jobs were lost between and , by far the largest reduction of any London borough. Printing Press Ltd, , pp. Source: Department of Employment. Source: New Earnings Survey — By the late s the borough had received more in Single Regeneration Budget government grants per head of population than any other area in the country. Greenwich and its racial murders 41 the period that was especially marked for the rise in both the number and seriousness of racial incidents and for the prevalence of male adolescents in the profile of perpetrators of racial assaults.

Immigrants from what was then called the British Commonwealth began to arrive in the borough in the early s when people from south Asia — mainly Jat Sikh farmers — started to settle in small communities particularly in the Charlton and Plumstead Common areas. Gujerati Hindu small traders and Ramgarhia Sikh artisans from East Africa followed in the late s, settling in Plumstead and Woolwich. According to the census, 4. By the early s people from the Caribbean constituted another distinct minority and came to comprise 2.

The remaining The ethnic minority population was most strongly represented in the wards to the north and north-east of the borough, where the percentage of minorities ranged from 20 per cent to above 30 per cent. These figures drawn from census data did not include many of the refugees living in Greenwich, since the number of refugees, especially those from Somalia, grew considerably throughout the s.

get link By it was estimated to have reached some 12, The wards in the south and in parts of the west are very predominantly white, with ethnic minority populations as small as 2. Many of these neighbourhoods contain low-rent housing estates that were developed by the council during the s, s and s. From the s onwards that policy sought to provide affordable homes in sufficient numbers for the local working-class population. It also importantly set out to guarantee the perpetuation of traditional community and kinship networks by allocating housing on the basis of kinship with those already settled on the estates — in particular, to those who were the children of established tenants.

This policy, benign in its intentions, had the consequence of creating institutionally maintained barriers to black and ethnic minority tenancies within these estates — once the demand from immigrants from the Commonwealth began to become established from the mids onwards. Despite the abandonment of the policy in the early s, the estates remained very predominantly white. Black and ethnic minority families coming in experienced various levels of racial harassment from verbal abuse through to assault.

White Backlash and the Politics of Multiculturalism

Some families were driven off by perpetual harassment and had to be re-housed by the local authority. Even as late as July attacks were still occurring in the heart of Eltham.

From until the Conservatives held Woolwich West, as the constituency was then called. It fell to Labour in the landslide election of but by it was Conservative again, which it remained until For the following ten years it was Labour, with 50 per cent and above of the poll, and even when the seat fell to Peter Bottomley, the Conservative, in , the Conservative vote continued to be some 2, under that of its combined opponents. Thus, despite its strong Tory record, Eltham was by no means a Tory safe seat.

Bottomley was popular because he was perceived to be a diligent constituency politician.

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He was also concerned about social issues. His persistent popularity was partly a result of these attributes. During the s, when the National Front NF was making its strongest bid for electorability, the Eltham constituency showed no more interest in the NF than either of the other two Greenwich constituencies.

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Indeed of the three it was marginally the lowest with an NF share of 2. Greenwich and its racial murders 43 some national and local elections, there is no evidence of any politically significant pre-disposition in that direction. Barnes, however, was no racist and she represented the interests of neither old Labour nor the disaffected working class.

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On the contrary, she was part of the new post-industrial Greenwich. This gave her some apparent affinity with the Hansens and Keirsgaards of politics who came to pitch themselves against political correctness. Race, however, was nowhere seen as an issue. Furthermore, in the Greenwich wards abutting those of Eltham — with the highest levels of unemployment and council tenancies 88 per cent in one case — Barnes did worse than anywhere else in her constituency. She worked in market research and her husband was a management consultant and SDP councillor. In a few years the couple would have been New Labour stalwarts.

Then they were its precursors and she sought and found support from people like themselves. In local elections to Greenwich council, racist politics was also hard to find. Racist party candidates were rare. In Sherrard, the Eltham ward that includes the Page estate, but nowhere else in the borough, the BNP took a surprising 12 per cent of the vote in , the year following the Lawrence murder.

No racist boats were missed by would-be politicians in Eltham or in Greenwich as a whole. They were simply not to be had. The kinds of racism that flourished in Greenwich were not those that came articulated through conventional political means. They were registered and extrapolated primarily through talk, neighbourhood rumour, narrative and counter-narrative.

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It was this broad surface of quotidian communication that provided the support system for the high levels of racial harassment that were recorded in the crime figures of the s and that continue to be recorded there. It required density rather than numbers per se and it clearly did not automatically translate into racist voting practices. As such it was politically invisible and, on the most public airways, mute. Thamesmead estate is predominantly white with a settlement of Vietnamese from the late s, and a smaller number of Asian and Caribbean families.

A network of streams and ponds divided the area into natural territories for the offensive and defensive adolescent gangs that flourished in the s and s, calling themselves after the locally abundant fish — the Ruds, the Carp, the Gudgeon. Some of these combined to form a large gang called the Goldfish which in time itself spawned a gang with several age-tiers of membership called the NTOs, standing for Natty TurnOuts, later Nazi Turn-Outs. Greenwich and its racial murders 45 Wildfowler pub. Amidst the threats and menaces, one boy, nineteenyear-old Mark Thornborrow, stabbed Rolan in the neck with a knife.

Thornborrow was jailed for life; the other members of the group were charged with lesser charges, some of which were plea-bargained away. There were many problems with the prosecution of the case and there was also considerable disagreement over the extent to which racism played a part. The murder came at a time both of increased BNP activity in the area and unprovoked racist violence by NTO gang members starting in the summer of In September a black youth was stabbed by gang members near the Wildfowler and another was attacked in twenty separate incidents.

There were no black gangs in the Thamesmead area and few black adolescents in general. In January a meeting of concerned parents outlined the attacks and warned police of a likely tragedy. In just over a month Rolan was dead. There had been one earlier firebombing of the club during the previous year in apparent protest at the employment of a black female youth worker. This time it closed the Centre down.