You may have already read about the “BNP ballerina”, Simone Clarke, whose employer, the English National Ballet, is under pressure to fire her for her membership in the British National Party. Clarke was outed as a member of the far right BNP by a Guardian reporter who went undercover and discovered, to just whose surprise is a mystery, that party members hide their identity, are discouraged from making racist remarks in public, and that the BNP has been trying to clean up its image to attract more middle and working class white voters disillusioned by the lack of distinction between Labour and Conservatives regarding immigration and crime. Billed as "Inside the Sinister and Secret World of the BNP" the brief story is resoundingly anti-climactic. More sensational than the story's other revelations, the reporter obtained membership registration lists and "unmasked" Clarke.
Once exposed the dancer gave an interview to The Mail on Sunday, defending her membership in the party. This of course only served to further antagonize her detractors. An aide to the mayor of London and prominent race activist described her relatively mild (see the Mail story above) defense of her party membership as "vociferous." From the Guardian:
The interview has caused fresh difficulties for the ENB, which was able to deflect criticism about Clarke's BNP membership by insisting that her stance was an entirely private one. The company, which is publicly funded and is therefore obliged by the Race Relations Act of 2000 to promote good race relations, will be asked to explain how one of its highest profile employees was able to use her position as a platform for the far right party.
The policies of the ENB and the Arts Council of England are their business (as for Clarke's views not already implied by her membership in the BNP, the most damning evidence of their severity offered in the Guardian's somewhat oversold expose consists of Clarke saying that immigration "has really got out of hand") but their standard, which one assumes they would have as the standard, begs the question: at what point does the promotion of good race relations no longer impinge on freedom of speech? What of individual opinions that also can be construed as adversely impacting "race relations"? What if certain opinions now deemed morally indefensible pass into scientific consensus?
Her views and policies espoused by the BNP appear to conflict with equality policies that operate in the company itself and those laid down by Arts Council England, which subsidies the ENB to the tune of £6m a year.
This elevation of racial "tolerance", as defined by The Guardian and others, works, as if by design, to ensure that certain opinions cannot find consensus. The common logical fallacy of appealing to consequences, barring from possibility that which suggests undesirable consequences, has been codified into social convention, as that which might be considered racist or sexist is necessarily thereby false.
Thus the current elevation of racial equality as the ne plus ultra of justice can only lead to--has led to--the suppression of speech and debate.
Under this order the belief that there is a genetic component to differences in IQ has to be seen as threatening race relations. But it appears increasingly likely to be true. Some long ago began, as if in anticipation of the coming untenability of current dogma, made the argument that such subjects are better left unexplored, what Bernard Davis described as "moralistic fallacy."
However well-intended, they argue for the suppression of knowledge, something as futile as it is intellectually corrupt. This is how the liberal pursuit of racial equality has yielded the illiberal reality of compulsory opinion. A decision has been made by default, unspoken; it has been decided that truth would give way to accommodation.
Contrary to what many conservatives contend, I don't believe this is an inherent hostility to Western civilization, or Caucasians. Those who impose this order are merely, at bottom, afraid. They fear the consequences of certain ideas. Their fear may be well placed, after all. But something has to give.
The question cannot much longer be dodged: which trumps which, free speech or racial equality? They are not necessarily compatible. This is why it may be that, counter to the prevailing doctrine of racial politics, increasing racial diversity threatens racial harmony.
As for Clarke, some heartening defenses have come to the fore, but they seem to be in the minority, at least among pundits and politicians (I was unable to find a defense of Clarke by a public figure).
The Race Relations Act of 2000 mentioned by the Guardian above is the same EU directive that serves as the legal basis for punishing speech that is deemed racist or xenophobic. Last year a British bank was found "guilty of racism" and ordered to pay compensation when one employee, a British native, was overheard by another, a Maltese national, saying "I am against immigration", and "I hate foreigners."
Something called the Black Londoner's Forum lamented in a letter to the ENB that even following what would no doubt be successful attempts to silence the dancer, her continued employment might usher in a resurgence of fascism, with the ballet company as its bastion:
We should not forget the central role that culture and the arts played in the ideology and propaganda of National Socialism during the early years of Nazi Germany, right up until the fall of the Third Reich in 1945.
Their knowledge of culture's political uses is perhaps informed less by historical study than by the widespread current practice in the arts of methodically purveying an anti-white and misandrist bigotry that preens as a brave assault on repressive bourgeois values. Aside from the current state of leftist domination of the arts, the historical suppression and control of the arts is invoked to, more or less, suppress and control the arts. How the fascist takeover of Britain will be effected by allowing ballerinas the full range of political affiliations is not explained. Of course it's not about what possible influence Clarke might manage to convey within her extremely limited (in this context, at least) discipline, perhaps with an insidiously counterrevolutionary balancoire, it's more about punishing her for holding the wrong opinions. And serving notice to any more like her. Echoes of the Third Reich indeed.The Mail's more evenhanded coverage, less intent on pillorying Clarke, allowed it to grasp what the Guardian and others are incapable of discerning, or unwilling to allow:
But her story has wider implications. When one of the country's principal ballerinas, a 36-year-old woman who spent much of her recent working life as the Sugar Plum Fairy, decides to join the British neo-fascists, there is an argument that something has gone badly wrong with democratic British politics.This is the story, buried under the predictable and in some cases, such as that of outraged Muslim leaders, hypocritical outrage.
Complicating things is Ms. Clarke’s common-law marriage to a Cuban immigrant whose father is Chinese; the two have a child. It may be that Ms. Clarke doesn't understand the goals of the BNP (and I won't pretend to know much about them either; from what I gather they are white nationalists). The predictable response has been to declare her a hypocrite. Some will aver that the self-professed political neophyte doesn't understand the BNP's goals.
But Ms. Clarke’s behavior is not necessarily ill-informed or bigoted. Her behavior, apparently racially tolerant in her personal life but willing to consider the consequences of race, ethnicity and immigration on the macrocosmic level, is common and rational. Maybe our aging lefties are a little rusty with their slogans: the personal is political.
Self-professed liberals have taken on the worst habits of conservatism, holding certain beliefs and sentiments unassailable, regardless of proof or the popular will. A truly liberal democracy holds freedom of speech above articles of faith, trusting in the character and wisdom of the populace. Nowhere more than in the current immigration debate does the political class express such contempt for the citizenry.
As for Clarke's hypocrisy, if anyone's being hypocritical it's the cloistered elites who insist on forced integration, mass immigration, lenience toward violent crime, and the slow demolition of public education, all disproportionately impacting the working classes, while they send their children off to private schools every morning from the confines of gated communities and security buildings (staffed and maintained by immigrants and natives alike enduring the perpetually distressed wages that are another result of open immigration).
In personal interaction one can disregard race and ethnicity. Whatever prejudices or stereotypes one carries can be confidently put aside as individuals reveal, or prove, themselves. The social networks we travel in select for variables such as intelligence, tastes, culutral leanings, etc; if this group is selective enough race and ethnicity lose importance and a new group identity can be formed. This is precisely how our liberal elites envision the world as a whole, as pre-selected by nature, peopled by a human population with a blandly even distribution of behavioral traits--other than superficial, irrelevant physical differences noticed only by desperate bigots.
But when the cultural and political elites purge real debate out of the mainstream, the BNP and others will only too gladly collect the disenfranchised. Whatever one thinks about immigration policy, he should be concerned that so many like Ms. Clarke have to choose between stigmatization and acquiescence. The net effect is to drive more citizens into the arms of the BNP while simultaneously marginalizing them into irrelevance.
This is aggravated by the growing numbers of Third World immigrants and minorities encouraged to view this stigmatized population as mortal enemies. Yes, I'm making the argument that racial tolerance is threatened by racial diversity. Is that really such an outlandish proposition?
But the seemingly inexorable push for open borders (at least in the West) is only abetted by the current perversion of liberal thought; what drives it is the invisible hand of economic forces, hence the curious alliance of right and left behind it. Rhetoric follows power. This is how democracy is subverted by money.
A prominent, diehard Republican conservative blog, where the only thing that threatens to inspire more enthusiasm than President Bush's sprawling and disastrous foreign policy is his proposal to open the borders to its embittered survivors, and anyone else who manages to set foot on American soil (if not to render the concept of "American soil" obsolete), once noted a newspaper account of BNP gains in local elections under the headline: "Scratch a nativist, find a racist."
Here then is the de facto strategy, achieved by default and blundered upon by its less sophisticated, beer-hall putschists too inebriated on their own sanctimony to see it: opposition to open borders is forced out of the political parties and nearly out of the mainstream debate entirely and equated with bigotry by the cultural commissariat; those who are less than enthusiastic about the consequences of too-high immigration are either corralled into widely discredited organizations like the BNP, intimidated into silence, or they acquiesce and adopt the sanctified opinion. More often perhaps they merely lapse deeper into the apathy that is gradually enveloping the population as a whole. It is a bullying process of enforced conformity to radical social change impelled by economic factors. There's nothing very liberal, or conservative for that matter, about it.