Thou shalt not take race in vain

If you take issue with our diversity run riot, you are a [choose your own epithet: bigot, racist, troglodyte, fascist, champion of segregation or perhaps even genocide].

That’s par for the course, and one of those tags will be slapped onto your forehead regardless of the nature of your objections or the rationale behind them. But what if you welcome diversity on any scale and announce that in public?

Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? You are the opposite of all those awful things. [Choose your own modifier: open-minded, liberal, empathetic, sympathetic, colour-blind, anti-racist, anti-fascist, humane]. Or so you’d think.

Well, you’d think wrong. Because openly stating your commitment to racial diversity is just as bad as doing the opposite. According to the most up-to-date trend, skin colour is like God in the Biblical commandment. You can’t mention it by name at all, positively or negatively.

Thus, when we have a black person of any sex play Hamlet or, say, Agrippa (not a hypothetical example) in a West End production, we are supposed both to notice the incongruity and not to notice it. That is, we should mentally give the director the highest marks for his colour-blind daring, while at the same time pretending we see nothing unusual in Hamlet as the black Princess of Denmark.

If, on the other hand, we voice approval of such casting (voicing disapproval isn’t an available option), we break the terms of an unspoken but binding contract. WE HAVE NOTICED, meaning we are unconscious racists programmed to spot chromatic differences.

I hope I’ve explained what’s what to your satisfaction. However, if such subtleties still escape you, consider the case of Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Green MP in Germany and Vice President of the Bundestag.

Frau Göring felt duty-bound to comment on a recent survey that showed that 21 per cent of respondents would rather see more white players in Germany’s squad at Euro 2024. That was appalling, as far as the parliamentarian was concerned.

“This team is truly exceptional,” she wrote. “Just imagine if there were only white German players.” The statement was unintentionally ambiguous, or rather could be perceived as such, given the will.

One could imagine that such a monochrome team could be either better or worse than the present one, but that’s beside the point. Even mooting the theoretical possibility of an all-white team could be interpreted as nostalgia for the Third Reich. Aware of that possibility, Frau Göring tried to preclude ambiguity by ending her message with three rainbow emojis.

I’m not quite up on modern symbolism, but I thought the rainbow was a statement of sexual rather than racial diversity. Then again, the two are so securely fused as to be inseparable. Hence that semiotic finale should have absolved Frau Göring of any crime against modernity.

But it didn’t. All hell broke loose, and that impeccably woke woman was treated as Alfred Rosenberg incarnate.

Her crime was even having noticed that some Germany players were off-white. Whether she thought that was good or bad didn’t matter one jot. She took race in vain, meaning she is a racist. That’s all there is to it.

“I find it really worrying when people in Germany are judged by the colour of their skin,” also sprach Wolfgang Kubicki, the deputy leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP). Christian Democrat Manuel Ostermann wouldn’t be outdone: “Are you judging people based on their appearance? According to your own definition, that would be racist.”

In today’s Germany (or anywhere else in the West) an accusation of racism is tantamount to a capital charge. Such a stigma is like the yellow star Jews had to wear in the Third Reich, although the punishment is these days less severe, for the time being.

Frau Göring’s life wasn’t in danger, but her career was, and she knew it. Thus she deleted her objectionable post and offered profuse apologies.

“It upset me that 21 per cent of Germans would prefer it if there were more ‘whites’ in the national team,” she wrote. “I’m proud of this team and hope that we can convince the 21 per cent too.”

The politician seems unaware that, regardless of her protestations of woke probity, she broke one of the commandments of modernity. Perhaps it’s not really her fault – after all, no one has so far bothered to go up that mountain and receive those stone tablets, new edition.

Yet again it has fallen upon me to fill that gap, albeit using a more modern medium. So here it is, Decalogue, Mark II.

And God spake all these words, saying:

I am Modernity thy Lord. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt make unto thee any graven image thou wilt like, such as posting images of thy genitals on the Internet.

Thou shalt not take the name of any race in vain.

Remember Martin Luther King Day, to keep it holy.

Honour thy father and thy mother, or thy fathers and thy mothers of any sex.

Thou shalt not kill any person other than a racist, transphobe or climate denier.

Thou shalt not commit adultery for verily I say unto you: no such thing exists and sex with anyone is holy any wise.

Thou shalt not steal unless thou art in need of funds for a political cause.

Thou shalt bear false witness that not just male and female Darwin made them.

Thou shalt covet rich man’s wealth and raiment off his back.

Blessed Modernity, who hast cast all holy Scriptures aside to give us thy real commandments: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.


1 thought on “Thou shalt not take race in vain”

  1. Close. Thou canst also steal if thy desires are great but thy means lacking. If thy means are great, then thou shalt concede to them being stolen.

    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the gold out of thy brother’s pocket; and then shalt thou see clearly to stash that gold into thine own pocket.

    Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after the wealth of others: for they shall have their fill.

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