When reporting on matters of race or racism, we cannot even rely on liberal elites to report basic matters of fact.
Yesterday a 14 year old boy was jailed for 11 years for stabbing his teacher, Vincent Uzomah, in the stomach whilst he was teaching at a secondary school in Bradford. Mr Uzomah had told the boy off for playing with his mobile phone. Mr Uzomah, who is black, was racially abused by the boy, who is British of Pakistani heritage, during the incident. The lad later boasted about it on Facebook, receiving 69 'Likes' for his actions.
Listening to the BBC radio 4 coverage of the sentencing yesterday evening, there was no mention of the attacker's ethnicity, although plenty of the fact that this was a racist attack. An approach which was continued in the BBC and Channel 4 news internet coverage. Many following such 'analysis' would simply have assumed this was another case of a white racist lashing out at someone from an ethnic minority. That impression would certainly have been absorbed by the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme this morning. Here a discussion ensued between Laura Pidcock of anti-racist group Show Racism the Red Card and Sagheer Azfal, a supply teacher who reported he had experienced racism from pupils at secondary schools.
Here, the Today Programme seemed to be attempting to bowl a googly from a fast bowler's run-up. If a black man is stabbed by a British-Pakistani racist, it seems a little strange to ask a British Asian to talk about their experiences of racism? Would a report on a black person stabbed by a white racist bring in the comments of a white teacher with negative experiences of some black children? I dare the BBC to try it........Whilst Laura Pidcock eagerly presented a series of familiar left complaints, for example about alleged racism in the media coverage of migrants, there was no attempt by anyone to comment on the elephant in the room - that poor old Mr Uzomah's attacker was not a white racist at all.
In the media coverage I have seen in the past eighteen hours, Helen Pidd, the rather impressive Northern editor of the Guardian, is one of the few journalists with the backbone to report the racist aspect of this case fully, both on social media and on the Guardian's website yesterday. I have asked both Show Racism the Red Card and the Today Programme if their comments this morning fully reflect the nature of this incident. I don't expect a reply.
For liberal elites - and BBC journalists and educational groups working in schools such as the government funded Show Racism the Red Card are textbook examples of liberal elites who form and shape opinion - cases like the stabbing of Vincent Uzomah are pre-determined. The problem is racism, and racism is about white people saying critical things about or doing nasty things to black people. If a case emerges that undermines this script, the details are subtly disguised so the expected impressions can still be digested by the general public. That is why we are not told the attacker's ethnic heritage. To reinforce wider political concerns, activists like Laura Pidcock are brought in to attach media coverage of benefit claimants and asylum seekers in Calais to a specific attack, and for additional absorption of the core message, an actual victim of white racism, Sagheer Azfal, used.
And that, in one simple case, is how liberal elites manipulate the news.