On 2nd March 2018, The Guardian published online two articles on a similar theme. The first was about another mass abduction of young girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria. The author cautioned against viewing the entire country through this narrow lens or considering Nigerian women to be devoid of agency. The article concluded: “Seeing only women and girls as victims plays into gendered stereotypes that we must move away from. It also presents a highly distorted version of reality”. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/02/nigeria-boko-haram-abductions-chitra-nagarajan
The second article was about the current “rape epidemic” on British campuses. It was based on a survey response of 4500 students from 153 universities. Without telling us what proportion of the total student population this 4500 represent (20%.,10%. 1%, 0.1%, 0.001%?), and the inherent bias in conducting surveys with leading questions that invite a particular kind of response from a particular kind of individual, the author made sweeping generalisations, concluding that “Universities should be ashamed” for not doing more. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/02/universities-rape-epidemic-sexual-assault-students
You could argue that these are opinion pieces and reflect opinions of different people. But if you know The Guardian well, you will also know that these two pieces represent the fundamental intellectual dishonesty and moral bankruptcy at the heart of this newspaper.
When it comes to straight, white men, no generalisation is sweeping enough, no bad statistic is dodgy enough, no amount of abuse is severe enough when directed at The Guardian’s favourite enemy. However, when it comes to non-English cultures, no excuse is feeble enough and no atrocity bad enough for The Guardian to bring itself to condemn.
For thirty years, white working-class children have been systematically groomed and raped in English towns and cities by gangs of predominantly Muslim men. Just because the BNP first raised the alarm, The Guardian was very keen to dismiss these allegations as racist. In 2011 it published an article claiming that these claims were “dubious”. To quote directly from the article: “Anecdotally, as far back as the mid-90s, local agencies have been aware of the participation of ethnic minority men in some cases of serial abuse. But what has not emerged is any consistent evidence to suggest that Pakistani Muslim men are uniquely and disproportionately involved in these crimes, nor that they are preying on white girls because they believe them to be legitimate sexual quarry, as is now being suggested”. All of this, according to the paper, was the “ignoble tradition of racialising crime”. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jan/07/grooming-racialising-crime-tradition
Over the next few years, as the scale of the problem became too big to ignore or dismiss, the Guardian tried other tactics. The problem is not of rape or racism, it is all about misogyny. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/08/grooming-girls-newcastle-race-misogyny-religion-operation-sanctuary. The attempt was to steer the discussion away from race and ethnicity and to constantly remind people that most paedophiles in the UK are white. Given that 87% of the UK population is white, this is a meaningless statement, since what matters is proportions not absolute numbers, and in particular the modus operandi of the Muslim gangs which clearly pointed to exploitation of White and non-Muslim Asian girls who are considered fair game; in Jack Straw’s description “easy meat”, outside the protection of honour and purity codes.
Two articles from 2107 claimed that this was all a “moral panic” and the focus on race and religion were “a distraction”. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/10/victims-child-abuse-gangs-race-religion; https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/10/the-guardian-view-on-operation-sanctuary-ends-and-means. Even Dennis McShane admitted that no one had wanted to rock the cultural boat, hence no action had been taken for years. But such details don’t matter to the Guardian. The real panic for the Guardian was that this “played into the hands of the right-wing”; party politics is more important to the Guardian than protecting children. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/12/newcastle-sex-ring-crime-divides-race-religion
Are The Guardian team oblivious to the pain and suffering of white working-class children? Do they enjoy knowing that white children are suffering, and consider it just desserts for the supposed white atrocities on the rest of the world? Do they feel that sacrificing white children at the altar of political expediency is a fair price to pay since the party The Guardian supports depends upon the biradri vote banks that the perpetrators represent?
Is The Guardian immoral or amoral? Immorality requires an awareness of morality and a deliberate choice of following an action that goes against what morality demands. Amorality is different. Amorality is indifference to morality. The editorial choice of publishing those two pieces on 2nd March stems not from allowing different opinions (The Guardian would never allow a piece written by BNP) but a convenient bending of moral principles, an expedient use of arguments: white men raping is wrong, Muslim men raping must be seen in a cultural context and be dealt with cautiously.
Personally, I prefer an immoral person to an amoral one. With the former you know where you stand, and you can argue with them. The latter are endlessly inventive in their pursuit of ideology, regardless of morality. Many Guardian readers consider themselves compassionate, objective and morally superior. However, self-righteousness does not make you right. Mark Twain famously said: “it ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure but it just ait so”. Guardian writers and the editorial team know exactly what they are doing. They are the truly wicked.