Fiona Bruce Accused Of Racism For Asking Nazir Afzal About Racism

During last night’s edition of Question Time on BBC One, a member of the audience asked the panel to comment on the claims by former cricketer Azeem Rafiq, that the game and society is institutionally racist.

The presenter Fiona Bruce, threw the question to Nazir Afzal. Afzal is a well known lawyer and campaigner. Astonishingly, he said; “The brown person will answer first!” A shaken Bruce asked him if it was wrong to come to him first, Afzal said, “I think so, yes.”

Bruce then said: “Well let’s not do it. I’m not being sarcastic at all. I mean if that’s how you feel, I respect that.”

Dear God Fiona. Why didn’t you just say, well it’s your turn to take the first crack at the answer Nazir. Every panel member gets to go first during the show?” The answer is that Bruce was terrified. White people, particularly white people in the public eye are terrified of being accused of racism. I’d have laughed at Afzal and told him not to be too sensitive.

Unsurprisingly, Bruce has been accused of unconscious racism. What a crock. You might tell me to move on, that this is identity politics, divide and conquer tactics and that it distracts from the far more serious issues. You’d be right, but this is so dangerous, it has to be taken on.

Azeem Rafiq played cricket for Yorkshire and England. This week, he told a parliamentary committee that he was racially abused during his time at the club and that the abuse nearly drove him to suicide. He made a number of allegations against former team-mates and officials. The media lapped it up.

Rafiq said that he had been referred to as Paki on many occasions. He said the Asian players were sometimes referred to as “you lot.” He claimed that when he was 15 and playing for his local club, a team-mate pinned him down and poured red wine down his throat.

He also said that a former Yorkshire captain took to referring to people of colour as Kevin and that another player later named his black dog Kevin. On an overseas tour, Rafiq and a group of players walked past a corner shop. Rafiq said he was asked if his uncle owned it.

He told the Digital, Culture Media & Sport Select Committee that these incidents severely impacted his mental health and left him contemplating suicide. He also accused Yorkshire County Cricket Club of treating him “inhumanely” after his son was stillborn.

Needless to say, none of the committee members challenged a single one of Rafiq’s claims. To do so is to victim blame or victim shame. It’s a binary choice. You believe Rafiq and you’re fine. Question any of it and you yourself are surely racist.

There is no room for nuance. I would have had a series of simple questions for Azeem. Did you challenge any of your team-mates when they referred to you as Paki or Kevin? If not, why not? Why didn’t you say, Guys, that language is unacceptable and belongs in the 1970’s, can you please grow up? Did you take any player aside to tell him that you were uncomfortable with his behaviour and language?

Why did Yorkshire County Cricket Club make you captain if it’s institutionally racist? Why did you return to the club for a second stint if the racism you experienced first time round drove you to the brink of suicide?

I don’t accept that the comments made to Rafiq and other players were merely banter. That’s ludicrous. If I was managing a professional sports team and knew that players were speaking to each other like that, I’d knock it on the head immediately. Let me be clear, that sort of behavior is unacceptable.

But is it racism? Do the players named by Rafiq look upon people of colour as lesser human beings? Do they think that ethnic minorities are morally and intellectually inferior to them? I very much doubt it. But you’re not supposed to say that. That’s to blame Azeem Rafiq.

In fact, I don’t blame him. I blame the world he has grown up in, a world without context or nuance, a world where people are disempowered and where they turn to the state for redress when they feel that they have been wronged.

It’s a world where lived experience trumps the provable facts. In this paradigm, nobody’s lived experience should be questioned. That’s incredibly dangerous. I’ll tell you why. As I’m writing this SKY News is running a segment on micro-aggressions in the workplace.

Listening to it, I realise how lucky I am that I’m not in the workplace anymore. Imagine getting pulled in? “Richie, Imran says you’re giving off micro-aggressions to him, that you have a certain look on your face when speaking to him.”  I say that I have no idea what that’s about. I’m then told that it’s how Imran experienced it. I must apologise to him and go on a racism awareness course or something similar.

Lest I be accused of gaslighting Azeem Rafiq and others, let me be unequivocal. I’m not saying that he’s wrong. How the hell could I know? I wasn’t there and I don’t know how his former colleagues think of people of colour.

But we must be allowed to ask questions without hysterical accusations of victim blaming or shaming. Let’s not divest ourselves of nuance and context. Lived experience must never be taken as immutable truth.

There was an ironic twist to the Azeem Rafiq saga last night. It emerged that Azeem had swapped Facebook messages with a mate back in 2011. During the exchange, Rafiq used a lazy Jewish stereotype. His mate was heading for a meal with a Jewish chap. Rafiq warned his pal that the Jew would try and avoid paying and that getting money out of him was like “trying to get blood out of a stone.”

Rafiq quickly apologised for any hurt caused to the Jewish community.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews accepted the apology while at the same time labelling his comments as antisemitic. Could it be argued that Rafiq’s comments were childish and lazy and not in fact evidence that he hates Jews?

No. Don’t be silly. Rafiq is obviously a closet Nazi. Case closed. I wonder if Azeem is now reflecting on the accusations he made against his old mates? Maybe their behaviour was infantile, maybe they were idiots, but maybe that doesn’t make them racist?

And yes of course, while this is going on, governments are introducing lockdowns across Europe. The double-jabbed are being told that they now need to be triple-jabbed to get on a plane. There are calls to lockdown the un-jabbed. I hear you, I hear you. Identity politics has played a big part in leading us here.

But, these racism witch hunts need to be addressed too.

The UK is not institutionally racist. People are not subconsciously racist. We’re an imperfect species, prone to doing and saying the wrong things at the wrong time. To err is to be human and all that, but our mistakes are rarely driven by bigotry much less hatred.

 

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Patrice

anyone who makes an alligation needs to go through the proper procedures and that includes any evidence that can be presented, at the moment its very much he said she said which should not be automatically believed but due process needs to be applied.

Robert Klinck

The latest generation might not appreciate that in the past such “insults” usually were actually an expression of intimacy of affection, as one commonly finds within families. Whereas people would simply ignore those it perceived as outsiders, the rough-and-tumble abuse they heaped jocularly on others effectively indicated their acceptance. Of course nowadays there can be rewards for manifesting heightened sensitivity and interpreting experiences as cruel aggression against oneself or one’s approved “identity group”. Maybe a future career in politics or employment by the BBC?

angelseal

Poor white people, life is so unfair to them.

martin

Ban cricket lol. A chancer, has he got his ££££££, rest my case, or wicket. I don’t blame that prick, blame the cowards. What is the Kevin thing ?, don’t get it.

Craig

‘nobody’s lived experience should be questioned.’
As I’ve alluded to before, that statement is not entirely accurate.
I know (or knew – he may be dead now) a bloke who grew up in London’s East End in the 1950s. From his experiences he formed certain opinions that are far from politically correct. Later in life he became a truck driver and spent a great deal of time in Europe and the Middle East and his experiences in those places formed yet more opinions that are far from politically correct.
He is/was more than happy to wear the label ‘racist’ because that is what his life experiences taught him to be.
I guarantee that his ‘lived experience’ will be questioned and not respected because that argument (like so many others today) is a one way street.

martin

So he was a bigot, who travelled the world, and came back a bigot ?, point being ffs. Lived in east London myself for a time and thought they were decent people.

Holly

Thank you for writing about this Richie. Its so nice to read common sense on this topic.

Jake

BBC Question Time audience member clashes with Jordan Peterson over corruption in politics | UK | News.
https://toysmatrix.com/bbc-question-time-audience-member-clashes-with-jordan-peterson-over-corruption-in-politics-uk-news/

Robert

I have no respect for Rafiq or anyone else who starts squealing donkeys years after an event. As you say, he returned to a place that he claims made his life a misery. His arrogance was apparent when he criticised Michael Vaughan for responding to his claim in the former England captain’s newspaper column! And yet Rafiq had used every newspaper, radio broadcasts and a televised meeting with MP’s to get his accusations across! Why is Vaughan not being given the same rights to reply? How can someone’s life and career be wiped out for one daft comment? Will Rafiq be finished now that he has been found to have insulted Jews in the distant past? Which regular ‘victim’ group will triumph!

Last edited 17 days ago by Robert
ian heaver

Whilst we all know this is utter nonsense it is great to see Fiona Bruce get some of her ‘own medicine’ haha

RMCD

After 30+ years living in LONDON, including working in music groups/venues and as a Security Guard, I can honestly say almost no-one (certainly in any cosmopolitan place) is ACTUALLY racist, as in hating someone due to their skin pigmentation.
‘Racism’ is almost ALWAYS CONFUSED with ‘CULTRAL differences’– and how DIFFERENT or INCOMPATIBLE certain CULTURES are, & usually nothing to do with skin colour- although abusive slurs may well involve that, it is almost NEVER the real reason.

For example- most of my mates are of a dark or very dark complexion, often with ‘Afro-Caribbean’ family ties,yet in general I cant stand Nigerians, not due to any colour issues- I love all skin tones.
It is because if you’ve ever done business with a Nigerian they are an utter chore of incessant HAGGELING and mean spirited trickeries- It is CULTRAL differences that are the problem, Nigerians are conditioned to be MERCANARY.. and most of my ‘darker skinned mates’ can’t stand them either !
It is not unusual for a Nigerian to steal from his family or friends, try and seduce his best friends (or brothers) wife (& or daughter)and this is EXPECTED because their MAIN GOD IS THE TRICKSTER ! They don’t get angry with each other if this happens- instead they try and out-trick their tricky mate… 😂 This is also the reason many Africans never even considered compensation from the Europeans, if they lose they just try and win next time and employ their victors tactics,because uncannily they respect the SKILL involved- they ARE very resourceful – it has to be admitted!

So, If you see any person of dark complexion going on about colonial compensation you will know instantly they are not a TRUE AFRICAN and have been indoctrinated with WESTERN SENSIBILITIES.

BTW- This doesn’t mean I hate Nigerians- just that the ones I’ve deal with, IN THE UK, I have so far found I dislike- I’m sure in Nigeria itself there are plenty of folk I would get on with- does this make me racist? Not at all, just discerning about business partners, relationships and commerce. And I’ve met hundreds of AFRICANS who are great, and have very different sensibilities to the Nigerians I’ve encountered….Africa uniting is as unrealistic as the UK or Europe ever fully uniting- The differences are what define us.

the word RACISM is now utterly missed used and is ALWAYS derogatory, yet the original meaning wasn’t that at all, and it only meant that you had noticed the differences between cultures !!! For example Most Scottish people are considered .stingy, tight with money, and it is IN GENERAL TRUE from my experiences (&family!) ,yet to point that out is ACTUALLY racism- yet what harm is it? I should add while frugal with finance they are also often incredibly warm hearted and generous in other ways.

The key is not to presume everyone is the same from one group/culture/area , and deal with each other as INDIVIDUALS.

BTW if you are wondering why I never used the terms Black and White it is because they DONT EXIST- they are the two absolute extremes of ABSTRCTION, that can NEVER fully manifest in our REALITY, as they are always ‘polluted’ by light and its effects , so NEVER a PURE HUE or TONE.

some will try and argue this fact- yet every decent ARTIST and SCIENTIST can tell you it is true. Hence why there are no truly white horses- they are always GREY.

Also as I’m well aware of GENUINE Afro/Caribbean history- the use of BALCK as a description is a new fashion (from the 1950’s) and was PREVIOUSLY ALWAYS DEROGATORY (think about all the ways the word is used from credit/mood/aptitude/ consciousness etc), sadly it has now become the fashion.. while eeejit presenters on TV, discussing racism, say things like ‘It’s a very dark situation’, without even catching themselves for a certain hypocrisy. 🤔😆

Jake

Interesting post Ross.
Who would you consider a decent artist when it comes to white being a colour or not? Always thought it was a difference of opinion amongst artists. I could be wrong?

The TATE MODERN has an ongoing exhibition that I was considering going to.

PAINTING WITH WHITE
Artists have made paintings that use only the colour white since the early twentieth century. Single colour paintings, known as monochromes, are an important way for artists to make abstract works. Using only white might seem, at first, to take this approach to extremes. Without image, and apparently pure, the white monochrome appears to resist meaning and interpretation. For some people, it has come to symbolise everything that is believed to be elitist and difficult about modern and contemporary art.

https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern/display/in-the-studio/painting-white

T01871_10.jpg
RMCD

WHITE is an abstract ABSOLUTE- It is impossible to achieve a pure WHITE or BLACK- this is a SCIENTIFIC FACT! 😂 Hold up a white piece of card in various places, and times of day, it will never have the same values (as seen on a digital camera) this is why any decent camera has a WHITE BALANCE SETING !!!! 😂 that is essential to take INFRARED shots with., and no human beings skin will match the cards tone or hue..due to NATURAL and ARTIFICIAL AMBIENCES

Obviously you can buy things labeled BLACK and WHITE, yet they are GENERALISATIONS for a realm without SHADOWS or REFLECTIONS.Real life has both- hence the impossibility of the ABSOLUTE STATES.
This is not MY idea, this is a tradition among craftspeople until recently.

FASHIONS change and since the introduction of so called MODERN / ABSTRACT ART (partly funded and promoted by the CIA etc) all CRAFTSMANSHIP has been diminished and loads of JARGON has replaced practiced skills, as any skilled person knows all too well.

This was all taught once upon a time in decent art schools (I went to St.Martins S.O,A in London- which was meant to have been the best at the time- the older lectures KNEW this Fact of ABSOLUTES that never exist…while a couple of the younger ones were so busty posing and flirting they didn’t have much clue) Like many things this piece of COMMON SENSE is now becoming quite rare.

Jake

I asked who you would considered a decent artist when it comes to white being a colour or not?
Some names is what I expected🤔

Last edited 17 days ago by Jake
RMCD

I cant really say Jake- Paul KLEE was a big inspiration on the philosophy of art when I was a teenager,then KANDINSKY, Dali , DUCHAMP, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Magritte, Tanguy, Leonora Carrington & Remedios Varo were my biggest influences, and now I love Medieval works especially Cathedral artists, who are anonymous.. and PETROGLYTHS

The MINIMALISTS and CONCEPTUALISTS are the ones to look for on this maybe, but its been over 30 years since I read up on such things, and they most often just chat CONVOLUTED poop.
… to me, MOST art criticism is a viral disease that is detrimental to society and is only bearable after several glasses of wine at private views..

I think SCIENTIFIC works of ‘art’ are the place to look for maybe on this, in many ways they have superseded most artists since the REALISATION of FRACTALS, CYMATICS and PLASMA DISCHARGES

Jake

“to me, MOST art criticism is a viral disease that is detrimental to society and is only bearable after several glasses of wine at private views..”
That makes sense and I guess that is why there is plenty of wine at the opening night of an exhibition?

The last one that I went to was at the Bermondsey Project Space and the most sensible thing that was said to me was “I like your boots” I only went to meet the artist because I have one of his pieces in my collection.
I had emailed him few times and he seemed a normal guy but I found him to be full of himself.

RMCD

you seem incredibly naive about basic psychology Jake,
Of course almost ALL artists, musicians or other creative folk are somewhat narcistic!!! 😂 😆 😂 🤣 😂 that IS their DYNAMO coupled with their neurosis!
To imagine, or expect otherwise is simply bizarre from a any adult-
some of the most horrible people are the MOST talented!
EVERYONE who endures the entertainment INDUSTRYs mechanisms knows this and have to compensate for it, hence why so many are arse kissing sycophants, which is intimate with the MASOCHISTIC DYNAMIC of many FAN-ATICS.
I think you would benefit immensely by actually reading some actual BOOKS on such topics?
As well as as some basic MANNERS
… and gratitude- because here , YOU are FULL of YOURSELF.
not that, that is any CRIME- just socially off putting.
😊 😊 😉

Last edited 16 days ago by RMCD
martin

Ask it about the beatles, start with the white album, and take it from there.

RMCD

and heeeeer is martin- making his entrance (as usual) like some form of mental diarrhea that never seems to end.

What do you know of art, music or culture super CREEP?

you’re too busy running away from primary school playgrounds when the children there start bullying you and calling you names for LURKING about like some FRUIT & NUT thing.
Martin gabber gob the SPOOKY FRUITY FELLA, DogKnobbedArsehole and The FELTCH-FACED FREAK… which is allegedly what your parents call you after you’re let off the leash, and unbunged.

Now, when I count to 3, fetch your bone, and bury it where the sun don’t shine…1…2…3…and FETCH!… you mange infested prick pimple.
🎂 🤢 👌

Last edited 15 days ago by RMCD
RMCD

The TATE know better, but promote all sorts of utter shite – that isn’t art, just CONCEPTULISATIONS such as the dribble of Hurst Emin, Chapman Brothers and that devilbitch who paints for the PIZZA PERVS.and lady gaga etc.
It is nor really painting with WHITE but painting with GREY- in fact they are really TEXTURAL works. Take some photos and then look at the CHROMA charts for them- you will not find PURE WHITE I bet you!
It is another example of destroying CULTURES, LANGUAGE, Deep Thought and communications – all for more social inconveniencing and bringing debate down to a lowest common denominator,

Jake

One mans shite is another mans delight.
I agree with you Hirst, Emin etc because it is not my thing but others do love it.

Last edited 17 days ago by Jake
RMCD

too true- everyone has a right to like what they want- it doesn’t mean it is any good RELATIVE to what is without any doubt brilliant IDEAS or EXECUTION ,

I met a lot of so-called artists who didn’t like Dali’s works , yet none of them COMPREHENDED the DEEP IDEAS his work germinated from- DALI out Freuded Freud! 😂 😆 😂 , and none of them have his level of skill, style or brilliant sense of AMBIENCE.
its a dilemma of the times, and the reason why so much work is basically content-less, badly made, and only of any real value as outpourings of narcistic autobiography.

Jake

You mean this lady who is close to the Rothschild family with her Spirit Cooking. Abramovic

lruibkkd75ey.jpg
Last edited 17 days ago by Jake
RMCD

yes- Ritualistic Perversity- and all that Blood wish stupidity that was epidemic a few years ago… of course art, music, rhetoric and singing all were derived from Magic and Ritual.. typically for usually BENIGN correspondences. This is just glorified PSYCHOPATHOLOGY! 😆 😂

Last edited 17 days ago by RMCD
RMCD

you will never catch me martin songbird. -😂
you are some sub-species of slime that can somehow type with your floppy tentacle, and as yet you’ve been unable to complete a whole paragraph without choking on some kind of spume, generated by your over excitement.

You lurk about here , with nothing going on inside that tumorous brain except decomposition and self rape fantasies, and so far have contributed only playground bitching.

Let us hope Karma gives you the breaks you deserve,….
if you were a pet, the owners would have certainly had you made a spade, and then probably had you put down due to snapping at the neighbors, pissing all over the place, and trying to hump lawnmowers when they’re switched on.
Do you still wear your muzzle when you type, you rasping DogDickedArsehole?
🎉 🐱 ‍ 💻

Jennie

Biden, or rather those behind him, is using illegal immigrants, who will of course be allowed to vote, to try to oust the Florida governor who will not introduce all the insane covid restrictions. I don’t blame the immigrants themselves who are just being used, none of the those using them give a damn about their welfare.

DeSantis Threatens to Send Migrants Flown Into Florida to Biden’s Home State of Delaware

https://sputniknews.com/20211111/desantis-threatens-to-send-migrants-flown-into-florida-to-bidens-home-state-of-delaware-1090640640.html

Last edited 17 days ago by Jennie
Neil

Watched most of Question Time yesterday evening,first time in an age,audience social distancing,hardly anyone in the place,left wing panel as usual with a Labour woman mp,cant recall her name,saying we should give a safe route for migrants to come to the UK ,are these people insane?and Bruce did squirm after being told off,pathetic ,just saying now on msm Austria to make vaccination mandatory with penalties for those who refuse,never said what the penalties would be,will Doris follow?

Aldo Bennedetti

My take away from that entire piece is total theatricality.

A distraction like news of a celebrity getting a tattoo or divorce while the real news remains unreported and hidden in the very far background.

Jake

Idiotic it really is.
I turned it on last night to see Jorden Peterson waffling on about politics and corruption and more or less there is no connection.
This guy has never been my cup of tea.

Aldo Bennedetti

“cup of tea” thats racist I say!

Jake

Earl Grey or Green Tea may not be? 🤔

Gerry

… racial politics aside… I’ve been peeking at this all day and just can’t get Fiona Bruce out of my tiny little neanderthal brain!!

Jeezus what a CORKER!! 🤭

As for poor ol Nazir…

Well the f🤬n tide wouldn’t take him out!!

👹

Last edited 17 days ago by Gerry
RMCD

 Oh no… here I am agreeing with you! lol….Jorden Peterson is pathetic.

Compare him to any ‘thinker’ pre millennium, and hes a 3rd division joke…
Listen to Marshall McLuhan, Guy Debord, JG BALLARD, William Burroughs, RD Liang, Wilhelm Reich, and they are like a different species to the junk-pop-philosophy of Jordan-
he has a skill at presentation, but his ideas are mediocre and crippled by ‘modern’ academic conditioning.

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