When it comes to race and gender, oppressed people can be oppressors too | Sonia Sodha


From lesbians being denounced as bigots to East African Asians racially abusing black people, the lines of discrimination are not always clear

Is it deeply offensive to lambast a black or an Asian person for not being “black” or “Asian” enough? Yes. Is it offensive to assume that someone black or Asian criticising the politics of another black or Asian person is motivated by such sentiment? Yes.

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Last week, the Conservative MP Neil O’Brien blundered into the latter under the guise of defending his black colleague, equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, from the former. Badenoch had tweeted screenshots of two private right-of-reply emails the black journalist Nadine White had sent her, accusing her of “creepy and bizarre” behaviour for putting to her claims made by a source.

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This triggered a torrent of abuse directed at White. There is no question that Badenoch has faced unpleasant racism, but that does not excuse her behaviour towards White, a journalist doing her job, nor her undermining the confidential right-of-reply process that is critical to accurate journalism.

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