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1 Randall Gross  Sep 8, 2014 4:08:02pm

It’s a story of child slavery and rape in an obscure English town by people of Pakistani descent, it was covered by the media quite extensively a few days back, but now people like Douthhat ( pronouced “douche-hat”) are whinging about more extensive coverage needed etc., — even though it’s not a US story.

2 Jay C  Sep 8, 2014 4:55:21pm

The backstory on “Rotherham” (it is a town of 257,000 people in South Yorkshire, England) is that police estimate about 1,400 young people (mainly girls, mainly early-teens) were sexually abused by what seems to have been an organized “ring” (or several) of mainly-Pakistani men. The situation was bad enough, but investigations went nowhere: and, just recently, the excuse by the local police/official authorities was given as “political correctness”, i.e. that officials were reticent to pursue the rapists for fear of being accused of “racism”, or it’s equally-abhorrent cousin,”culturally insensitive”.

It’s no wonder the wingnuts get frothy: the whole sad tale is tailor-made to appeal to their vulgar prejudices: Muslims as animalistic rapists; “liberals” as pussyfooting excuse-mongers; Muslims as alienated radical aliens; brave police standing up for the community (mostly bullshit, the local coppers made, at best, halfhearted attempts to investigate and/or stop the abuse), and of course, the “liberal media” covering the whole thing up out of sick liberal Muslim-coddling. Or whatever.

The Rotherham case, is, in fact, fairly more-complicated than the simpleminded Paki-bashing line wingers like to take, but then, subtlety is usually lost on them, anyway. (and yes, it IS in another country)

3 Charles Johnson  Sep 8, 2014 5:24:04pm

I’ve gotten several emails from anti-Muslim bigots and xenophobes demanding that I cover this story, but you know what? Fuck them.

It’s an awful story, but the bigot brigade wants to use it to advance their agenda of fear and divisiveness, and I’m not going to play along.

4 Dark_Falcon  Sep 8, 2014 5:37:47pm

re: #1 Randall Gross

It’s a story of child slavery and rape in an obscure English town by people of Pakistani descent, it was covered by the media quite extensively a few days back, but now people like Douthhat ( pronouced “douche-hat”) are whinging about more extensive coverage needed etc., — even though it’s not a US story.

Here’s a link to Douthat’s latest column on the subject. Not frothy at all, in fact, it’s very good:

Interpreted crudely, what happened in Rotherham looks like an ideological mirror image of Roman Catholicism’s sex abuse scandal. The Catholic crisis seemed to vindicate a progressive critique of traditionalism: Here were the wages of blind faith and sexual repression; here was a case study in how a culture of hierarchy and obedience gave criminals free rein.

The crimes in Rotherham, by contrast, seem scripted to vindicate a reactionary critique of liberal multiculturalism: Here are immigrant gangs exploiting a foolish Western tolerance; here are authorities too committed to “diversity” to react appropriately; here is a liberal society so open-minded that both its brain and conscience have fallen out.

A more subtle reading, though, reveals commonalities between the two scandals. The rate of priestly abuse was often at its worst in places and eras (the 1970s, above all) where traditional attitudes overlapped with a sudden wave of liberation — where deference to church authority by parents and police coexisted with a sense of moral upheaval around sexuality and sexual ethics, both within seminaries and in society at large. (John Patrick Shanley’s famous play “Doubt,” in which a hip, with-it, Kennedy-era priest relies on clericalism to evade accusations of abuse, remains the best dramatization of this tangle.)

In a somewhat similar way, what happened in Rotherham was rooted both in left-wing multiculturalism and in much more old-fashioned prejudices about race and sex and class. The local bureaucracy was, indeed, too fearful of being labeled “racist,” too unwilling, as a former member of Parliament put it, to “rock the multicultural community boat.” But the rapes also went unpunished because of racially inflected misogyny among police officers, who seemed to think that white girls exploited by immigrant men were “tarts” who deserved roughly what they got.
Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

The crucial issue in both scandals isn’t some problem that’s exclusive to traditionalism or progressivism. Rather, it’s the protean nature of power and exploitation, and the way that very different forms of willful blindness can combine to frustrate justice.

5 WhatEVs  Sep 8, 2014 6:45:33pm

re: #4 Dark_Falcon

You think this is a good story? Are you fucking kidding?

6 jonhendry  Sep 8, 2014 6:45:44pm

Race/ethnicity/religion are part of it, but it also fits into a decades-long pattern of general disregard of the wellbeing of young girls in the UK, especially troubled children or girls from poor families.

Here’s a list of some of the investigations in process, as of July of this year. This doesn’t include Rotherham, or other incidents where Pakistani men were the primary culprits. The list is all white folks. Jimmy Saville’s depredations went on for decades, and he was a gross white dude from Leeds who hung out with Margaret Thatcher at the PM’s country residence Chequers.

7 Dark_Falcon  Sep 8, 2014 7:02:31pm

re: #5 WhatEVs

No, I’m not kidding. What’s wrong with it?

8 cinesimon  Sep 8, 2014 7:07:24pm

re: #4 Dark_Falcon

Seriously? He calls the scandal a”A mirror image” of the Catholic church scandal, for goodness sake.
For it to be a mirror image, it must be a global, institutional issue.

I guess in right wing land, the fact that it’s horrific and involves mainly Pakistanis, means OF COURSE that it’s global and institutional. They’re all the same, aren’t they? Doesn’t matter that this incident happened in one area - Pakistanis are everywhere!

Not frothy? OK, Dark Falcon. Let’s call it ‘passive-aggressive frothy’ instead - just how people like Douthat, and his followers, like it. Apparently the condemnation of an entire people based on a minuscule percentage of ‘them’ is A-OK, if you do it politely.

‘Passive-aggressive frothy’ is exactly how Douthat gets away with his anti-science, anti-reality, anti-poor people, anti-non christian opinion pieces with little push back week in, week out.
Which means that polite hatred will definitely the way of the right wing more and more in the future.

And of course, Douthat also blames ‘left-wing multiculturalism’ - meaning, of course, that he has no clue whatsoever about British history and the history of immigration. Blame the lefties - sounds good to my readers, and they won’t bother to check!

9 scottslemmons  Sep 9, 2014 4:30:33am

The thing I think is most remarkable about this case is that the local police were almost certainly taking part in the crimes. In the best case scenario, they were just getting paid to look the other way and quash investigations. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the cops were actually full participants.

The “OMG political correctness” bit is really saying “Don’t look at us too hard, please, please, don’t look at us too hard.”

10 iossarian  Sep 9, 2014 6:27:07am

A ring of child abusers in a provincial town in England who happen to be Muslim is exactly the same as one of the world’s richest and most powerful organizations covering up child abuse perpetrated by a non-trivial proportion of its leaders.

The worst part of Douthat’s article is where he slyly blames the tragedy on a “sudden wave of liberation”. Of course! These men abused children because women, gay people etc. finally decided that staying in the little boxes that had been made for them wasn’t going to happen any more.

Disgusting.


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