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Is multi-culturism really to blame?

(11 Posts)
Riverwalk Thu 10-Oct-13 08:42:00

Whenever the police, social services, teachers, medical staff, etc are heavily criticised for a major failing, if there's any hint of ethnic minority then 'Multi-culturism' is immediately blamed.

Abuse in care homes, Baby P, Staffs Hospital, paedophile priests, Hillsborough cover-up (the list is endless) have no race/ethnic aspects but were allowed to go unchecked for years as a result of major cock-ups and inefficiencies by the authorities.

Multi-culturism seems to be used as a convenient get-out clause.

whenim64 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:49:58

Don't your first and second statement argue against each other, Riverwalk? I agree, multi-culturalism isn't used as a reason in all those highly publicised examples you have described in your second statement. Can you clarify, please?

Ana Thu 10-Oct-13 09:04:12

I read it that Riverwalk is suggesting that multi-culturalism is just a convenient excuse for the failures in the first statement and may not be the real reason, as so many other failures occur where there can be no such excuse.

I don't think it's quite as simple as that, but it's a debatable point.

Riverwalk Thu 10-Oct-13 10:25:15

Yes Ana that's exactly what I was suggesting.

I think it's a fallacy that cultural sensitivities alone have prevented proper investigations of criminal activities/unacceptable practices. It seems if this is claimed then the authorities can somehow deflect the blame for their failure to act.

Mishap Thu 10-Oct-13 10:29:55

Multiculturaliasm is clearly not responsible for all failures and miscarriages of justice, and no-one would make that claim, but it is right that it is identified as a factor where that is truly the case; and people should not be put in a position where they feel afraid to say so.

whenim64 Thu 10-Oct-13 10:32:44

Yes, agree with you, Riverwalk. Cultural sensitivities might be given as an excuse, but that doesn't make it so. There's enough known and understood these days to be able to put cultural sensitivities aside and address abuse. It works the same with data protection and human rights - risk of abuse, offences being committed, all override the rights of privacy, family and culture.

Riverwalk Thu 10-Oct-13 10:38:05

I quite agree Mishap but just where is all this hypersensitive multi-culturism, I wonder?

The police don't seem too sensitive when stopping and searching black and Asian youth at many times the rate of whites and the criminal justice system has no problem in over-representing minorities in prison.

FlicketyB Thu 10-Oct-13 17:33:46

I think you need to separate general problems from specifics. Some of the cases you mention are, what I would call group problems. Patients in Staffordshire, Hillsborough, abuse in care homes, where multicultural excuses would not occur. Others, like Baby P are individual cases and there have been a number of child abuse cases, like Victoria Climbie, where an unwarranted respect for cultural issues has played a part. The same applies to a number of cases of FGM and forced marriages, where prosecution has been avoided for fear of upsetting cultural sensitivities.

Because some problems do not involve multiculturalism does not invalidate the fact that there are cases where an undue respect for other culture's practices are part of the cause of a failure to respond effectively to a problem. I do not think this particular excuse has been rolled out that often.

ps Thu 10-Oct-13 18:46:52

Riverwalk I would agree with you in that multi-culturism is often used as an excuse or convenient get out clause. I also believe it becomes more prominant where austerity is evident as has been amply highlighted throughout history and currently in countries where the economic climate is less than robust. A sad reflection of xenophobia but I'm not certain it can be legislated against as people will always be people.

Eloethan Thu 10-Oct-13 21:08:59

Riverwalk I agree with your comment re police treatment of non-white people. Where I live, the local newspaper reported concerns that in a recent operation at the tube station to do checks for possible illegal immigrants, the police only stopped and questioned black and Asian people.

Riverwalk Fri 11-Oct-13 08:12:36

Yes, they are the points that I'm trying make ps and Eloethan - the police, and others, don't seem overly culturally-sensitive and this is used as an excuse for other shortcomings.

In the case of Victoria Climbie was there any real evidence that cultural-sensitivities played a part in her death, as is often quoted? Haringey Council by the way is the same one involved in Baby P.

The Data Protection Act used to be quoted a lot - I remember at the time of the Soham murders, it emerged that Ian Huntley was on a list/had a record but the information was not passed on between two neighbouring police authorities as it should have been, and he might not have go the job as the school caretaker. Some dopey chief constable said that was due to the DPA - it was the first thing that came into his head. He was much criticized for that because there was no such restriction on passing on the information.