Immigrants aren’t criminals!

Submitted by AWL on 25 April, 2008 - 9:49 Author: Janine Booth

This week, a police report showed that immigrants are, in fact, not the bunch of criminals that some right-wing rags and ignorant bigots would have you believe. It seems that even in the few crimes where a disproportionate number of perpetrators are foreign, the same disproportion of victims are also foreign.

It’s bad news for the BNP, but hey, the truth sometimes hurts. Bad news for the Daily Mail too, but here’s betting it won’t stop them reporting immigrant crime as though it is some sort of rampaging foreign disease threatening to overwhelm us Brits.

I’m old enough to remember that until about the 1980s, newspapers regularly used to refer to a criminal’s race, but only if they were non-white. So you would read that “a black man mugged an old lady”, but if a white man mugged an old lady, he would just be “a man”. But by twenty or so years ago, a steadily increasing howl of protest had put a stop to this particular brand of racist reporting.

These days, though, I regularly read in the rags that “an immigrant” or “a failed asylum seeker” has been apprehended for drink-driving, or burglary, or assault, or whatever. I never read that “a native Brit” has committed an offence. So the form of reporting that became unacceptable about race and colour in the 1980s is still acceptable about immigration status.

Not only does this fuel presumptions about an immigrant crime wave that this week’s report proved to be false, it also shows that racists who can no longer parade their prejudices about blacks can still direct them against immigrants. And the fact that they prey on people’s genuine fear of crime may get them an audience but is actually sickening.

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