British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has been condemned by his colleagues, human rights campaigners and the Twitterati at large for his recent post about “Asian pedophiles.”
A whole gang of men in Huddersfield that raped and abused young girls were convicted last Friday of over 120 offenses against 15 victims, who worked up the courage to come forward. Javid tweeted a few days later, causing a storm of reactions:
These sick Asian paedophiles are finally facing justice. I want to commend the bravery of the victims. For too long, they were ignored. Not on my watch. There will be no no-go areas https://t.co/cZGqDOxt4u— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) 19 октября 2018 г.
“Attempts by authorities and now it seems the government to attribute these crimes to one ethnic group does nothing to support these vulnerable women in the way of social services, mental health services or the resources needed by the police to bring all sexual predators to justice,” Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, stressed in response, as cited by the Guardian, adding that it stands to reason that the government’s efforts to resolve the issue of “vulnerable women and girls” being “repeatedly ignored” are not sufficient.
Labour MP David Lammy also appeared to take particular note of the “Asian” part of Javid’s tweet, summing up that pinning the blame on some particular group does no service whatsoever to the victims of “this evil:”
“By singling out ‘Asians’ he not only panders to the far right but increases the risk of violence and abuse against minorities across the country,” he remarked.
Many users joined in the politicians’ fury, bringing up the “Asian” origin of Javid himself.
Sajid the Dogwhistler? YOU are Asian Sajid! Fred West was English. Did you call him an English scumbag?— Ino Lobo (@Idetestbullies) 20 октября 2018 г.
Said the Pakistani heritage Home Secretary….— #LabourWillEndAusterityCon #GTTO (@KarlMarxUpgrade) 20 октября 2018 г.
Accusations of racism also came in abundance, with people noting that claims in the opposite direction never happen. Many remarked that such comments were inadmissible for a senior official.
Is this appropriate language from a senior member of her majesty's government?— tom in France🥀 🇪🇺🇬🇧 (@tominfrance) 20 октября 2018 г.
What a mess we're in.
What an absolute shambles.
…And something needs to be said about institutional paedophilia perpetrated by predominantly white male Britons. These are potentially important cultural factors. But it's always neglected where white Britons are concerned. Consequently, victims suffer lifelong injustice.— AM🖤DI 🎃 (@KeloidKrown) 19 октября 2018 г.
What about condemning the crimes and supporting the victims of sexual abuse? How about reminding the "community" that those who still engage in these despicable crimes will be identified, hunted down and brought to justice. Your overt racism towards the victims is a disgrace.— Robert McM (@RobertMcM81) 19 октября 2018 г.
Some, however, voiced support for Javid’s remarks, saying the opposite approach “creates the climate” where “this filth can commit their crimes.”
Sajid Javid is telling it as it is. The views of David Lammy et al are part of the reason the climate is created where this filth can commit their crimes and he should STFU. https://t.co/th6X8Sy4rG— Lee Hurst (@2010LeeHurst) 20 октября 2018 г.
Many got carried away, moving on to ponder the global scale of the problem, misogyny and sexism issues, since “white police officers let this continue for thirty years, through several successive governments, with impunity.”
White girls reportedly complained to white men who were police officers who let this continue for thirty years, across several northern market towns through several successive governments, with impunity. Why? Misogyny.— So Fear 💀 (@SophiaCannon) 20 октября 2018 г.
This is what a hate crime against women looks like.
Some brought in 20th-century Tory “white pedophiles,” Jimmy Savile and Ted Heath, who “were never convicted:”
Let me correct for you:— Paul Cooper (@Paulieplayspop) 20 октября 2018 г.
Sick white British Tories, Jimmy Savile and Ted Health were never convicted of their paedophile crimes. Throughout their lives they were allowed to hold positions of luxury and authority
Sick Tories Jimmy Savile and Ted Heath were never convicted of their crimes.— Steven Warner (@dextlerLphelps) 20 октября 2018 г.
Many reiterated that such crimes have indeed no ethnicity whatsoever, while some mentioned 114 pedophile files Theresa May “filed under 'dirt'”, which are reportedly connected with the Tory government.
I stand against at ALL child abusers of all colours and cultures, including the ones you mention, but the Home Secretary was commenting on particular topical cases and my comments were purely on those.— Gillian Radcliffe (@gillradcliffe) 20 октября 2018 г.
Where are the missing files?— Steve Lamb (@STEVEL11361) 20 октября 2018 г.
“No-go areas” in London, where it appears there aren’t any, was also central in Twitter exchanges:
Can you specify where in the U.K. there are no go areas? Everyone would be pleased these people are brought to justice but your language is completely in appropriate. Don’t remember you saying similar for sick, white Anglo-Saxon priests.— Professor Ian Donald (@iandonald_psych) 20 октября 2018 г.
“This tweet is irresponsible, dangerous and divisive. It is unbelievable that it is a genuine tweet from a serving home secretary, who was previously communities secretary,” Shoaib Khan, a human rights lawyer was cited by The Guardian.
“Not only does it show just how tone-deaf the home secretary is to British society, but it is factually incorrect. In particular, the perpetuation of the myth that ‘no-go areas’ exist in this country is particularly irresponsible and misleading,” he added.