Or so says Hugh Muir. Now, how could that be?
Now and then I get letters making the point – with various degrees of firmness – that all ethnic groups are capable of diversity misdemeanours. I wonder why they are sent; this column has never pretended otherwise. Still, it’s good to keep reminding ourselves that such matters are complex.
Are they? Oddly enough, I don’t recall Hugh ever saying this about other racism, the straightforward, ‘evil white man’ type…
What triggered this? Well, it was the revelation that clubs were leery of large groups of black males.
The column prompted former club doorman Paul to get in touch.
“As your article suggests and I am ashamed to confirm, black men were targets for racism,” he said.
“We, as a team, were under specific instruction that no groups of black lads were allowed in. There were flashpoints, rightly so, regarding this – but (this is no attempt at justification) we had instructions from the people paying the wages, whose club it was and who selected and chose the (unpublished, obviously) door policy. Sad fact of life I never agreed with but, shamefully, personal feelings were superseded by my need for gainful employment.”
Here’s his twist. The club owners – architects of the noxious policy – were of mixed heritage. The “door picker”, entry supervisor, was black.
“I was the only white doorman,” he said. “I was the only one ever accused of being racist. Why? Because I’m white? Because I was the public face of some bullshit agenda.” Which shows that when power and morality diverge and the air is rendered poisonous everybody then suffers in some way.