LETTER: Racial scapegoats

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The Independent Online
From Mr Bernie Grant, MP, and Ms Linda Bellos

Sir: Charles Murray makes a confused and old argument about the links between race and IQ ("How I would tackle the new rabble", 9 March). He makes assumptions that black people have lower intelligence, and are breeding faster than whites. This is not new, Spenglar in the 1920s argued much the same thing. It is an old neo-Malthusian and eugenicist argument that is as problematic now as it ever was.

Were it not for the welcome Peter Lilley is likely to give to the sentiment that the single parent family is the source of all social evil we could perhaps ignore Charles Murray, but there is wider support for his pernicious ideas in Britain. We know there is something distinctly dangerous about attempts to make crime and black people synonymous, and black lives less important than white lives.

It is for this reason that we within the African Reparations Movement must protest at the crass ahistorical approach that Murray represents. The black family was effectively destroyed by enslavement but black people continued to survive and prosper despite every attempt to deny us human and civil rights. The contribution of people of African descent as inventors, creators and artists is ignored or marginalised.

We believe that Murray is merely a new voice of the hard right who wish to scapegoat Africans both in Africa and the "Diaspora". This may, they think, divert attention and unrest among white working class people if black people can be seen to be the problem. We have seen this in the recent past to devastating affect, pseudo scientific justification for racial scapegoats.

Yours faithfully,

BERNIE GRANT

LINDA BELLOS

Africa Reparations Movement (UK)

London, N17

9 March

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