‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ said the plane’s banner as it circled the club’s stadium just after the teams had ‘taken the knee’ in support of Black Lives Matter. I must admit that my very first reaction on hearing the news was pleasure at the idea that the self-righteousness of Black Lives Matter was being guyed. My second, more considered response is that the banner was bad — and for precisely the same reason that BLM is bad. It takes a statement which any decent person would consider true and turns it into a weapon of race war. Of course black lives matter. Of course white lives matter. The question is: ‘Why are you saying it now?’ The answer, in both cases, is discreditable. It is to make one lot hate the other lot more. The Burnley team said they were ‘ashamed and embarrassed’ by the aeroplane banner. They were right to be, but they should also be ashamed and embarrassed to have paid group obeisance to a violent extremist group that promotes hatred of white people.
Those wishing to rewrite our history and take down our statuary like the phrase ‘lived experience’. White people lack the ‘lived experience’ of racial oppression that black people have, they claim. There is a grain of truth in this. But there are many white people who can justly claim to have lived experience of racial oppression, often far worse than that meted out to black people in modern western countries — Bosnians at the hands of Milosevic’s Serbs, Slavs under Hitler’s Teutons, Poles under Stalin’s Russians, Jews under too many ruling ethnicities to name. But the lived experience which 100 per cent of us lack is that of the more distant past. No one alive today lived before or during the 19th century.