Suella Braverman: ‘Truth’ about child sexual abusers cannot be racist
In an article for the Spectator magazine last week, Braverman said it was necessary to acknowledge the role that ethnicity played in covering up the grooming gangs scandal
Home Secretary Suella Braverman (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Eastern Eye staff
The home secretary, Suella Braverman, has remained defiant amid accusations of being racist after she claimed an overwhelming majority of sexual “grooming gang” members in parts of England were British Pakistani men, as she reiterated the “truth” cannot be classed as racist.
In an article for the Spectator magazine last week, Braverman said it was necessary to acknowledge the role that ethnicity played in covering up the grooming gangs scandal.
Targeting Labour, Braverman said “unfashionable facts” such as the ethnicity of those behind such scandals in parts of England were being countered by “fashionable fictions.”
“If we are to address the injustice of the grooming gangs scandal, we must be willing to acknowledge the role that ethnicity played in covering it up,” Braverman wrote in the article entitled ‘The truth can’t be racist’.
“To say that the overwhelming majority of perpetrators in towns such as Rotherham, Telford, and Rochdale were British Pakistani and that their victims were white girls is not to say that most British Pakistanis are perpetrators of sexual abuse. The former is a truth, one that made authorities reluctant to confront the issue. The latter is a lie, the speaking of which would be a disgraceful prejudice,” she wrote.
She lamented the “politician’s lot” as she admitted her motives for making the statement will be questioned, but hit back at those “casually” accusing her of racism for speaking plain truths.
“There is something peculiar about this political moment, where those of us advancing unfashionable facts are beaten over the head with fashionable fictions. I suppose the ethnicity of grooming gang perpetrators in a string of cases is the sort of fact that has simply become unfashionable in some quarters. Like the fact that 100 per cent of women do not have a penis,” she said, alluding to another emotive debate around transgender access to female spaces.
Last week, the British Pakistani Foundation (BPF), which claims to represent 18,000 Pakistani heritage members, wrote to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to ask his cabinet minister to withdraw her “irresponsible words” as it would be perceived as normalising bigotry against the community.
Similar letters were also issued by other British Pakistani groups, with Tory peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi warning that she feared a backlash against British Muslims due to the remarks.
In TV interviews earlier this month, Braverman said the perpetrators of sexual crimes via grooming gangs are “groups of men, almost all British Pakistani”.
Led by the police and supported by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), Downing Street said data analysts will work alongside the government’s new Grooming Gangs Taskforce using cutting-edge data and intelligence to identify the types of criminals who carry out these offences, including police recorded ethnicity data.