Posts Tagged 'Acceptance'

BNP, Racism and Acceptance

“Right Winston, you’re about to get cooked. Anything to say? Says he ain’t a drug dealer. He thinks he’s not black. He’s charged with being black. Now get on there”. The words spoken by a twelve year old girl as she threw a golly doll onto a fire at the BNP’s so called family fun day.

The fact that a child of twelve is being brought up with these views and toxic beliefs is the complete contradiction of an autonomous, intelligent society. The decisions of parents are mandatorily inflicted on children in a way that gives them no other choice but to adopt the same attitude. Who teaches children that being black is somehow a crime or that homosexuality is indecent? They are never allowed the opportunity to make the choice for themselves because any individual thought is inhibited.

I find it impossible to grasp the concept that a human brain can manage to believe that the colour of someone’s skin can make them inferior and that being white automatically makes a person supreme. I believe in superiority but a superiority determined by morality and the choices we make and things we do, rather than by factors we have no control over, such as skin colour. One person can be superior to another by wilful decisions. A man who hits his wife, for example, is in my opinion inferior to a man who doesn’t. The man who believes women are inferior to men is by that means, inferior himself. Arguably, the bigot automatically becomes inferior as a result of deciding to hold hateful opinions of other humans. How can a person truly believe that another human being is sub-human, inferior simply because they have a different skin colour or a different sexuality?

If a social group is justifiably guilty of being culpable of a reprehensible act then it is fair to make judgement. As a hypothetical example, if 90% of people from Scotland were found to be guilty of throwing eggs at Edinburgh castle then one could rightfully presume that Scottish people are more than likely to be egg throwers. However, if an egg had never been thrown then how could one assume that they are likely to throw eggs without any substantial evidence? Worse, how can one assume that a group of people are guilty of something which cannot even be defined? There is no tangible crime or physical act for which blame can be apportioned or even presumed, simply that a social group is somehow beneath another in some indefinable way, as a result of something completely beyond their control.

The attitude embodied by the BNP is one which transgresses logic. The rational belief, for example, that Britain is being detrimentally flooded with illegal immigrants and asylum seekers is one which many reasonable people share. Though we share it however, our agreement stops at a certain point. As much as I feel resentment that so many asylum seekers are entering Britain and that it should be prevented, I do not in any way see myself as superior to one of the individual people. As a human being, the only things which distinguish me from another human being are the things I choose. Therefore, I feel resentment towards the asylum seekers but if I were face-to-face with one I wouldn’t feel that they were inferior to me as a member of humanity and flesh and blood. Both he and I are human beings, differentiated only by social factors.

Similarly, I find it difficult to understand the attitude of people against same sex marriage and the people who baulk and wince at the first gay kiss on Coronation Street. The fact that two human beings are being married or kissing should not be altered by the sex of the individuals. Two consenting adults are no different whether they are men or women. If asked to define precisely why two men kissing is different from a man kissing a woman, would they be able to justify their disapproval? What exactly makes it different?

Society would benefit immensely from a greater acceptance that human is human. Beneath our skin, what is different? There should be no disparity between two people, other than the conscious path we take morally. How can the BNP logically define the difference between black and white? If a black doctor saved a person’s life, are they less a hero than a white doctor? If a black man is homeless and penniless, are they less deserving of help than a white man? What exactly is it that they believe makes us so different?

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Mandelson to widen education goalposts

Lord Mandelson has revealed a plan which proposes to make university education more easily accessible, giving applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds a two-grade head start, effectively lowering the minimum entry requirements for low-income families. The sentiment that university should be available to any capable applicant regardless of their situation is itself welcome and admirable. However, surely a more effective method of assistance would be to increase the financial aid available to disadvantaged students, rather than simply widening the goalposts and making it easier to be accepted.

The university system is built on certain foundations and academic achievement is arguably its most central and significant value. That an able and worthy applicant with the potential for academic success should be denied the opportunity for education and subsequent progression and standard of life because of their financial background is inequitable but to remedy this unfairness with a lowering of standards is a great misjudgement.

By giving any student who achieves mediocre grades at A-Level extra points to enable them to meet the requirements and be accepted by a university, this will mean that the level of ability in students and success at universities will be lowered, creating a domino effect through exam results and into the workplace with sub-capable graduates who were given a golden ticket in spite of their lower academic merit.

If there are competent applicants who are capable of achieving success at university but are prevented from doing so because of their family’s financial circumstances and background then the partiality could be balanced by offering disadvantaged students greater financial assistance, increased grants and loans and more pecuniary support from both the Government and the universities, rather than simply making it easier to get in. This would secure the same academic standards and requirements but remove the fiscal barriers which may inhibit many adept students.

If the academic standards are broken down then this will place greater demand on the already insufficient number of places available and would lower all of the education levels for students once at university because the level of capability in the seminar room and lecture theatre would be diminished, which would therefore affect the entire higher education system. While Lord Mandelson’s proposal is commendable, has thought been given to the students who are awarded a place under the new practice? The education system is formed on the basis that students are prepared for each new level they enter and are accepted on the merit of their previous achievement, which serves as an indicator that they are capable of reaching the common standards and keeping up with their peers. If students are let in under rules which warp and essentially override grades and academic attainments then there is no indicator that they will be capable of functioning at the standard level once they are accepted. The strain they will face to keep afloat for three years and the inevitable increased risk of failure are cruelty rather kindness or favour.

Social mobility and greater equality are vital to our progression as a society but sacrificing education standards and the entire education system in order to extend a hand of charity to disadvantaged applicants regardless of merit is both unfair to the students who do deserve a place based on academic capability and detrimental to the system because it effectively negates the need for A-level results which in turns negates the need for exams and inevitably education at all. Lord Mandelson’s planned change is a convenient solution to placate a component in society which is currently unable to meet the set requirements. Why not concentrate more energy on improving standards in schools and thus increase the levels of achievement at A-level, meaning that more students actually earn a place at university and are fully prepared for the demands they will face when they arrive? This would both provide more students with the opportunity to aim for university and sustain the levels of education at university. A more sensible immediate option would be to offer greater financial assistance to those who need it, which would maintain academic standards and provide the desired equality.

The new plan is equivalent to awarding places on a football team regardless of whether or not the applicants can actually play football. The need for entry requirements is not to decrease the number of accepted applicants but is to ensure that those accepted are capable of functioning at the necessary level once on the team or at university. A football team holds trials not to be elitist and discriminatory but to ascertain the level of ability and talent in each player. Similarly, the education system is not designed to inhibit acceptance but to maintain standards. Thus, anybody accepted to university must surely be required to prove they are deserving of a place based on academic achievement and ability. The element of unfairness should not be removed by removing these particular barriers but by removing financial ones, making it easier for students to receive monetary help from as many sources as possible, and to improve education levels in schools so that more students achieve the higher grades they need to be accepted.


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Sylvia Plath said; "Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences". My aim in life is to find things and people to love, so that I can write about them. Putting words together is the only thing I can see myself doing. This blog is an outlet, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Please feel free to comment on posts, or contact me by the special e-mail I've set up (vikki.littlemore@live.co.uk) with your thoughts.


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The New Remorse, Oscar Wilde.

The sin was mine; I did not understand.
So now is music prisoned in her cave,
Save where some ebbing desultory wave
Frets with its restless whirls this meagre strand.
And in the withered hollow of this land
Hath Summer dug herself so deep a grave,
That hardly can the leaden willow crave
One silver blossom from keen Winter's hand.

But who is this who cometh by the shore?
(Nay, love, look up and wonder!) Who is this
Who cometh in dyed garments from the South?
It is thy new-found Lord, and he shall kiss
The yet unravished roses of thy mouth,
And I shall weep and worship, as before.

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Music I Love (In no particular order, except that The Smiths are first)

The Smiths,
The Libertines,
The Courteeners,
Nina Simone,
Oasis,
Pete Doherty,
Gossip,
The Kills,
Amy Winehouse,
Arctic Monkeys,
Rod Stewart,
The Doors,
The Rolling Stones,
Etta James,
Babyshambles,
T. Rex,
The Jam,
Morrissey,
Guillemots,
The Kinks,
Jack White,
The Deadweather,
David Bowie,
The Winchesters,
The Cure,
Kaiser Chiefs,
The Kooks,
The Twang,
Kings Of Leon,
Pulp,
Blur,
The Housemartins,
The Ramones,
James,
Robots in Disguise,
The Klaxons,
Kate Nash,
The Raconteurs,
Regina Spektor,
Aretha Franklin,
Stereophonics,
The Contours,
Dirty Pretty Things,
The White Stripes,
New York Dolls,
Yeah Yeah Yeahs,
The Clash,
Style Council,
Velvet Underground,
The Horrors,
The Cribs,
Reverend and The Makers,
The Subways,
The Wombats,
Foals,
Elle S'appelle,
The Troggs,
The Beatles,
Echo and the Bunnymen,
Florence and the Machine.

Olive Cotton, Tea Cup Ballet, 1935

Olive Cotton, Tea Cup Ballet, 1935

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Will it ever be alright for Blighty to have a Queen Camilla?

One less tree from our window each day


Vikki's bookshelf: read

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
1984
Twilight
Of Mice and Men
Pride and Prejudice
The Hobbit
The Da Vinci Code
Lolita
Tipping the Velvet
Wuthering Heights
The Picture of Dorian Grey and Other Works by Oscar Wilde
Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Irish Peacock & Scarlet Marquess: The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman
Moab Is My Washpot
The Bell Jar
The Other Boleyn Girl
On the Road
Brideshead Revisited
Revolutionary Road



Vikki Littlemore's favorite books »

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