Accuracy in Media

In a new piece, Vice reports that a South Asian, Hindu man becoming prime minister of the United Kingdom is not a symbol of diversity because he does not think the things Vice thinks ethnic minorities should.

He represents, as Vice seems to think, the wrong sort of diversity, according to the piece, headlined, “Rishi Sunak’s Rise Is a Win For the Super Rich. It’s Not a Diversity Win, Experts Say.”

The subhead reads, “This is no Barack Obama moment.”

The question is why?  The multimillionaire Obama was elected; the multimillionaire Sunak was elected. Both are ethnic minorities; both are the first such minorities in those top positions in their respective countries. What’s different?

“But not everyone is celebrating. Ravikant Kisana, an Indian academic of cultural studies, doesn’t believe this is a Barack Obama moment for British politics,” Vice reports. “‘Sunak’s politics doesn’t threaten the status quo,’ he told Vice World News. ‘Rather it reflects the intersection of caste and race that is seen in his fiscally conservative, quasi-imperialistic and right-wing politics globally. It’s practically white.’”

Ahh, a racist insistence sits behind these comments. It is what leads some people to insist that Clarence Thomas isn’t really Black because he’s a conservative Republican. It is a vile, racial slur that some people are coconuts, brown on the outside, white on the inside. There are people out there who insist that if you are brown, or Black, your race must determine your political views. Anyone who is from an ethnic minority and is not left-wing – Democrat in America, Labour in Britain – is not diverse in the correct and right manner.

This is a thoroughly racist assumption: that the color of your skin should determine your views on the family, the economy, or public policy. It’s a grossly racist insistence, but it’s one that’s common enough out there.

Vice ranks at No. 79 in the usual listing of news and media sites in the United States and gains some 31 million visits a month from that position. It has a larger influence than those numbers suggest because the magazine has a distribution of some 900,000 copies, and the TV channel reaches 60 million households on cable.

The modern meaning of diversity, it seems, is that people of color should all think the same way. Those who choose to think differently cannot represent diversity, Vice seems to believe.

But we shouldn’t allow Vice to get away with being this racist, should we?

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