The rape, sexual abuse and exploitation of children by 13 young men in Bristol has horrified us all. Press reports on the trials have shown an appalling picture of sickening manipulation and abuse.
Equally disgusting and worthy of our contempt are the racists and fascists attempting to take advantage of the situation for their own ends. They have predictably seen this as an opportunity to recruit and spout their same old racist crap.
Their headline fuelled, knee jerk “politics” demonises not only a few “Muslim” sex offenders, but muslims as a whole. They aim to manipulate people to take sides with racism and fascism.
What they don’t shout about is the long list of sex offenders and abusers that they have always welcomed into their own ranks. But that’s a bit too close for comfort.
Why do we only hear from the likes of the English Defence League when it’s Somali men involved? We didn’t see them demonstrating against the high profile, all white, christian or catholic sex abusers when they were exposed.
The truth is that sexual violence is rife at all levels and across all cultures in society. Rape, sexual abuse and exploitation have complex causes and a lot to do with the way society is organised. It is certainly not a question of race. The roots of the problem are male power and domination, and macho racists and fascists have nothing to offer us towards solving this.
There are no quick fixes or short cuts to stopping sexual or racist abuse. It will take a lot of hard struggle but there is lots that we can do. Building strong communities based on respect and looking out for each other is a vital part of this work. So too is rejecting the bigotry, false solutions and lies of the fascists and racists which divide us all.
Sexual abuse, racist abuse. It’s all got to go!