The black vote could sway the result in up to 113 marginal seats across the country, according to campaigners.
Operation Black Vote is aimed at getting more people from black and ethnic minorities to vote and the man behind the campaign believes the coming week could be “historic”.
“Never before have black voters had this kind of power,” Simon Woolley told Sky News Online.
“The race is so tight that we could hold the keys to Downing Street. But people need to get out and vote.”
Operation Black Vote (OBV) is bankrolled by the British taxpayer, despite the fact that it is an organisation solely targeted at, and purporting to represent, Britain’s black and ethnic minority ‘communities’.
The British National Party (BNP), an organisation with a neo-Nazi history, has been roundly condemned by all mainstream political parties for its race-based ideology. The BNP claims to represent the white people of Britain and has only recently agreed to admit non-white members following a threat of legal action. The BNP is seen as beyond the pale (quite rightly) because it is an organisation that seeks to promote division along racial lines and to gain special treatment for white people.
According to the BNP, there is the need for an organisation that represents white voters, because, it is claimed, white people are a ‘community’ with specific needs and special interests which are not adequately addressed by the major political parties. The BNP in particular seeks to appeal to the ‘white working class community’, which is presented as an essentially homogeneous group with collective interests. This kind of thinking, based as it is on dividing society along artificially constructed racial lines, is seen by most British people to be discriminatory and irrelevant (although the BNP’s support base has grown significantly in recent years).
The BNP seeks to promote the notion that ‘white voters’ should mobilise around the idea of promoting and preserving themselves as part of a ‘community’. Operation Black Vote promotes the idea that black Britons should see themselves in racial terms and as some sort of ‘community’. The BNP receives widespread condemnation, while OBV receives Government funding. OBV and other black advocacy organisations are regularly cited by the BNP as evidence that ethnic minority groups receive preferential treatment and that the only group of people who are not allowed to assert a group identity are white people. I think, to a degree, they have a point. That is not to say I view the BNP’s ideology and policies as valid – quite the opposite – but that there is blatant hypocrisy when it comes to which kind of identity politics are seen as a good thing, and which are seen as bad and unacceptable.
The problem with both OBV and the BNP is that they operate on the basis of a racially oriented collectivist ideology. For both organisations, the colour of one’s skin is seen to have a central significance to one’s ‘identity’ and to be of paramount importance when deciding how to vote. OBV purports to be aiming to end racial discrimination and racist thinking, yet its central principles actually affirm the ideas that underpin white racism.
According to Operation Black Vote, there are not only British concerns, there are also ‘black’ concerns. Despite the fact there are black Marxists and there are black free market libertarians, according to OBV these huge differences in political outlook are ultimately of less significance than skin colour.
Many black and other ethnic minority British citizens live in areas of social deprivation, but so do many white working class people. OBV promotes the idea that the best way for black and ethnic minority Britons to become successful is to view themselves as a ‘community’ or ‘communities’ with interests that are specific to them, and to campaign and vote on that basis. But the fact of the matter is that there are many very poor white people in Britain. Struggling to pay bills is not a ‘black’ problem, any more than it is a ‘white’ problem, yet OBV encourages black and ethnic minority Britons to indulge in a victim mentality in which notions such as ‘institutional racism’ are seen to be the root cause of poverty in ethnic minority communities. White working class people are also starting to indulge in exactly the same victim mentality, and now the BNP – which once had absolutely no serious electoral chances – finds itself in the position of having two Members of the European Parliament, a large number of councillors, and may even gain a Member of Parliament in the coming General Election.
Collectivism and identity politics are a curse, not a blessing, even if they do come wrapped in the politically correct garb of encouraging ‘black’ participation in the political process. Operation Black Vote encourages black Britons to see themselves first and foremost as ‘black’, as opposed to seeing themselves simply as British. OBV encourages black people not to see themselves as individuals who are solely responsible for their success or failure, but instead as members of a collective oppressed group. Does such an ideology actually constitute a vehicle for the advancement of black and ethnic minority Britons, or does it condemn black and ethnic minority Britons to forever presenting themselves as, and being seen as, some kind of ‘Other’ within the body politic? Arguably, the second of these two options is the more accurate outcome.
The best antidote to racism and other forms of discriminatory collectivist ideologies is individualism. Individualism views people as being simply people. Individualism eschews the notion that one should view other people as being part of one or other ‘groups’ or ‘communities’, but rather encourages us to come to conclusions about each person we encounter based on their personal qualities, their outlook, their behaviour, their achievements, and their aspirations. When an individualist views political candidates, he or she looks at the merits of that candidate based on their past record of political activity and how well they have represented the needs of their constituents, yet Operation Black Vote encourages voters to look at skin colour, instructing visitors to its website to ‘spot the black MP‘. The BNP also encourages voters to look at skin colour; for example, a BNP supporting video filmed in a London borough which has a large number of ethnic minority residents asks viewers to ‘spot the white man‘.
Far from overcoming racism, Operation Black Vote legitimises racial identity politics and collectivist views on ethnicity. It’s high time to put an end to this primitive way of viewing ourselves and our fellow citizens. OBV and the BNP are two sides of the same outdated coin. Individualism, not collectivism, is the answer to overcoming racism.