The sun has truly set on the British Empire

When Indians complained about the British interfering with suttee (the Indian practice of burning widows alive on their husbands’ funeral pyre), General Charles Napier (1782-1853) told them:

Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. . . Let us all act according to national customs.

Great Britain used to bring civilization to the far corners of the globe. Now they can’t even bring it to their own country:

The sexual abuse of about 1,400 children at the hands of Asian men went unreported for 16 years because staff feared they would be seen as racist, a report said today.

Children as young as 11 were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers of men between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, the council commissioned review into child protection revealed. And shockingly, more than a third of the cases were already known to agencies.

But according to the report’s author: ‘several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist’. . .

In two cases, fathers had tracked down their daughters and tried to remove them from houses where they were being abused – only to be arrested themselves when police were called to the scene.

This went on for sixteen years with the full knowledge of the authorities, who would rather allow thousands of children to be raped than called racist.

And that fear seems to persist even in the wake of this horror. Even in a story that centers around the horrifying consequences of hyper-sensitivity to racism, this BBC story can’t bring itself to say precisely what the authorities were being hyper-sensitive about. The story has no photographs of the perpetrators, it never uses the word “Pakistani” or even “Middle Eastern”, and it only even uses the word “Asian” (60% of the world’s population) as part of a quotation.

Oh, and by the way:

No council employees will face disciplinary action in a town where 1,400 children suffered sexual exploitation in a 16-year period, the local authority’s chief executive has said.

Glenn Reynolds adds:

Perhaps they need to consider the possibility that there are worse things than being thought racist. Of course, if that idea were to spread, a powerful tool of social control would vanish.

Alas, over sixteen years every one of them must have considered that possibility at some point. And rejected it.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds adds again:

The legal system is, ultimately, an ancient bargain: Renounce your mob violence and blood feuds and we will provide you with justice. It could be argued that such a default as this calls the whole bargain into question, and justifies self-help along ancient lines.

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