The recent string of MP scandals has had another addition in the form of Labour MP, Emma Dent Coad. It was revealed that Dent Coad called a former Conservative candidate, Shaun Bailey (pictured), a “token ghetto boy,” stating that he will “never fit in.”
If that wasn’t bad enough, she also appears to have sketched a drawing showing a black man hanging from the Conservative Party logo, a tree.
The way that this is supposed to run is that she should be suspended. In any regular, functioning political environment, this would be over and done with in minutes. But of course, it couldn’t be that simple.
Labour are likely clinging behind their MP because she is making headway in the Grenfell Tower investigation, something which can be used against the Tories and the neoliberal agenda in whole.
It’s not implausible that this is the reason why Guido, the website who revealed this scandal, chose to release information at this certain time. Politics, eh? Keeping it classy.
But the other reason is much more damning – it’s because ideologically, the left still cling to the idea that we own minorities.
We saw it during the election from Corbyn: “only Labour can be trusted to unlock the talent of BAME people.” And we’ve seen it again here.
The left has engrained an idea that there is only one way to be black, if you aren’t a specific stereotype then you are somehow a ‘traitor’ to ‘the cause’.
Dent Coad has no authority to say when and where black people do and don’t fit, just because they don’t agree with her ideology. But her logic isn’t uncommon and its trumpetted all the time by people who have no authority on the matter.
“How can you vote Republican if you’re gay?” “How can you vote Tory if you’re black?” The underlying assumption in these questions is that these people have no thoughts outside of their identity, they have no economic or foreign policy preferences, they are solely a minority.
I’ve even experienced it myself, having some middle class internet communist call me a “class traitor” because I defended free speech.
To presume marginalised groups somehow ‘owe’ their vote to a political party is both inefficient as an electoral strategy and patronising morally.