Politics & Policy

Lightening Up

Racial discrimination and global warming are two peas in a pod.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece appears in the January 30, 2006, issue of National Review.

It was a good start to the year for Sgt. Leslie Turner, who was awarded 30,000 pounds in an out-of-court settlement after suing Scotland Yard. Sergeant Turner was the first black officer in London’s Metropolitan Police to be made a royal bodyguard. It was his job to guard HRH the Duchess of Cornwall–that’s Camilla, the Prince of Wales’ new missus, though in some sort of Britannic Teresa Heinz–type arrangement she doesn’t use the moniker “Princess of Wales.” Anyway, Sergeant Turner ceased being a royal bodyguard last spring and subsequently brought his suit for “racial discrimination.” Here’s the wrinkle: He claims he was over-promoted only because he was black.

If he’d been a white copper, he’d have been given a job commensurate with his abilities and he’d have done it fine and been happy in his work. Instead, because he had the misfortune to be a black copper, his politically correct superiors singled him out for a job for which he was unqualified, thus leading to misery and dissatisfaction. In discriminating in favor of him because he was black, they in effect discriminated against him, also because he was black. That, at any rate, is what his lawyer argued, and it worked.

With hindsight, it seems amazing that no such case has yet been brought in this great Republic, where “affirmative action” is so much more advanced. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow-PUSH could have a sister Rainbow-PULL organization: twice the shakedowns! One week you’re jumpin’ up and down outside Texaco or Wal-Mart shouting, “No Justice, No Peace,” because they’re not promoting enough blacks. Then, a month later, you’re back demanding they cease over-promoting blacks: “No Demotion, No Peace.” And the settlement wouldn’t be a footling 30,000 quid, either.

So racial discrimination has now reached the blissful state of global warming: As the eco-crowd solemnly warns us, if it’s too hot, that’s a sign of global warming; if it’s too cold, that’s also a sign of global warming. If you’ve got too few blacks in senior management, you’re a racist; if you’ve got too many blacks in senior management, you’re also a racist . . .

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Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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