Saturday, 30 October 2004


Peter Herbert’s supporters are essentially correct, the ‘real reason for the disciplinary actions is not the “tense” he speaks in, but his willingness to challenge racism in the legal profession.’ Inevitably, Whites won’t tolerate this except at the superficial level of the White delusion that racism is confined to a few bad, racist apples rather than the institutional level of endemic racism. Because Whites are touchy and overly sensitive about such issues, accusing them of racism will always get their backs up – because a raw nerve has been struck that no White analgesic can palliate nor cure.

Whites don’t want Blacks defended by their own because they can’t then exploit Black ignorance of White law. This upsets Whites who love to believe that they’re impartial until they’re shown not to be. Whites, raised to be racially suspicious, assume Blacks are plotting to get alleged Black criminals acquitted because Whites tend to assume that a) Being Black is a crime, in itself; and, b) Blacks are more prone to crime, anyway.

But, at the same time, the article (Outrage over ‘travesty of justice’ as barrister Peter Herbert is found guilty) is somewhat schizophrenic. "I think people will say ‘if he can’t make it as an educated eminent professional, what chance do we have?’ This implies it’s impossible to practice as a lawyer if you’re Black. Clearly, this is harder than if you’re White, since Whites wish to control access to legal services for those they deem inferior in order to self-fulfillingly prove such inferiority. But, this doesn’t mean less Blacks should try; only more should do so. The more Black graduates there are the more Whites will have to accept them because it will then become too obvious that Whites are, indeed, as racist as I claim them to be. This will build up the necessary critical mass while enabling Blacks to better co-ordinate their political activities through the co-operative experience gained.

Unless Blacks are prepared to grasp the White racist bull by the horns now, they condemn future generations of Blacks – including their own children – to polishing White Men’s shoes with their bare tongues.

Even without pupilage in chambers, legal knowledge can be used to help fellow Blacks in situations where official representation isn’t compulsory – such as Employment Tribunals. As well as to informally help those Black friends with legal problems and, ultimately, to help with ones own legal issues. (It’s important never to help Whites since they already have a wealth of White lawyers to represent them.)

The important point to make here is to show Whites that just because they’re racist, Blacks aren’t going to be cowed into not trying to do the best for themselves. This would then make them fall prey to the White trap of ‘justification’ when they claim Blacks don’t try hard enough at school.

When the needs of justice and the needs of an orderly society conflict, Whites will always choose the latter. Blacks have always to choose the former.

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Frank TALKER - Truth-Teller