Thursday, May 07, 2009

Showcasing Political Correctness

By Chip Tsao | published May 07, 2009

My flight landed at Heathrow in London early in the morning. To my surprise, six of the eight immigration control officers in the booths were people of color—either of African or Indian origin, and an Islamic woman in religous garb. An Englishman queuing in front of me looked a little uncomfortable. I bet he was a bit confused—a waspy British citizen returning home, yet subject to challenge by an Islamic female immigration official guarding the frontier. She could refuse him entry or have him taken to a room for questioning for looking like a suspicious terrorist. Remember, this is London, not LA. This scene clearly showcases the multicultural policies of the New Labour government, something unimaginable in the Thatcher years of the 1980s.

I’m talking about six out of eight immigration officials, that is 75 percent, an amazing proportion that would appear to suggest that ethnic minorities enjoy at least equal opportunity here. The immigration checkpoints at an airport give you your first impression of the nation you are about to visit. If I had been deported straightaway from Heathrow that morning, I would have left London with the perception that Britain was a racially harmonious nation, unaware that the proportion of minorities visible in the immigration department is certainly not reflected in the composition of the British government cabinet or in Parliament.

This is the problem with political correctness.

A government is more than happy, when required by some racial equality laws, to show the public that ethnic minorities are employed in low-paid jobs at operational levels ranging from cleaners and museum guards to airport immigration officials. But there is still a glass ceiling somewhere.

If Hong Kong legislates against racism, as they have promised to do, shouldn’t equal opportunities be extended to ethnic minorities in the community in a more genuine way than this? What I saw at Heathrow serves as a warning against the hypocrisy of “positive discrimination.” The Basic Law should be amended to allow a Hong Kong-born Pakistani to become the chief executive, a position currently open by law to ethnic Chinese people only. If that’s changed, then Hong Kong could one day have its very own Obama, someone who would hopefully know how to stand up to his Beijing masters better than the toadies who preceded him.

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