Magazine
Latest Issue

Not black and white

The word "racist" is necessary but devalued. We need more rigour and realism in applying it

By David Goodhart   May 2005

Elections are a time for the use and abuse of political language. As immigration is a bigger issue in the 2005 election than in any for a generation, one word that is, predictably, flying about is racism.

The r-word has, of course, become devalued through overuse and inaccurate use, a portmanteau term of abuse. But it remains a necessary word, one we cannot do without. This is a brief plea both for a more rigorous use of the word and for a broader vocabulary to capture the spectrum of feelings and opinions that are often indiscriminately and damagingly bracketed as…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect