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to think that men should not be referred to as 'Asian' when they are not in fact Asian

(231 Posts)
PatPig Wed 15-May-13 10:26:56

Examples (disturbing content warning):

According to this:

The leaders of the gang are:

'thought to originate from Eritrea, in East Africa, but he grew up in his parents' house on the Cowley Road.'

Since when was Eritrea in Asia?

The Telegraph goes with:

"Asian grooming gang convicted of appalling acts of depravity on children"

yet in the article concedes:

"Seven men of Asian or North African origin were found guilty of grooming"

It seems like inaccurate and prejudicial language to me, especially when Asia contains 2/3 of the population of the world yet 'Asians' are obviously an ethnic minority in the UK.

CocacolaMum Wed 15-May-13 10:40:47

I presumed from the headline that it was a majority of Asian rather than African men? I don't see the issue - we cannot go round having paragraph long headlines can we?

KansasCityOctopus Wed 15-May-13 10:43:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squeakytoy Wed 15-May-13 10:44:46

does it really make a difference.. they were all part of the "asian" community..

I would be more concerned about the horrific abuse they have inflicted, not being pedantic about geography..

MolotovCocktail Wed 15-May-13 10:44:56

The generalisation is offensive, OP. Our media operates in a short, headline-grabbing manner, so details get lost; information is misrepresented; distinctions are blurred and myths around people/cultures are created and proliferate.


Tabliope Wed 15-May-13 10:44:59

I believe 5 were of Pakistani origin (i.e. Asian) and two of Eritrean heritage (East Africa) so I don't see the problem with the descriptions. There are all scum regardless of where they come from.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 15-May-13 10:50:59

Looking at the photos and not knowing where they came from I would assune only 1 was "African" the others look "Asian" to me. Were they perhaps trying not to use the word Muslim?

I dont know - very hard to highlight a growing problem within our society whilst staying within PC boundaries and I say that as someone whose child and friend was "tailed" on the walk home from school last week by a man he described as "Asian with a beard"

I wonder how easy it would have been to report on the second world war if the word German had been termed racist? Oh and I am by no means saying its a war, just pondering on ways of reporting things without use of certain words.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 15-May-13 10:52:51

I thought they meant ethnically asian rather than from Asia. Eritrea isn't a homogeneous country, ethnically speaking, is it?

PatPig Wed 15-May-13 11:02:35

IThinkOfHappy, I had a quick lookup on Eritrea, it does appear that the people there do have their origins in Africa - there doesn't appear to have been an Asian colonization or whatever.

There is a stereotype that 'African' means dark black, but Moroccans, for example, are African, but don't look like people from say Kenya.

OrionArcturus Wed 15-May-13 11:05:07

You are right. The articles should refer to Asian and African paedophile/rapist gangs to be more factually correct.

AuntieStella Wed 15-May-13 11:08:51

I suppose the usage has its roots in the term 'Ugandan Asian' that was the accepted one for those expelled by Amin.

But I dislike the way the term "Asian" is used, as it should encompass all Asians, of whom the majority are Chinese.

PatPig Wed 15-May-13 11:11:16

SqueakyToy, I think the term 'Asian community' is offensive. 'Asian' in the UK is a synonym for 'South Asian', yet 'the Asian community' in this context appears to be referring to a loose affinity of (at least nominally) Muslim men primarily from Pakistan, but also variously Bangladesh, Egypt, Sudan, Morroco, Afghanistan, and others.

Referring to the 'Asian community' is unfair to Indians who do not form part of this 'community', yet are regarded by large proportions of the country as synonymous, despite not really sharing much in common apart from a rough physical resemblance.

KellyElly Wed 15-May-13 11:15:14

I'm more worried about the girls that were raped, beaten and abused than about news headlines to be honest.

ephemeralfairy Wed 15-May-13 11:16:51

Of course the crime was horrific, no-one is trying to deny that but generalisation leads to demonisation. There are many many white men in the news at the moment for the horrific things they have done to children. It is a world-wide problem and in my opinion has more to do with patriarchy and misogyny than race.

bigTillyMint Wed 15-May-13 11:19:31

I think they were looking for a way of categorising them that wasn't Muslim. They should have said 5 of them are Asian and 2 are north African to be more accurate.

bigTillyMint Wed 15-May-13 11:20:00

Agree with ephemeralfairy

BobblyGussets Wed 15-May-13 11:20:07

I don't know about picking over the geographical splits (it would be like throwing pearls before swine if specified in certain publications), but "British Asian" will cover "Asian community" and is the correct term, although very general, to use about people originating from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

I am uncomfortable with the "unfair to Indians" (or anyone) being included as part of any community. Does that imply that Indian people (or any other race) are "too good" to be included in a certain community? Is that community beneath them? Are Indian people better than Pakistani people, for example?

LazyMonkeyButler Wed 15-May-13 11:23:17

In today's world of political correctness then, no, YANBU it should have been reported as "Asian and African" men. I also think that what they really wanted to say was probably "Muslim men" but shied away from that for fear of fallout.

There are no entirely bad religions or races in the world, only evil individuals. Instead of describing them as an Asian group maybe they could have just gone for "Sadistic grooming gang" or "Evil grooming gang", thereby concentrating on the individuals personally rather than their heritage.

Buzzardbird Wed 15-May-13 11:28:39

What the hell has the colour of their skin or heritage got to do with the horrific crime anyway?

Would they put "gang of white men/English men in abuse ring?".

What's with all the unnecessary titling?

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 15-May-13 11:31:35

If you noticed though the original reporting of this crime didnt mention their ethnicity at all, the artists drawings on the news made it obvious but it was not said

How do you solve crimes if you cannot say the man looked this way or was that because of staying within the bounds of being PC.

LemonsLimes Wed 15-May-13 11:33:23

I agree Buzzardbird.

LemonsLimes Wed 15-May-13 11:34:57

Of course it's fine for police to use racial features to identify criminals, that's not what the OP was about though

Buzzardbird Wed 15-May-13 11:35:41

The crime is already solved though Blue, the titling is just inciting racial hatred.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 15-May-13 11:35:46

Their skin and heritage has nothing to do with the crime but if there is a perception that it's OK to treat girls from outside their community in this way then that needs to be addressed.

There are white men who do the same things but not openly and I doubt if reported it would be ignored by the police.

WorraLiberty Wed 15-May-13 11:37:45

I would be more concerned about the horrific abuse they have inflicted, not being pedantic about geography..

This ^^

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