That remark by Adrian Delia yesterday about the horror of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis teaching “our children” was not an accident. I am infuriated by people who try to guess which handler of Adrian Delia’s mishandled the situation.
Being cut off from civilisation all your life, having an isolated existence where you think American 1980s action movies is culture, trips to the Alps is seeing the world, a law degree in the University of Malta is education and bankrupting a football club is social engagement is no excuse for saying, by some form of unintended accident, such a hatefully racist thing.
If Adrian Delia declares again ‘I am not racist,’ he will be branding himself a liar.
Put his remark in context. For starters, no one suggested that there was some credible prospect of teachers from South Asia coming to Malta to teach Adrian Delia’s children, or anybody else’s.
But that’s not the point. The point is a group of people, unknown and not particularly concerned with Malta, were marked as bogeymen in a horror story that Adrian Delia wanted to spin. And they were collectively cast in the role of bogeyman purely because of belonging to a specific race. Racism 101.
In place of a ħajbu or an onibaba, Adrian Delia scared his pitchfork grabbing audience with people from Pakistan and Bangladesh who for some reason must not be allowed near their children.
Even if we were to entertain the argument, what would happen then? I can understand if Adrian Delia was concerned children would be trusted with the Pied Piper of Hamelin. But would a teacher from Bangladesh make our children any less smart than they are now?
You’d have to wonder if Adrian Delia has been personally traumatised in his youth by a South Asian teacher if you thought he knew what a South Asian teacher looked like.
These rivers of blood notions must be rejected. This outward expression of racial prejudice and hatred must not be refuted only when a loon like Norman Lowell says it. The fact that it is mouthed by the leader of the Nationalist Party cannot be used to legitimise racism in our discourse. Adrian Delia thinks he’s following what people want him to say. As if stupid racial prejudice has not always been with us and his predecessors did not fight it by leading the public towards good sense and civility.
If Adrian Delia believes what he says when he speaks like this, he is a retrograde, small island bigot and that means he’s in the wrong job. If he doesn’t believe what he says and he merely says it because it’s popular, he proves himself incapable of leading supporters at a PN club to clap at him without pandering to deeply set horrific racist prejudice, let alone actually leading the country through some tough decisions that come a prime minister’s way as a matter of course.
Some tell me that if I want Joseph Muscat out of Castille, I need to lay off Adrian Delia. It’s a tough one I know, but here’s the news. I do not want someone who thinks brown people cannot be trusted with children because they would — What? Shuffle their accent? Cook them and eat them? —in Castille either.
And I will not let my silence collaborate in this uncivilised horror.