amazon ugg boots Ben Douglas called racist on Radio 4 after backing white parents
Since I grew up as a black boy in the overwhelmingly white London suburb of Teddington, I am no stranger to name calling.
Last week, however, marked a new low. For the first time in my life, during a debate on Radio 4s Today programme, I was called a racist.
The charge was laid against me by Dr Derrick Campbell, chief executive of Race Equality in Sandwell, West Midlands, who told me I had never experienced racism and accused me of stigmatising black people.
My crime? Daring to speak out on behalf of thousands of ethnic minority children languishing in the laughably titled care system because inter racial adoption has been effectively banned for decades.
I know what I am talking about because, unlike Dr Campbell, I was one of those children. Were it not for the sheer bloody minded persistence of my adoptive parents, my own life would have been spent in care homes.
In the late Seventies my mother and father, Barbara, a teacher, and Eric, a businessman, were able to laugh in the face of the social workers risible objections that, as a white couple, they would not know how to style my hair or cook Caribbean food.
I was four months old at the time and had tasted nothing more interesting than baby formula. Nevertheless, it took them two years to negotiate the red tape, and since those days the situation has become even worse.
The philosophy was simple: white people could not possibly cater for the cultural needs of black children and inter racial adoption was doomed to end in tears.
The result was a policy, as unofficial as it was universal, to refuse all applications from white couples to adopt black children.
Fair enough, perhaps, were there enough black families wanting to adopt. There are not not by a long chalk and the result has been a scandal that has condemned hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged ethnic minority children to a life in care.
Now that, in my view, is racism. What right has anyone to prioritise so called culture over the right of every child to a loving family life?
Dr Campbell and the rest of the Left leaning Establishment have ruled the roost for far too long, myopically obsessed with equality without stopping for a second to think about how it affects real people.
Now, at last, the Coalition Government is doing something about it, ordering social workers to change their policy and allow white couples to adopt ethnic minority children.
The statistics are damning. Because of the effective ban on inter racial adoption, black, Asian and mixed race children wait three times longer than white children to be placed with families.
There is no shortage of white couples wanting to adopt these children, but they are not allowed to. Meanwhile, there is a chronic shortage of ethnic minority families seeking to adopt, just as there is a dearth of black people signing up as blood and bone marrow donors.
The latter case is a genuine crisis, because of the medical need for a precise genetic match. But why should the same principle be applied when it comes to adoption?