Journalist Claims Being an Immigrant “Makes Her Smarter Than a Little Englander”
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a Ugandan immigrant to the UK and a long-standing columnist for a variety of left-wing newspapers including the Guardian, the New Statesman, the i, and the London Evening Standard. She has won a number of prestigious awards and has had a very successful career in journalism. However, it would appear that in trying to fight racism, she has adopted it.
On the 4th of September, she sent out this tweet:
She makes two claims, which we’ll go through in slight detail:
- Speaking 4 languages makes me smart
Granted, learning a second, third or even fourth language is a huge achievement which is not possible without great mental challenge and memory. However, in the context that she is referring to, speaking 227 languages wouldn’t be of any benefit whatsoever over simply speaking one. What matters in political debate is your understanding of the issues at hand and nothing more.
2. Being an immigrant makes me smart
This is just ridiculous. Being an immigrant has absolutely no bearing on your intelligence and no research has ever shown otherwise. To suggest this is quite simply racist towards people who aren’t immigrants.
3. My great intelligence means that my opinion is more valid than yours
Again, just a ridiculous argument. Politics is about opinions and if people who are what some might deem as “smart” (which is subjective, by the way) are allowed to have automatic superiority in all debate then the practice ceases to be so.
Speaking about the tweet, Steven Woolfe MEP said in a Facebook post:
“This is absolutely appalling snobbery from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. I disagree with thousands of people, doesn’t mean I think I’m smarter than them.”
In conclusion, this tweet is based on totally fallacies and arguments that literally contradict the entire values of equality and open debate. I would argue that Yasmin needs to look at what makes her so “smart” and consider that perhaps the opposite is true.