On 28 May the racist EDL held a demo in Blackpool. It was about two teenagers whom the police suspect had been sexually exploited prior to death. Why do the EDL care about these girls? Because the acquitted suspects are from Muslim backgrounds and the girls were white.
Charlene Downes and Paige Chivers were both from Blackpool. Fourteen-year-old Downes disappeared in 2003. Her body has never been found, but it seems likely she has been murdered. A prosecution was brought against shop owners of Jordanian origin, but collapsed.
Chivers was 15 and disappeared in 2007. No one has ever been charged, but police believe that, like Charlene Downes, she was sexually exploited by older males in the same area of Blackpool.
The right wing press and the EDL argue that these two cases and many others involve the “grooming” of young white women by Asian men and are being ignored by the authorities because of political correctness. The truth is very different.
Young men and women who disappear, or are victims of rape or sexual exploitation, are almost always poor and many are in the care system. Many are black or Asian, and the abusers and killers are overwhelmingly white.
In 2008 there were more than 800 registered “high risk” sex offenders living in Blackpool. The majority are white.
Blackpool had double the national rate of young people in care and one of the highest levels of deprivation. In such towns young people are more likely to be sexually abused. Official indifference is more likely to be due to the social class of the victims rather then the race of the abusers.
There is a long and shabby history of racists whipping up scares about young white women being under threat from predatory black or Asian men. The EDL are seeking to make horrific cases of abuse into crude racist propaganda.
Charlene Downes and Paige Chivers deserve justice and to not have their memory exploited by cynical, racist scum.