Trevor Phillips says he was accused of racism for criticising Barack Obama
Mr Phillips warned that while Britain is crying out for frank discussion on issues such as race and sexuality, debate is being closed down because those who find offence in everything are to quick to cry racism or sexism.
He presents his case in a programme on Channel 4 tonight when he argues that members of Britain's so-called political and cultural elite seem unable to speak plainly about things that concern many citizens.
Trevor Phillips argues that political correctness has gone mad in a TV programme tonight
I was accused by one Radio 4 commentator of peddling a ‘racist narrative’
He told the Daily Mail: “A few weeks ago, I observed that Barack Obama’s iconic status as the first African-American US President should not obscure his mixed political record.
“For that, I was accused by one Radio 4 commentator of peddling a ‘racist narrative’.
“As a black man and former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, you might think I would be surprised to face a charge of racism — but I was not.”
Mr Phillips said 40 years ago "identity" politics was about trying to end discrimination and led to revolutionary legislation on gender, disability and race.
But he said the recognition of diversity has now grown into a "cancerous cultural tyranny that blocks open debate".
Trevor Phillips wars that grown-up debate has become impossible
He said: “There is no hiding place from the language police, even if you belong to a ‘vulnerable’ group.
“Ten years ago, I suggested Notting Hill Carnival had become an international event and outgrown its roots in the West Indian community — hardly a deeply provocative observation.
“In response, the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, opined I had become so Right-wing I really belonged in the British National Party.”
Mr Phillips said hypersensitivity about offending minorities has also stopped Britain having a grown-up debate about migration.
Trevor Phillips was accused of being a 'right-winger' by former London mayor Ken Livtingstone Pensioner who winds iconic 'Brief Encounter' clock is BANNED Thu, February 9, 2017
Time is standing still at Carnforth Station after the volunteer who winds the famous clock from the film 'Brief Encounter' was banned from the premises. Jim Walker has been keeping the clock running twice a week since it was reinstated 13 years ago. He has been told he can no longer enter the station after a member of the public made a complaint against him over an alleged racist comment. The 71-year-old has now been given a map which outlines areas of the station he is not allowed to enter.
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Clock keeper Jim Walker winds up the famous 'Brief Encounter' clock at Carnforth Railway Station.
He said: “Last week, Tony Blair, in his speech on Brexit, said ‘immigration is the issue’. Whatever you think of him, most polls show he was right about that.
“Yet since last June, most politicians have tried to pretend the Brexit vote had little to do with the cultural impact of immigration.
“The Right fear sounding like racists; the Left won’t discuss it because their celebration of multiculturalism as a blessing makes them seem metropolitan elitists.
“And when conventional politicians try to tackle the issue, they make a hash of it.”
Has Political Correctness Gone Mad? in on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm