While it may be true that the measure of a society lies in how it treats its minorities, it might also be worth considering how minorities treat us back.
Consciousness of racial discrimination has reached such a heightened state in this country that it invariably errs on the side of minorities and this leaves it open to exploitation by the unscrupulous or opportunistic.
A white South African is taking an equality case against a small business in Ireland, citing racial discrimination among the allegations. The small business owner, who is struggling to keep their business afloat during the recession and create employment, is being advised to settle the case.
Lawyers confirmed that, in equality cases, the onus is on the business to prove the allegations are false rather than on the plaintiff to prove they are true.
A settlement of this kind could close a small business and put its employees out of work. Is this how justice is now served in this country?
The recent debacle of Gardaí mistakenly taking Roma children into care, while undoubtedly a cock-up of epic proportions, also played into the hands of minority groups who could cry discrimination and oppression from the rooftops. Compensation claims will inevitably follow.
In this instance the Gardaí acted inappropriately, but I personally believe it was better to take action (however imprudent) than to do nothing and fail to protect a child.
If, hypothetically, most crimes are committed by tracksuit-clad smokers on crutches from the Southside, are the Gardaí not correct to be particularly vigilant towards this demographic?
If most car accidents are committed by young male drivers, shouldn’t they pay higher premiums?
This is just basic empiricism, not discrimination.
But in our politically-correct utopia, the rights of minorities of any shape, size or colour, appear to take precedence over those of average citizen or of society as a whole.
The balance of power has shifted dramatically in favour of belligerent minority organisations and lobby groups, providing boundless political capital to any elected representative who champions their causes.
Of course we should protect our minorities. Of course we should ensure they are treated equally and with respect, but in Ireland we seem to have reversed the maxim of the wise philosopher from Star Trek that the good of the many outweighs the good of the few.