Maybe Diane was a little thoughtless.
However, racism doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it exists in application to dynamics of power. Anyone who spends 50 years as a black woman is going to have experienced a constant stream of active, passive, institutional and even well-meaning racism in that time as well as a whole load of misogyny.
Sexism is just as rife. Elite professions are dominated by white, public school educated Oxbridge men and women in those environments often get a smoother ride if they wear contacts instead of glasses, heels instead of flats or remember to dye the grey hairs.
White men in Britain simply don’t experience unrelenting discrimination in the same way.
In some sense it’s not about institutions but about society as a whole and our blindness to the impact our history has on our current attitudes.
In short, it is not the same for a black woman to generalise about “white people” as it is for a white person to generalise about black people. Because “white people” is a broadly legitimate way of thinking about 92%-white Britain and its 99.5%-white elite.
Diane’s point was legitimate. Her error was minor. The right wing response has been disproportionate, gleeful and insincere. And yes, if she had thought about it, she could and should have worded it better.
And a lot of decent people are legitimately annoyed by her “prejudiced” generalisation. But you’re so unused to the prejudice in that direction that you’re as offended as you would be if it were the other way around. It is a lesser sin, because of the context of power behind it.
I shall look forward to the corresponding twitterstorms about the almost daily xenophobia in the Daily Mail from now on.
IMHO and all that.