"The day before, an articulated lorry [truck] from Holland arrived at the market and the driver, confronted by unmanageable confusion, abandoned his vehicle and disappeared. So our fork‑lift man began unloading the goods on pallets from the back.
Next thing, a policeman arrives and orders him to shift the vehicle. He says it isn’t his. The officer repeats his instruction, more forcefully.
The fork-lift man explains he hasn’t got the keys and isn’t HGV-licensed anyway. ‘Well, go and find the driver and tell him to move!’ ‘It won’t matter to him, mate. He’s Dutch. He doesn’t speak a word of English.’
The policeman’s eyes narrowed. ‘You watch what you say,’ he barked. ‘I could nick you for racism.’
Making racist mountains out of molehills clouds the debate. There is enough race-related wickedness in the world we need to address without creating false controversies.
It is not racist to say a foreign man does not speak English (although, being Dutch, he probably does). It is not even insulting.