Another month, another “Asian” grooming gang scandal. “Asian” usually, but not exclusively, seems to mean Pakistani British men.
A lot of the discussion around this issue centers on the perpetrators of the crimes. Their ethnoreligious distinctiveness. The cultural preconditions which allow for the development of these practices of abuse and exploitation as normative in certain circumstances and toward certain people (though the details differ, from what I know of South Asian communities, in general, there’s a fair amount of sexual abuse going on within the subculture that isn’t discovered because of norms of shame and concealment).
But, I want to focus on the victims. Whenever these stories surface the victims are invariably described as “troubled” and from “broken” homes. These were vulnerable children. Additionally, the powers that be did not see these girls as their girls. If gangs of Pakistani British men were abusing and raping the daughters of middle-class burghers, I am 100% sure that the police would pay immediate attention and follow-up on these cases no matter the sensitivities.
I think it is fine and important to highlight the subculture that fosters this sort of behavior through their assumptions about the sexual nature of non-South Asian women (e.g., I have had it explained to me by several men of Indian subcontinental origin whose tastes were toward the prurient that “our women are pure”). But these cases also illustrate stark class divides and the total lack of concern and interest by the bureaucratic and public service class toward individuals from the lower class.