I wish we could ignore that petition. You know which one. The one that would have innocent people thrown out into the street because of what someone in their family might have done.

I wish we could ignore the fact that Nick Griffin has been gaining thousands of Twitter followers (including 2000 in just one day).

I wish we could ignore the fact that the EDL mobilised and tried to create the ‘Enfield Defence League’.

I wish David Starkey wasn’t massively racist on national television and thought he could get away with that. Anyone who sympathises with Enoch Powell is a disgrace. Anyone who blames black culture for criminality is scum.

I wish that the guy who set up that massively popular Facebook group, ‘Supporting the Met police against the London rioters’, wasn’t a disgusting racist, but he is. On his Twitter, he called black people monkeys and joked about people going back to the jungle.

I wish that I hadn’t seen normally sensible people in my Facebook feed calling for live ammunition being used against rioters.

But, shamefully and terrifyingly, all of these things actually happened.

Even just tonight I was told off by a Tory for bringing a social analysis to the riots, because apparently that’s wrong now. He also said that bringing up institutional racism in the Met is just like bringing up bad things people do, essentially. So apparently I’m not allowed to criticise London’s police force anymore, even the officers who are appallingly racist.

I’m sorry, but there’s a phrase for that, and that is privilege-denying. The other phrase for it is called ‘being an apologist for institutional racism’.

Being a racist, being a fascist, having fascist or racist views, wanting to kill someone because they stole a pair of trainers, all of these things are very much in the ‘not okay’ column of life. As is opening live rounds of fire on children, which is has basically been suggested when people say that the police should be allowed to use guns on rioters.

All of these things – very much bad. Very much not okay. In fact, incredibly wrong and disgusting.

In the same way that mugging people is wrong, burning down people’s houses is wrong, killing kids for looting an iPod or whatever is also incredibly wrong.

The riots were horrific in many ways. Obviously. But this doesn’t mean the country can adopt an anything-goes approach to policing. It doesn’t mean people should just sit back when someone’s being a racist scumbag in case they get accused of ‘condoning’ looting. We cannot throw morality, reason, values and all sense out of the window because of four nights of rioting. If we do, we destroy the only things worth having.

Postscript: Please ‘like’ the Facebook page ‘Not using rioting as an excuse to be casually racist’. And challenge racism and fascist views whenever you see or hear them, if you have the energy to do so. Together we are stronger.

This post first appeared on Be Young And Shut Up, which we encourage you all to read.