Of course Abbott’s comment was racist.
The point is was it racist with positive moral intent ? Or was it done with ignorance or negative intent ? Colour-blindness is a red-herring too. Sometimes race/colour is germane to the topic, sometimes it isn’t.
Obviously her intent was positive and race/colour was more than just relevant, it was the subject. No problem there. Her mistake was to generalize “the whites” as some group with one set of qualities & motives vis-a-vis “blacks”, even though she used the expression in the context of a particular conversation. That was clearly racist. Diane on the whole is not I’d suggest – a lack of common sense maybe, given her profile as a politician. Get over it, she’s apologised..
Nice tweet from Mr_Eugenides :
DianeAbbott: Making Other Labour MPs Look Like Intellectuals Since 1987™