Let us be clear, a protest outside a Nigerian’s new home involving the draping of banners is inherently racist. It is so in precisely the same way that hanging a national flag off a lamp post until it becomes a rag is sectarian. It is the act which is racist or sectarian, not the banner or symbol.
If the First Minister, fully seven years into the current devolved settlement, cannot grasp that obvious point, he is not fit for office.
He is not fit for office because this is not a victimless problem. Tens of people over the past few months have been put out of or denied homes to which they were fully entitled. When it is a clear case of a victim with rights against a protestor or evangelical preacher seeking to deny those rights or promote vilification, any public representative must instantly and unfailingly endorse the former.
The sad, almost unutterable truth is that this all demonstrates that we have not moved on politically at all. So that then raises the next obvious question: for how long can we tolerate Ministers who currently endorse breaching the Rule of Law, interfering in independent processes, and blatant displays of racism and sectarianism?
The difficulty with this question is that it is impossible to remove Ministers (and pointless anyway, as they would merely be replaced from within the same party). So what we are really asking is: for how long can we tolerate an Executive existing which is incapable of ensuring the Rule of Law prevails and the most marginalised in society are adequately protected?