Trevor Phillips and the Multiculturalism Debate

Trevor Phillips programme, Things we won’t say about race that true, has opened the debate about how integrated is our society and whether ‘multi-culturalism’  has allowed separateness and cultural isolation to flourish. Fifteen years ago, in October 2000 the Observer carried a debate between cultural theorist, Stuart Hall,  and myself on Britishness  as a result of the publication of a Runnymede Trust  report. This report suggested that  ’Britishness’ connotes racism and suggested ways of diluting it. Firstly  Britain should be reconceived as ‘community of communities’. Then  there should be a formal  declaration  that Britain is a multicultural society’. I criticised this . ‘To suggest ‘Britishness’ connotes racism is absurd, an attempt to wring a mea culpa from guilty liberals and nothing to do with advancing racial unity and equality’  ‘‘Multiculturalism’ is riddled with problems, and it is not racist to think so.’
This article was ahead of its times when it was received as an attack on a much cherished liberal orthoxody of multiculturalism.

To read the original article by me , see
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/oct/15/britishidentity.comment

http://http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/oct/15/britishidentity.comment1

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