Two years ago, I took a visiting German colleague to a Diwali dinner at an Indian friend’s house in the UK. The guests were a mixed bunch, mostly Southeast Asian but several English and mixed-race couples. The serving staff were English.
We need a debate about the curriculum and the knowledge we teach pupils in schools and later on at university level.
The decolonising the curriculum movement isn’t it.
This month, scientists unveiled a reconstruction of the face of Cheddar Man, who died around 9,000 years ago, and whose skeleton was found in a cave in Somerset in 1903. DNA analysis has now revealed that ‘the earliest known Briton’ – part of a population from which modern white Britons are thought to descend – probably had dark to black skin and blue eyes.
The announcement yesterday that the government has chosen Sara Khan as the Lead Commissioner for its new Counter-Extremism agency has provoked predictable condemnation from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and one of its most high profile allies, Conservative peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.
I read a tweet the other day from Andrew Neil which saddened me. It said “Mr Sowell was a great man. His death a great loss”.
Thankfully, after a quick check, I established that reports of Thomas Sowell’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Aged 87, he has merely retired from writing to focus on his hobby of photography.
Making glib moral judgements about the past does a disservice to history and to ourselves.