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.
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.
In 2013 amendments initiated in the House of Lords decided that specific legal protection against caste discrimination should be introduced in the UK, by making caste an aspect of race in the Equality Act 2010. The underlying assumptions were that caste discrimination is rife against the 500,000 Dalits in UK (a figure that cannot be confirmed, since no caste based data are currently collected), and that current legislation neither protected them nor acknowledged their unfair treatment in UK. The Government set out a public consultation and the responses are being analysed now.
“The social media spat around H&M and the ‘monkey boy hoodie’ is touch ironic, given that the company at the centre of this storm is one of the most progressive in the casting of black models in the the retail industry in the UK and internationally. If there was a league table of ethical fashion retailers H&M would be in the top 10. The picture below is from their 2014 autumn campaign taken by me in Barcelona. I took the picture. All of the models in the campaign were black, not just the one shown. Is this issue about racism or people turning an innocent image into something more political.” says Kunle Olulode
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.