On 8 April, Tim Wise gave a lecture at Loyola University New Orleans. The talk was called "Don't Call Me A Racist" and focused on anti-racism and white privilege. Wise is an American anti-racism activist and writer who lectured at over 600 college campuses. One of my tutors advised that our class attend the lecture...
Personally I have found that I couldn't even place myself in cultural groups around me. When my hair was short, afro-diasporic people gave me the nod of solidarity, when my hair was long south-Asian diasporic peoples spoke to me in their diversity of languages, yet I remained neither here nor there.
What makes them 'anti-police' (apparently) is that they challenge the misuse of those powers, sometimes emotionally, sometimes robustly, often persistently because they see that things haven't changed or they're not changing quickly enough. They're not waiting 30 years, they're raising it now, because it is happening now. If that's what makes someone anti-police then I, like 'them', am guilty as charged.
It's an industry where diversity means Denzel Washington. It's not news that a disproportionate number of directors are male, resulting in an inevitable plethora of egotistical, navel-gazing, cock-yanking films like Birdman, Boyhood and Whiplash, that feature women as little more than glorified set design.
It seems that week after week, we're hit with another story of Nigel Farage or one of his UKIP counterparts spouting racist, sexist and homophobic comments left right and centre. It's become worryingly predictable, and it seems that although there is a candidate step down here and there, a half-hearted apology and a tepid reassurance that this is 'not representative of UKIP', they continue to receive support.
Now, it's hardly a controversial view that people residing in North Africa and the Middle East during the era of the Old Testament weren't white. They were likely to be of an Arab or Black complexion. So imagine my disappointment upon watching this trailer, to see that pretty much every single character, other than a few background thieves and slaves, were white.
The first step in ensuring that a third generation of British-born ethnic minorities doesn't experience the same imbalance is recognising the extent of these inequalities. It's no good to argue that race doesn't matter anymore, when all the evidence shows that BME people still experience disadvantage over every significant measurement of quality of life in Britain.
With Remembrance Day almost upon us we have entered another period of debate and discussion over the symbolism of the poppy. It's a debate which offers irrefutable proof of the increasing politicisation of this annual event, one which rather than unite the country around a shared narrative and set of values instead reminds us of a history of conflict that is contested over the question of whether it should be considered a source of pride or shame...
To those that crying that our discussions of white supremacy and empire somehow constitute reverse racism or victimize white people, please. It is you who make this accusation that are in fact anti-white, because it is you who assumes that there are not white human beings with enough intelligence to understand the discussion and the history at hand and engage with it in a meaningful way, clearly you are wrong.
So, a simple plea. Can we not let go of the past and just share our island? Sure, there are a few unfairness issues that need ironing out. You have poverty in Scotland just the same as we have it in the other corners of the UK. And I know that 'Yes' voters will scream that this blog is too simple and that, as an 'Englander', I don't understand how it feels to be a 'Scot'.