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anti-racism framework
worldwide fallout from the alleged "failure" of multiculturalism
Curated by Cindy Sullivan
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Schools at centre of new anti-racism efforts

Schools at centre of new anti-racism efforts | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
The Swedish government plans to focus on schools as well as conduct a survey of xenophobia in a new push to fight racism and intolerance in the wake of electoral gains made by the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats. In announcing the appointment of former Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) leader Bengt Westerberg to head the commission, Sweden's integration minister Erik Ullenhag emphasised, "this isn't an investigation about or against the Sweden Democrats, but the need to combat xenophobia has increased since the Sweden Democrats entered the Riksdag," Ullenhag said during a press conference. "We have a common responsibility to see that the forces for good stand up for tolerance." "I'm going to survey, among other things, xenophobia. But what is that? That's not an easy task. How many who are xenophobic depends on how one defines xenophobia," he said. "It's not about some specific group. The problem exists within all of us. There is good and evil within us all. And that's what constitutes the great risk for a widening in society, that this potential exists in us all. The important question is how we can get the curiosity within us about what is foreign to overtake the evil."
Westerberg plans to collect the existing research about xenophobia and intolerant attitudes and why they exist, as well as identify the shortcomings found in current efforts to address the issue. Much of the work is expected to focus on schools, which are seen as a central arena for implementing efforts to reduce intolerance. Westerberg plans to look into how knowledge about intolerance and racism can be better applied in Swedish classrooms.
Björn Söder, spokesperson for the Sweden Democrats, slammed the government's inquiry. "Expect indoctrination and propaganda against SD in our schools!" Söder wrote on his Twitter account in reference to the government's announcement. But Ullenhag quickly rejected claims that the efforts amounted to indoctrination. "School and society shouldn't be neutral when it comes to democracy and human rights," he said.
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VIDEO: White privilege in Tucson, and why Mexican-American studies is needed

VIDEO: White privilege in Tucson, and why Mexican-American studies is needed | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Now in this video, made by a religious organization (because God is on their side?), TU4SD shows exactly why Mexican-American Studies is needed and how pervasive white privilege is.
Note: White privilege does not mean white people are rich, it means that they view the world through a lens that does not realize they are viewing the world through a lens. That “American” is what they are, not what Mexican- or African- or Native-Americans are, that their view is the “default,” what is “normal,” and everything else is a deviation from that. Critical race theory shows that everything is viewed through race, and just by watching this video that is clear. Their lens is their white privilege, and they are unable to see that, which exactly proves the point. Do minorities view the world through their racial lens? Yes, but so do white people, yet do not even notice it, hence the privilege. I recommend author Tim Wise for more on this subject.
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Triumph of Common Sense (The Australian)

Triumph of Common Sense (The Australian) | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
IS multiculturalism about a society with a diversity of cultures or a society with a diversity of culturally different people? Confusion about these subtly different ways of understanding multiculturalism runs right through the present Australian debate. Sometimes multiculturalism is defended in terms of the rights of individuals, sometimes in terms of the rights of cultures. But they are not the same thing. And many people support one version of multiculturalism but not the other. When Greg Sheridan argued in The Weekend Australian (April 2-3) that he had lost faith in multiculturalism, it was primarily multiculturalism as a diversity of cultures that he was talking about, which is how the term is used in European societies. But that is not what most Australians mean when they talk about multiculturalism.
The commonsense image of society informing everyday Australian multiculturalism is a liberal one of a society composed of individuals and families mixing in the day-to-day social world. There is an ideal of reciprocity evident in many of the comments, an expectation of learning from each other and of mutual respect. This for most Australians is what multiculturalism is about and they have embraced it enthusiastically. They are, however, very worried about people who don't or won't mix, and we do need to have a debate about this. But we need to be clear what the debate is about. It is not about multiculturalism as most people understand it.
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May Day, Immigrants and Multiculturalism

May Day, Immigrants and Multiculturalism | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
May 1st, often called May Day. It's a celebration of Spring. It's also a day of political protests. In many countries, it is a national holiday. In 2006, the United States saw widespread political action on May Day, centering on the subject of immigration reform. Various groups and communities, under the heading of "A Day Without Immigrants," held rallies, strikes, and consumer boycotts to support the rights of those working and living in the United States, and to protest a bill that would deport many illegal immigrants.The Rainbow Tulip by Pat Mora is a wonderful children's book that combines a story about immigrants in the United States and May Day. While the book is about multiculturalism, it is during a May Day Celebration that young main character finally understands her mother's feelings of being different and that being different is okay. A contrast between a little girl's home and the outside world is established. One of the differences is her name. At home, she is Estelita, but at school, her name is Stella. Another difference is the language she speaks. Spanish words are scattered throughout, just like a bilingual child may speak. Because Estelita/Stella tells the story, the use of Spanish words in the English text adds to Estelita’s cultural background.
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Threat of the new Australian smugness

Threat of the new Australian smugness | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Our leaders encourage a mood of self-satisfaction in which the nation's goodness and wisdom are beyond question. It is frequently difficult to notice the very thing that is in front of one's nose. In almost every speech delivered on days of national significance by Tony Abbott but also Julia Gillard, in almost every editorial published on such days in the mainstream press, what is most striking is the mood of national self-congratulation and self-satisfaction they express. Australia, we are told, is the land of mateship and the fair go. Australia's military history is one of unparalleled nobility. Australia is the longest uninterrupted democracy in the Western world. And so on. The knife-edge election of 2010 may eventually be seen to be one of Australia's more important. What it revealed was that in the immediate future at least there is simply no prospect of Labor returning to power without an overwhelming proportion of Greens preferences. What it also revealed was that as long as the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate there is no prospect of Labor governing effectively without a legislative program making concessions on issues of greatest significance to the Greens. This is an inherently unstable political situation. A battle for the future of Australia - on one side Labor and the Greens, the partners of a tense, forced marriage; on the other an increasingly strident populist conservative Coalition under the leadership of Tony Abbott - will be fought out over the next two years. The issues of the battle will most likely include not only the management of the economy but also Muslims and multiculturalism, asylum seeker policy, the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians in the constitution and, above all else, climate change and the carbon tax. Unless the mood of national complacency is successfully challenged, the victor in this battle seems certain to be Tony Abbott.

I have included only a few excerpts from this brilliant essay by Robert Manne. It is a must read! (Comment by CSullivan)
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10 Ways That the Birthers Are an Object Lesson in White Privilege

10 Ways That the Birthers Are an Object Lesson in White Privilege | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
In an era of racism without racists, the Tea Party GOP Birther brigands provide one more lesson in the permanence of the social evil known as White privilege.With the election of America's first black president we collectively witnessed the ascendancy of a person whose life story embodies the American dream. Obama was not alone in the grand play that is American life. There were other players who competed for the spotlight. During this same moment America witnessed the rise of Sarah Palin to fame and glory, a woman who rides White populism and racial resentment in much the same way that a witch rides a broom. As a second addition to the Tea Party GOP's Rogues Gallery there is a carnival barker named Donald Trump, a man who once lurked stage left but is now the GOP front runner as he perfectly embodies PT Barnum's famous observation that "there is a sucker born every minute," while shilling for the worst and most ugly nativist and xenophobic impulses of the White Conservative Soul. Ultimately, the election of Barack Obama has provided a series of object lessons in the durability of the colorline in American life. Most pointedly, Obama's tenure has provided an opportunity for the worst aspects of White privilege to rear their ugly head. In doing so, the continuing significance of Whiteness is made ever more clear in a moment when the old bugaboo of White racism was thought to have been slain on November 4, 2008. To point: Imagine if Sarah Palin, a person who wallows in mediocrity and wears failure as a virtue, were any race other than White. Would a black (or Latino or Asian or Hispanic) woman with Palin's credentials have gotten a tenth as far?
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Hundreds Rally for Tolerance (Finland)

Hundreds Rally for Tolerance (Finland) | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
About 1,200 members of the public gathered in front of the Parliament in Helsinki to rally their countrymen to respect tolerance and multiculturalism. According to police sources the demonstration proceeded peacefully. The rally was seeded by private individuals on Facebook and called for an open and tolerant Finland that cares for minorities and shoulders its share of responsibility for global problems. About 1,700 people had signed up for the rally on the popular social networking site. The organisers say the demonstration was also inspired by the landlside support enjoyed by the True Finns in the recent election. ”Those who were unsettled by the election result clearly felt a great need to come here and share their experiences,” said Heini Junkkaala, one of the organisers. The organisers emphasised that the rally was not an attack against any group of people. However, it did aim to oppose the True Finns position on a number of issues, such as immigration, conservation, the status of linguistic minorities and gender equality. ”Our motto is, ’Finland has room for everyone’,” said Junkkaala.
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Multiculturalism on both sides of the Atlantic

Multiculturalism on both sides of the Atlantic | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
RECODE, the programme on the politics of cultural diversity in Europe and Canada is arranging a panel and workshop for the first time in Finland, starting May 5th.The programme will kick off with a launch panel on Thursday May 5th where Professor in Political Science, Keith Banting, from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada will be one of the four panellists. The title of his presentation will be "Is the Atlantic Getting Bigger or Smaller? Multiculturalism and Civic Integration in Canada and Europe". According to Banting, Canadian and European approaches to immigrant integration are moving together in some cases, and moving apart in others. Contemporary debates in Europe emphasize the "civic integration" of immigrants, and in many cases this is presented as a rejection of multiculturalism. However the Canadian approach to integration has always combined strong multiculturalism policies with strong civic integration, demonstrating that the two can be compatible. The key to combining the two approaches is, according to Banting, the model of civic integration which is adopted. Some countries in Europe are adopting a more liberal approach, which is fully compatible with multiculturalism and resembles the Canadian model. But other countries, such as the Netherlands, are adopting a more illiberal, coercive approach to civic integration, which is inconsistent with multiculturalism.
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Campus diversity efforts explore stigma, prejudice and ‘white guilt’ (California)

Campus diversity efforts explore stigma, prejudice and ‘white guilt’ (California) | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Diversity initiatives in the workplace and on college campuses are frequently perceived to benefit minorities over whites, according to a new study.But at the University of California, Berkeley, some faculty members are creating forums that encourage students to share their most uncomfortable experiences of stigma and prejudice, including how it feels to be privileged and/or white. More than 200 UC Berkeley undergraduate students – as well as two dozen campus staff members – are enrolled in “Psychology 167: Stigma and Prejudice,” which is among 30 new or revised American Cultures courses with an emphasis on community engagement. The classes are part of UC Berkeley’s Initiative for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, launched last year thanks in part to a five-year, $16 million grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Social justice educator Victor Lee Lewis will give keynote speech at the Stigma and Prejudice class event, which is the brainchild of UC Berkeley psychologist Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, who writes about diversity-related issues in his Psychology Today blog, “Are we Born Racist?” His research has found that cross-racial and cross-ethnic friendships can improve the social and academic experience on college campuses. He is also interested in perceptions about biases against whites.
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Internet Centre Anti Racism Europe

Internet Centre Anti Racism Europe | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
The number of incidents of Jews being verbally harassed or even physically attacked is on the rise in the Netherlands. Among the venues for such incidents are the country's soccer stadiums. In one recent case, a midfielder from Dutch first division club ADO Den Haag led a group of the team's fans in anti-Semitic songs, following a victory over Ajax Amsterdam. An estimated 100 ADO hooligans celebrated in the team's clubhouse, chanting things like: "we're going Jew-hunting" or "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas."This hooligan scandal, in which another player and the coach were also involved, is by no means an isolated case. It is but a small piece of a puzzle, which, when put together, paints a picture of an ugly side of the Netherlands. Out on the streets, Dutch Jews are increasingly becoming the victims of bullying insults and acts of violence, according to Benzion Evers, the son of an Amsterdam rabbi. The fear of persecution among members of the Netherlands' Jewish community has led to a fierce public debate, which was sparked by former European Commissioner Frits Bolkestein. In an article published in a Dutch newspaper, the liberal-conservative politician offered some advice to what he described as "sensible Jews." He stated that they would be better off emigrating to Israel or the United States as he had little confidence in the effectiveness of the government's proposals for fighting anti-Semitism. "They must accept the fact that they have no future in the Netherlands," Bolkestein said. . Professor Paul Sars, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Nijmegen was shocked. "I find it completely outrageous. True tolerance means that you immerse yourself in the lives of the people around you and everything which affects them," Sars said.
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Multiculturalism debate is not about culture

Multiculturalism debate is not about culture | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
The idea that there is a distinct set of British values is a myth. The debate about multiculturalism is hotting up. It also clearly splits the coalition, as the contrasting speeches of David Cameron and Nick Clegg have shown. In all the fevered comment, the assumption seems to be that British culture should be counterposed with other alien cultures, which are problematically separate from, and should be assimilated into, it. Unfortunately for this assumption, it is a truism of anthropology that cultures vary as much within themselves as between each other. Very few are homogenous. This is why attempts to define "British values" – such as those made by David Cameron and Gordon Brown before him, failed, and why they will always fail. For their definitions are inevitably either so narrow as to exclude people who even by the most restricted definitions are British, or so broad as to include people who by even the most extensive reckoning are not. That is why the far right seeks to define cultures not in terms of values, as mainstream politicians do, but in terms of skin colour and race.Central to this is the way popular discourse has imagined that the British, white working class has somehow been discriminated against in terms of access to jobs, housing and public services. It is a nonsense, of course – and whenever examples are put forward, they almost invariably turn out to be untrue and to conflate issues of disadvantage with those of culture and race.
| Peter Guillam | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
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Should we talk to young children about race?

Should we talk to young children about race? | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Which is better, to talk to kids about race, or to not address it at all? One of the most talked-about recent studies on how parents talk to their children about race, featured in the book "Nurture Shock," is famous for an odd reason: the study was never completed, and no findings were published. Why? As it turns out, parents had signed up for a study about how parents communicate with their children, but when they found out that one of the topics was race, they backed out en masse. The researchers had secured grant funding to do the research, managed to work out the logistics of bringing out parents and kids to the research site, and set up the laboratory. Yet they failed to anticipate that, with the possibility of researchers overhearing or analyzing what they were saying, parents would simply refuse to talk about race. The findings, or lack thereof, of this study are striking because they reveal how deeply ingrained the idea of colorblindness is in American society. Colorblindness dictates that we should not notice or talk about race, and thus the right thing to do in polite company is to not acknowledge difference. The goal is noble: as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. movingly said, we want to judge people "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Accordingly, a large study of racial socialization (Hughes et al., 2006) concluded that parents of majority and minority children alike do emphasize hard work, virtue, self-acceptance, and equality when raising their children. Yet, in our increasingly multicultural society, our children are going to be exposed to race-related issues sooner or later-and they need to be prepared. Children may witness acts of exclusion or rejection based on race, or will themselves be targets of discrimination. It is precisely for these instances that parents must provide their children with a framework for understanding difference, for helping them place such experiences within a developmentally appropriate narrative about the meaning of race both within their family and their culture.
By Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Ph.D| Psychology Today
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Home-made Footy Hijabs for True Believers

Home-made Footy Hijabs for True Believers | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Australian fashion designer Shanaaz Copeland began making hijabs in AFL colours for her football-loving children and friends but she has decided to take it to the next level, directly to the AFL. The single mother of four girls said her home-made footy hijabs have so far received a positive reaction from the community and she aims to discuss the idea with AFL clubs. ''When you go to the footy, it's not about who you are. ''It's about people embracing one another and just enjoying their sport together,'' said Ms Copeland.The hijabs are detailed with AFL team colours and their respective logos and can be worn over football jumpers as a neck scarf, headscarf or a wrap. ''The best thing about the hijabs is that not only Muslim women, but anybody, can wear them,'' said Ms Copeland. AFL commercial manager Ishika Kawiratne said Ms Copeland's footy hijabs were a ''really good idea'' and she hopes the clubs will also respond positively. For now, Ms Copeland is showcasing the hijabs - currently in Carlton, Collingwood, and Essendon colours - at the Melbourne Immigration Museum's new Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours exhibition. Collingwood footballer Harry O'Brien, who was invited to feature in the exhibition, said Ms Copeland's hijabs were ''extremely inspiring'' and also reflected on growing social awareness within the AFL. ''There's a new generation of players educated on religious, racial and ethnical differences and today there are a lot fewer cases of racism and discrimination on the field,'' said Mr O'Brien.
Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours opens at the Melbourne Immigration Museum on May 11.
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Hate messages prompt Walkerville rally (Canada)

Hate messages prompt Walkerville rally (Canada) | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Hundreds of Walkerville C.I. students were marching around their school Friday morning demonstrating against recent hate messages found in the school.Students carried signs reading "racism makes me sick", "stop the hate", "stomp out racism", and sang songs on the front sidewalk of the school. The peaceful demonstration was organized to promote unity at the school, after racist graffiti against African Canadians was found in a school washroom, and a letter with racial overtones was sent to the school. The high school students weren't alone for the demonstration. Students from the University of Windsor, and other groups across the city rallied alongside the Walkerville students. Other community groups joined students at Friday morning's anti-racism rally. "It's important for the community to support the school to stomp this out, to stomp this racism out," said Nathalie Browning-Morgan, a social justice student at the university
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Multiculturalism is the death of diversity

Multiculturalism is the death of diversity | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
In our politically correct haste to be all-inclusive, the American melting pot is becoming a bland blob of Velveeta. “Multicultural” has evolved into a bandwagon buzzword, and while the intent is admirable the outcome is not: rather than celebrating diversity, multiculturalism has begun to stifle it. Expressing pride in one’s own specific heritage is now likened to racism, with an incorrect assumption that holding any one ethnicity in esteem automatically implies scorn toward all others. Supporters of ethno-specific programs, activities and organizations are denounced as exclusionary bigots bent on promoting inequality: Don’t support ethnically focused business organizations! Don’t join an ethnic-specific fraternity, sorority or school club! Take down that Mexican (or Cuban, or Puerto Rican) flag! Envision a world where we can all join hands (preferably in a line of multi-colored arms encircling the earth) and sing Kumbaya! Hold that thought, and pass me some sazón. There’s a big difference between “equal” and “identical.” The world is a smorgasbord of customs and beliefs, and naturally they’re not all the same – nor should they be. But don’t mistake the acknowledgment of those differences as an attempt to prove that one is better than the other. Perhaps it’s time to retire the old “melting pot” assimilation metaphor. To stop taking pieces of cultures and blending them until they’re indecipherable from one another. Let’s promote an American mixta of flavors and textures where each can retain its own unique sabor – say, a capirotada: a mishmash of individual traditions, cultures and beliefs that complement rather than homogenize.
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As the mixed-race population grows, the stigma of the past fades

As the mixed-race population grows, the stigma of the past fades | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Gerald and Susan Thomas experienced a hurtful racial climate in Greater Lafayette when they dated during the 1970s. A drive-by verbal assault in Lafayette early in their marriage is one Gerald still remembers today. He said the couple was driving in a convertible when some white men called out a racial insult. "Those type of things happen. Fortunately, now I think it's more subtle," he said. "It's still there, but it's much more subtle than it was in the past." The disdain for their relationship came from both sides. Susan and Gerald met and started dating while attending Purdue University in the mid-1970s. Susan said some of the black girls in college didn't approve of her dating a black man, accusing her of encroaching on their territory. "But Gerald grew up in a very rural, very white community (in Connersville), so he said at the time, 'I have more in common with you than these girls from Chicago and other places just because of (the) culture and the way we were raised," Susan said. Interracial dating and marriage used to be at the top of the American taboo list, especially for blacks and whites. Today, a cultural shift has developed. Those with biracial heritage have established themselves as a world leader (Barack Obama) and the most recognizable golfer on the planet (Tiger Woods).
This link also contains an interview with the son of Gerald and Susan, and reference to research that mentions that the "hypodescent" effect, or tendency to perceive biracials as belonging to the minority group, was even greater toward people who were half black.
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Anti Racism Movement: Happy Angry Worker's Day Demo

Anti Racism Movement: Happy Angry Worker's Day Demo | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Here are some pictures of today's beautiful march on the occasion of worker's day organized by ARM, MWTF and NNRA demanding Fair Rights for Migrant Workers and an End to Racism in Lebanon. The march moved from Hamra, starting at Saint Francis Church, towards Sadat Street and Sanayeh, ending at Ministry of Interior. One voice against racism. One voice for better working conditions in Lebanon. One voice for solidarity with all workers in Lebanon, irrespective of nationality. The march ended at the Ministry of Interior, a house for many racist policies and practices which need to be addressed and changed as we speak.
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David Cameron on Multiculturalism: a challenge to race equality and human rights?

David Cameron on Multiculturalism: a challenge to race equality and human rights? | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
“David Cameron’s speech on multiculturalism in Munich last week signalled a major statement from the coalition Government about its thinking on race equality. The Prime Minister said that: ‘under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream’. According to the Prime Minister, the policy of multiculturism has failed and needs to be replaced by one in which there is a single shared identity. We find the content and timing of this speech and new direction on race relations thinking deeply concerning.” For more on this, please read the final report.
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Multiculturalism Vs the "Big Society" (UK)

Multiculturalism Vs the "Big Society" (UK) | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Multiculturalism has had a bit of a kicking of late. Over the past decade and a half it has been accused of pretty much everything, from refusing common values, to fostering segregation, to harbouring terrorists.Academics have long argued that such "us" and "them" dichotomies only serve to reinforce the kind of segregation that Cameron opposes. It is the very opposite of integration (although assimilation is perhaps a more appropriate word). "They" must subscribe to "our" values. Who "they" are is clear, but who "we" are and what "our" values are is much less so. The answer, says Cameron, is the "Big Society". To summarise, in his vision for the future of Britain, the Big Society will foster localism and devolution of power away from central government; volunteerism within local communities; and the support of entrepreneurism, charities and co-operatives. And at the heart of the £200m Big Society is a return to what Cameron calls "family values". Strong family values, in other words, precede a strong society. Ironically, perhaps, many of these values are already firmly at the heart of most of Britain's Muslim communities. So if multiculturalism is now a dirty word in political circles, how are we supposed to talk about the diversity of people living in Britain? The Big Society may be one way, but only if it takes into account the positive values and voices of the very people that are excluded through anti-multiculturalism discourses: Muslims.
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Who is to blame for fractured Britain?

Who is to blame for fractured Britain? | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
I lived for 30 years in South Ealing in West London, which originally was a model little London village. The Poles who arrived after the war were thoroughly integrated, the Hindu shopkeepers got on with everyone, including the local Muslim residents, and although there were new immigrants from perhaps 20 countries, the pace of change was slow and unthreatening. We knew that nearby Southall had long since become an ethnic ghetto, but we were sure this would not happen to us. There were, perhaps, more Indian restaurants in South Ealing than anyone could possibly require, but the only local grumbles I can recall were about some Somali refugees who had trashed their council house. We all ticked along in our own way. I liked living in South Ealing. But things changed. What ruined our community and the personality of our neighbourhood were the young Eastern Europeans who poured in from 2004 onwards. I am not criticising the character of these young migrants. They were generally hardworking, eager and ambitious. But they arrived all at once in large numbers and, most significantly, had zero interest in integrating. They lived and socialised exclusively together, watched Polish television channels via their satellite dishes, chatted to family back home for free on Skype, set up Polish shops to sell Polish food, newspapers and books, and they learnt only as much English as they had to. Seeing shop after little shop put up the words Polski sklep marked the end of the village I knew. This is why I applaud the Prime Minister for admitting that people are profoundly disturbed by the havoc that mass immigration has wreaked on parts of Britain. “When there have been significant numbers of new people arriving in neighbourhoods,” he said, “perhaps not able to speak the same language as those living there, on occasions not really wanting or even willing to integrate, that has created a kind of discomfort and disjointedness in some neighbourhoods.” Many people across Britain – from big cities to smaller towns – will have nodded along to Mr Cameron’s comments. I now live in central London, which I love, but there is no pretence that it is a community: it is the most cosmopolitan city state in the world and largely reflects the upside of immigration – a dynamic employment market and a diverse cultural scene. The downside is visible a few Tube stops down the line from me in places like Tower Hamlets and New Cross where the communities are far more fractured than South Ealing. These areas also suffer from the worrying, spreading rash of Islamism. Politicians’ consistent refusal to recognise the fractures and strains placed on communities by mass immigration has led to the voter on the street becoming more disillusioned than ever.
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Fortress Europe? There is a better way

Fortress Europe? There is a better way | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
Les Back: Sarkozy and Berlusconi's request to change the Schengen treaty shows them trapped by a backward-looking vision of Europe.There is a deep hypocrisy at the heart of the request by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy and the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, to make changes to the treaty that established the European Schengen area, within which people can travel without border checks. Addressed to the European council president, Herman Van Rompuy, and the European commission president, José Manuel Barroso, the Sarkozy/Berlusconi letter is critical of European immigration policy and lobbies for greater powers for member states to control their borders.We are living in the age of migration. It is not just that people are more mobile than at any other point in human history. Borders and checkpoints are also moving. The debate about Schengen is perhaps the best illustration of moving borders. While the integration of Europe has facilitated great freedom of movement inside the Schengen area, it has also hardened and given greater significance to the line between "integrated Europe" and the rest of the world. So, abolishing Europe's internal checkpoints had the result that the border of the Schengen zone took on a greater significance. However, the walls of fortress Europe have been reduced to ruins by the technologies of mass transportation and the accessibility of information through the internet and mobile phones. This is what lies behind the intervention of Sarkozy and Berlusconi.

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Vancouver school bureaucrats unleash bizarre theories on race and culture

Vancouver school bureaucrats unleash bizarre theories on race and culture | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
The Vancouver School Board approved changes to the district’s “Multicultural and Anti-racism Policy.” The changes, authored by Lisa Pedrini, manager of the district’s so-called Diversity Team, invent a new narrative in public schools, cast white people as villains and elevate political correctness to fantastic heights. And most importantly, create more work for Pedrini’s Diversity Team, a six-member troop of bureaucrats. The team instructs teachers and models lesson plans, injecting a specific brand of politics into public education in Vancouver. Team members target school libraries, concealing activism in euphemism. Last year they launched a book-banning campaign that, if adopted by librarians, would purge libraries of classic children’s literature (Dickens, Dahl, etc.) deemed racist by Diversity Team standards. The district’s head librarian opposed this campaign. The team’s most recent maneuver may be it’s most ambitious to date. The school district’s original anti-racism document, drafted in 1995, included common sense declarations of equality. It was standard fare for any public institution, aimed at discrimination and abuse. The new 12-page policy, penned by Pedrini and greenlighted Monday by school board trustees, replaces fact with fantasy. Pedrini claims the so-called “Racial Achievement Gap” between “racialised groups in Canada and their fellow White students… is due to systemic racism inherent in educational systems and society.” The solution? Eliminate “Eurocentric bias” from the classroom including “calendars and religious/historical holidays and history” taught from a “European perspective.” To summarize the Diversity Team’s position now enshrined in the school district canon: There’s no such thing as race, but the public school system is racist. Educators must be reeducated to reflect new district policy. European culture and tradition, upon which our country was built, must be purged from the classroom.
By Mark Hasiuk, Vancouver Courier.
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Paranoid' column clings to fairytale Canada

To the editor:

As a lifelong anti-racism advocate and the mother of a child who is now embarking on his full-time school years, I am very interested in what approaches to the teaching of pluralism and diversity the Vancouver School Board may implement in the coming years. Unfortunately, Mark Hasiuk brings no authority, no substance and no originality of thought to this important issue, only a paranoid, tiresome vitriolic style all too familiar from the "attack first, think later" pro-war histrionics that pass for journalism on Fox News and other U.S. media outlets. If Mr. Hasiuk hasn't heard the news that race is not a meaningful category of human experience, he really ought to refrain from writing op-eds on the topic. In a Vancouver built on land belonging to several Coast Salish nations, in a province built on the backs of African-American, Chinese and Punjabi labourers, a writer who still clings to the fairytale that Canada was built on "European culture and tradition" is a walking liability, while his rantings about the school board casting "white people as villains" and "waging cultural warfare" amount to pure mischief. I have already read Roald Dahl to my son and will encourage him to enjoy Dickens along with all the canonical greats of English literature as he grows older. It's the cartoonishly irresponsible rantings of people like Hasiuk I plan to keep well out of my son's way until he is capable of thinking for himself, and no longer vulnerable to the real harm they can cause. Unless Courier editors believe their readers are easily manipulable idiots, I'd like to see an informed, thoughtful and sophisticated approach to local issues by your columnists in future, particularly when they may have an impact on our children's education and their world view.

Rahat Kurd, Vancouver
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[Audio] Rock against Racism 1978 (UK)

[Audio] Rock against Racism 1978 (UK) | anti-racism framework | Scoop.it
In 1978, race relations in Britain were in crisis. The National Front was gathering power and immigrants lived in fear of violence. But that year also saw the rise of a campaign aimed at halting the tide of hatred with music, a grassroots movement culminating in a march across London and an open-air concert in the East End.On 30 April 1978, a crowd gathered in Victoria Park in London's East End. They had come from all over the country, 42 coaches from Glasgow, 15 from Sheffield, an entire trainload from Manchester - marching across London from Trafalgar Square to attend a special all-day concert headlined by Tom Robinson and the Clash. 'Rock against Racism made it cool to be anti-racist,' says Professor John Street, who has written on the relationship between music and politics. It was a message that resonated with Billy Bragg, then living in Barking and working as a bank messenger. 'I had seen the Clash on the first night of the White Riot tour,' he tells me, 'and I remember thinking that the fascists were against anybody who wanted to be different, once they had dealt with the immigrants then they would move onto the gays and then the punks; before I knew it the music I loved would be repatriated.' Red Saunders, a rock photographer and political activist said 'The lesson from Rock Against Racism, is that we can all intervene, make a difference and change things: nothing is inevitable.'
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/apr/20/popandrock.race
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