This essay, on last week’s violence in Delhi, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece onaudiobooks) It was published on 1 March 2020, under the headline ‘The violence in Delhi is not a ‘riot’. It is targeted anti-Muslim brutality’. In August 1958, gangs of white youths began systematically attacking West Indians in London’s Notting Hill, assaulting them with iron bars and meat cleavers and milk bottles. One policeman reported a 300-strong mob shouting: ‘We will kill all […]
In the Old Bailey in London there is currently a trial that carries with it the aftershocks of the social fractures, institutional injustices and corrupt policing of the 1980s. Nicholas Jacobs is in the dock accused of murdering policeman PC Keith Blakelock, killed during the Broadwater Farm riot of October 1985. Much has been written during Jacobs’ trial about the agony of the Blackelock family in having to wait three decades for possible justice. Almost entirely ignored has been the […]
My Milton K Wong lecture, ‘What’s wrong with multiculturalism?’, that I gave in Vancouver earlier this month, was broadcast on CBC on Friday. I have already posted the transcript of the talk, in two parts, here and here. (The broadcast has been slightly edited to fit the CBC schedule; the transcript is in full.) There is a Milton K Wong website dedicated to discussion and debate around the themes of the talk.
Categories: Multiculturalism • Tags: anders breivik, british asians, british politics, broadcasts, clash of civilizations, cultural diversity, danish cartoons, europe, far right, french politics, germany, guest workers, immigration, islam, multiculturalism, muslims, racism, riots, rushdie affair, turkish migrants
This is the second part of the transcript of my Milton K Wong lecture that I delivered in Vancouver last week. I posted the first part earlier this week. The talk will be broadcast in full on 22 June on the CBC’s Ideas strand. The story I have told so far is of a Europe that is not as plural as many imagine it to be, and of immigrants less assertive of their cultural identities than they are claimed to be. Multicultural policies emerged not because […]
Categories: Free Speech, Multiculturalism • Tags: anders breivik, behzti, british politics, clash of civilizations, cultural diversity, danish cartoons, diversity, europe, far right, handsworth riots, isaiah berlin, islam, multiculturalism, muslims, racism, riots, rushdie affair, will kymlicka
The riots, David Cameron told Parliament this week, revealed a ‘deep moral failure’ in British society. It’s an argument echoed by many others, from Melanie Phillips to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The language of morality, and of moral failure, comes easily to the lips of rightwing politicians and pundits, being all too often a means of individualizing social issues, of pinning the blame on some of the weakest in society for the problems caused by public policy, social inequality and […]
I am writing a longer and more reflective piece, but in the meantime here are five quick points about the riots in London and elsewhere: 1 This is not a rerun of the inner city riots that shook Britain in the late seventies and the eighties. Those riots were a direct challenge to oppressive policing and to mass unemployment. They threatened the social fabric of Britain’s inner cities and forced the government to rethink its mechanisms of social control. Today’s […]