Britain needs its own plan of affirmative action to stamp out generations of racial injustice and to stop the gap getting even worse, the veteran American civil rights leader the Rev Jesse Jackson has said.
Jackson is touring Britain to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech about racial justice in the US, which inspired people around the world and galvanised opinion to end segregation.
Jackson told the Guardian that successive British governments have failed to stamp out racial discrimination, meaning ethnic minorities have been denied justice.
He dismissed claims that enough people can succeed on their own merit without additional government measures to overcome historical disadvantages. Jackson said Britain needed its own affirmative action plan to overcome disadvantages passed down the generations such as lack of access to capital and being locked out of centres of power.
Look, I’m sorry, but we’ve our own method of dealing with this. It’s called sex.
We’ve integrated generation after generation of immigrants over the millennia and the way we do so has always been the same. People have sex with each other and their children are therefore of mixed background. That whole stew of mixed backgrounds is what becomes the British (or if you prefer, the English). The current inter-marriage (umm, well, these days, not really marriage but having children with) for Afro-Caribbeans in England is something extraordinary like 30%. That is, 30% have their children with someone (or someones) who is not themselves Afro-Caribbean.
It really doesn’t take that many generations of this sort of thing before the entire country is a tiny tad towards the cafe au lait colour and no one notices anything else at all.
And despite all this talk about how the British aren’t really very good at this sex stuff we do seem to have worked out how to use it to get along, as above.