If only Lady Susan Hussey had asked charity boss Ngozi Fulani, a Rastafarian whose parents came to Britain from the Caribbean, what her heritage was, she would have been on safe ground. Fulani identifies as being of African heritage, Caribbean descent, and British nationality. Unfortunately, Lady Susan uttered the forbidden, ‘Where are you really from’, and thereby revealed her white privilege, her unconscious assumption that people ‘of colour’ do not really belong in Britain.
Opinion has predictably divided into two camps: the one vilifying Lady Susan for her unconscious institutionalised racism, the other vilifying Ngozi Fulani for being a professional victim and ‘race baiter’. There is, apparently, no middle way. Yet perhaps neither woman was at fault.
Lady Susan intended no offence, merely expressing a genuine interested in Ngozi Fulani’s ‘heritage’ (which obviously was not indigenous to these islands – I use the term in its strict ethnographic sense); and, being unversed in critical race theory, expressed her curiosity in the first words that came to hand.
Ngozi Fulani, on the other hand, was right to be offended. Ngozi’s childhood experiences of growing up in London in the 1970s and being the butt of racism, of real colour prejudice, like being denied entry to a house where her friends were playing (her mother took her for a meal instead to make up for the disappointment), or her teacher recoiling in horror on accidentally brushing against her, have understandably left her bitter. Feeling rejected by white society, she took refuge in her Caribbean and African roots, immersing herself in Rastafarianism and Reggae, in African dance and drumming, and taking a Master’s in African Studies. It is hardly a surprise that any intimation that she does not really belong here re-opens all those wounds.
But what ensures Caribbean blacks of today do not really belong here, and perhaps never will, is not the racism endured by the Windrush generation, but the fashionable liberal orthodoxy of multiculture and diversity, spiced up with critical race theory.
Instead of seeking to integrate newcomers and minorities so that they might share the riches of the dominant culture, the common culture, the indigenous civilization, of these islands (as the Huguenots and Jews were integrated in their day); instead of building a society in which a man is judged ‘not by the colour of his skin, but by the content of his character’, as Martin Luther King once dreamed; we are tarred by the poison of identity politics.
The indigenous population sees their ancestral civilization denied, ‘deconstructed’, destroyed, in an orgy of self-loathing by a virtue-seeking liberal establishment, while Caribbean blacks are condemned to designer tribalism and forever excluded from the mainstream. Meanwhile, the semblance of inclusion achieved by positive discrimination, whereby blacks are selected for preferment, or paraded on television, for the colour of their skin, merely invites ridicule and resentment by the rest of the population – even though few dare voice this in public.
It is difficult to avoid concluding that the only safe way for whites to avoid causing offence to blacks versed in critical race theory and nursing a sense of historic victimhood (according to which all whites are loaded with ‘white privilege’ and unconsciously racist), and thereby getting themselves cancelled, is to avoid all contact. Lady Susan Hussey should have gone nowhere near Ngozi Fulani.
Keep clear, stay silent, and bide your time. This is the new colour bar.
Welcome to multicultural Britain.