Inclusion. Diversity. Equal opportunities. These are some of the many things which have changed society. If it wasn’t for a conscious effort to include minorities and to give everyone an equal opportunity, we would still have been living in the dark ages. So, we have travelled a long distance.
The reason for this post is that I was asked a question by someone which made me pause and think. This person is still at school and lives in a relatively affluent part of the country. The question was, “Why, when you fill out forms, you have to declare what type of a British person are you? Is it not enough to say that I am British without having to tell them if I’m white or Asian or something else?” I explained that these forms were a means of checking that no one was being discriminated against but my explanation did not satisfy this young person. “Surely, by asking everyone to declare if they were white or Asian or black you are making a distinction and you are dividing the British into all these categories. Why can’t I just be British? Maybe, many years ago you needed to ask this to make sure everyone was treated equally. But this is 2014. Why do we need to ask a person to declare his or her colour of skin or where their grandparents came from to make sure we are treating everyone the same? Why haven’t we gone past this by now? And are we supposed to have different types of values too? If all of us are supposed to have the same British values then lets get over this and move on.”
I did not know what to say; maybe you do.
Similar thoughts have been expressed here.