The BBC must end its addiction to divisive racial politics

The BBC is at it again, exposing a bias rooted in Left-wing politics imported from the United States. This time it has told parents to “check their bias” if their children only have white friends. One of the assumptions made by the corporation’s Tiny Happy People website – ostensibly a bank of educational resources for parents and children – is that any child who has a group of white friends must come from a home where “negative thoughts about foreigners” are openly expressed.

You might think it was a slip-up to be quickly rectified, but this isn’t the first time the corporation has indulged such drivel. Two years ago, its Bitesize website published a video by John Amaechi, an American psychologist, telling children that “there is nothing but benefit to understanding our own privileges, white or otherwise”.

They are practicing the language of Critical Race Theory (CRT), an American academic thought experiment that attempts to solve racial inequalities but, in fact, ends up exacerbating them. It centres on the belief that whiteness itself is the cause of many of the issues that we face – and thus to negate racism, whiteness must be diminished. Its full logic ultimately changes the fundamental question from “was this situation racist?” to “how was this situation racist?” The result is self-explanatory: we end up seeing racism everywhere, even where it doesn’t exist.

Such a dangerous way of thinking should be given no truck within a public-sector broadcaster with a duty to remain balanced. The BBC has pledged, through its charter, to “bring people together and help contribute to social cohesion and wellbeing”. That could not be more divergent from the radical ideology that seems to have captured New Broadcasting House.

Even if many of us have grown used to the metropolitan obsession with CRT, this latest advice takes matters to another level, for it is quite another thing altogether to bring its divisive language into the arena of parental advice.

Parents access these websites hoping for fun activities and helpful guides, not patronising and arguably racist language. Nor is it at all helpful for CRT to be presented as if it were established fact, like gravity, rather than the often unverifiable musings of a few academics.

Wouldn’t it be great if our nation’s broadcaster, to which we are all encouraged to pay a fee, played a unifying role for once? It could remind families that in this fair nation they all have a share in society, regardless of their colour, ethnicity or religion. If we focussed on Britishness and spent less time obsessing over our immutable characteristics, every community would be freer and more united.

In fact, I would encourage the BBC’s new diversity team (now that June Sarpong, its £267,000-per-year diversity tsar is departing) to read the Government’s Inclusive Britain strategy, which outlines 74 actions aimed at tackling racial disparities in the UK. It is built on the fantastic work of Dr Tony Sewell, whose report last year, while identifying many areas where equality can be improved, highlighted that a racial disparity is not necessarily evidence of racism.

Obsessing over race misses the bigger picture: that class, geography and upbringing all have far more impact on one’s life than the colour of our skin. If the BBC wants to survive, it should at least try to understand the country it supposedly represents.

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