British schools shouldn’t teach the term “white privilege” unless they explain that it is a “highly contentious” concept, because it’s divisive and “unnecessarily antagonistic,” a UK government minister has warned.
Writing in The Telegraph, Kemi Badenoch, Britain’s equalities minister, said, “The intense focus on race over the last year is leading to an increased racialisation of issues and incidents across society.”
“Normalising the term ‘white privilege’ does not eliminate racism, it reinforces the notion that everyone and everything around ethnic minorities is racist and makes the majority white population more conscious about their race and exacerbates feelings of difference, creating a less cohesive society,” she wrote.
Badenoch quoted a recent report by the UK’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED) as saying that the term “white privilege,” far from helping to combat racism, is actually “stoking divisions and marginalising the most disadvantaged.”
Last week, the UK Parliament’s Education Select Committee said that the use of terms such as “white privilege” may be one of the reasons white working class pupils are persistently falling behind.
The committee said that its 14-month inquiry on left-behind white pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds had shown that “poor white pupils are far from ‘privileged’ in education.”
Considering these facts, Badenoch said, “We should not carelessly use skin colour as a proxy for disadvantage.”
The minister expressed concerns that the indoctrination of children with such radical concepts has been increasing in the UK.
The BBC, a public broadcaster that is supposed to be impartial, recently released a video designed for children claiming that white children have a duty to understand their “privilege” so society is “fairer and more equal.”
Badenoch said she has received letters from all over the UK telling her of the human impact of increasing radicalisation on the issue of race.
In one incident, a mixed-race Asian girl was taken out of school in Birmingham after she was bullied for “being white.”
In another, a mother complained that her 10-year-old son, the only black child at his Scottish school, was made to stand up at assembly and talk about his experience of racism to “educate” his peers.
Badenoch said the Conservative government will “set out a new, positive agenda for change.”
“Our approach will put belonging and fostering a shared sense of identity at its heart—focusing not on what divides us but on what unites us,” she said.
Lily Zhou contributed to this report.