Monday, July 19, 2004

Why, Some Of My Best Friends Are Black...

According to the results of a recent survey, that statement is not oft heard in the UK:

More than nine out of 10 white Britons have no or hardly any ethnic minority friends, according to a poll that reveals the continuing gulf between races and religions more than 40 years after the UK became a multicultural society. The Guardian has seen details of the survey, to be released this week by the Commission for Racial Equality.

It shows that a majority of white people do not share the bonds of close friendship with their fellow black, Asian or Muslim Britons, meaning they may lack the empathy that close contact can bring. The CRE warns this leaves swaths of the population open to believing the worst of different ethnic and religious groups.

The poll found that 94% of white people say most or all their friends are of the same race, while 47% of ethnic minorities say white people form all or most of their friends. More than half of white people, 54%, said they did not have a single black or Asian person they considered a close friend.

The solution to the problem? Government intervention of course:

Mr Phillips said integration could not be left to chance. He believed the government should fund US-style summer camp places for 16-year-olds where they can take part in activities with teenagers they would otherwise not meet: "In Britain we still don't know each other. We are not like Americans who do know each other but have made an active choice to live in a segregated society."

No word on whether the kids would be bussed to these camps.

My wife, who sent me the link to story, notes that it's no longer good enough that people can choose to be friends with anyone they want. They now must choose to be friends with the RIGHT people.