Oona King

Monday, 30 October 2006 11:03

Does multiculturalism have a future?

When people ask if multiculturalism has a future, the short answer is yes. But the question of how we secure that future is more complex than anyone imagined during the passage of the Race Relations Act 1976. At one level, multiculturalism is merely a statement of fact: many cultures living side by side. But minority groups also view multiculturalism as a bulwark against assimilation, a rejection of the cultural blancmange that inevitably discards their heritage in favour of pearly kings and queens.

Multiculturalism asserts the rights of minority groups to celebrate and maintain their own cultures and, more importantly, to access resources from a state historically riddled by institutional racism. Minority groups should view with fear and trepidation the backlash against multiculturalism, and the move away from identity politics. Or should they? In fact, a move away from identity politics may actually help some minority groups escape the segregated backwaters – or inner city sink estates – that confound attempts to achieve meaningful integration.

Published in Mixed Race
You are here: Issues Mixed Race Displaying items by tag: multiculturalism