The Myth Of Black Britain

By Dr Rakib Ehsan

There are few things I find more annoying (and intellectually lazy) than the homogenising of groups on the grounds of a “shared” ethno-racial identity. Yet, it is commonplace in the UK, where phrases such as “Black Britons” and the “South Asian community” are used all too often in public discourse. Having been raised in the multi-ethnic, religiously-diverse town of Luton, it irks me how these terms are frequently used by politicians, public service officials, and (even more embarrassingly), academics and researchers.

This nonsense is also pervasive in the US, with the label “Hispanic” being the most egregious example. Prior to the 2016 US Presidential Election, it was almost an enduring refrain among commentators that “pan-Latino solidarity” meant a homogenous Hispanic bloc would reject Donald Trump and, in doing so, prevent him from being elected president. This proved to be complete nonsense, visible in the fact that the majority of Cuban-Americans in the swing state of Florida voted for him. Lumping this established bloc of voters together with Puerto Ricans, many of whom are far more recent migrants to Florida (not least because of the island’s debt crisis), is beyond laughable.


Read the full article in All in Britain


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