The Strangeness of Race

Is race an illusory construct we should eradicate?

My experience as a journalist has taught me that there are always stories to tell which can present a particular point of view without revealing the truth of the wider picture. It was just such a story, on what I felt was inaccurate reporting on the North London Broadwater Farm riots in 1985, which brought me into journalism in the first place.

My experience in life has taught me that far from black and white, the answers to questions of identity are invariably grey. What drives us towards the simple answers is the desire of so many people to have clarity and certainty in an uncertain world. In the end, the only thing in life that is certain is that life is uncertain.

As my career developed over the decades first at the London School of Economics and then the BBC, I recognised that there are legions of people who remain in denial on all sides of the so-called ‘race’ divide, who cannot help us heal the traumas of the past if they continue to live by the defunct codes

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