Notes on: Cashmore, E. (2013) [1987]. The Logic of Racism. London: Routledge Revivals

Dave Harris

[This is an oldstudy and I persist with the terms used then and by the repondents themselves]


A local MP in the West Midlands (of the UK) says that prejudice obviously exists but argues that it is a matter of responses to change. Cashmore thinks that it is a desire for stability and order, and a response to the arrival of quite new neighbours 'with unfamiliar beliefs, languages and lifestyles'. The response has often been 'indignation… aggression' (2), to some extent a logical response, especially in the absence of the chance to think more deeply. People in the study all live in the West Midlands. There have already been considerable disorders related to race. The sample is divided according to those who live in the inner city with large ethnic populations and those who live in White middle-class suburbs. This provides different versions of the logic of racism. There is no universal system. The logic of racism 'is not a special preserve of any one social class, age group, or residential zone' (3), it is consistent and resilient, but it does need investigation.

The research was conducted in four housing areas, two in the centre, one working class council, the other middle-class residential area, and two outside Birmingham, one working class, one middle-class. The inner city working class area (Newtown) has been substantially redeveloped and now has 13% of its residents from New Commonwealth background or descent, and unemployment at 24%. The suburban inner-city area (Edgbaston) has unemployment at 4%,  largely professional residents and 6%  Asian population. Outside Birmingham is a council estate (Chelmsley Wood) with a small ethnic presence, 4%, and some residents moved 'for precisely this reason' (5). There is now high unemployment of 16% and it has now become 'what locals regard as a "dump estate)'. The other area outside (Solihull) is a classic White affluent suburb, a 1% ethnic population, low council housing, 4% unemployment and a large young population.

A resident of Edgbaston made a classic remark: 'it is very easy to be a liberal in Exeter' [quiet, pleasant, mostly White university town by the sea in the South-West of England] , and this was echoed by a resident of Newtown who complained about ethnics living next door, playing jungle drums all day and cooking curry.

Some think that familiarity has increased tolerance, however (a Solihull resident), and that the young are more tolerant. The research studied this view by splitting the generations into age groups, young middle-aged and over 50.

The interviews were as nondirective as possible. 800 unstructured interviews were completed over a three-year span. One issue is why racism persists and how complex it appears to be. It seems to be not just a product of competition over jobs or accommodation [see Rex and Moore]. It might have originated in colonial expansion, or even earlier.. A feeling of White superiority does seem to have persisted into the present and is demonstrated in this study. At the same time, there is a 'self validating property' to current racism (9) — current social conditions 'appear to confirm racism', just as slavery did, for example in showing that immigrants show poor aptitude or motivation which is then used as evidence for their incapability. There is 'continued validation from experience' and even individual exceptions do not defy the logic. Relationships are fashioned on the basis of these beliefs and this can set limits within which immigrants can actually behave, and encounters add to confirmations of the original suppositions, and in this way, 'both Whites and Blacks construct lines of reasoning, logic, fitting together pieces of information into coherent and consistent perspectives' (10). The struggle for him as a researcher was to expose a picture which was both 'intellectually candid, and, at times, politically repellent'.

Chapter 2. The scramble for houses — White working class.

An inhabitant of Newtown had been waiting for a long time for council housing and had seen recent arrivals apparently jumping the queue. She felt these injustices were widely apparent and widely shared. Housing is one of the most important divisive issues, one of the most visible, seemingly factual, and residents can point to their own examples of coloured people living in new houses.

Housing is generalised to argue that ethnic minorities are better off in general, often in an exaggerated way. This takes a pessimistic and exaggerated tone in times of unemployment and rising prices, and leads to 'mistrust and an aggravated sense of grief. Everybody else seems better off in some sense' (15). This is developed by 'observations, rumours and newspaper reports' to become a 'suspicion of preferential treatment… The primary generator of cleavage'.

There is a feeling that things have gone too far with race relations laws, that Whites are now considered as an underclass. That immigrants should do more to adjust to the customs of this country. That they are taking up scarce resources at the GPs'surgeries and in education, and being unduly favoured by the professionals [the actual examples of speech are really bitter]

These are examples of additional tensions which are as important as the sense of injustice, and outweigh any research findings that there actually are no signs of preferential treatment, but quite the reverse. Nuisance is a major debate — music, noise, unruly kids, sleepless nights, abuse, cooking smells. This is not just a general intolerance but there is 'a virtual consensus over the unbearably high decibel level many Black households… The round-the-clock aspect of the noise… Three and four day parties' (19) and immoral activity triggered by them. Of course houses are hardly soundproof and there is a fair bit of noise anyway from home improvement, arguing and traffic. Noise like reggae music symbolises massive and 'in their eyes destructive' changes. There is also fear of street violence, largely attributed to Black kids, the area is 'an ideal culture for youthful street crime' (20) with few facilities.

Some on Chelmsey Wood (CW) had moved there from Newtown, and saw the effects of relative isolation from Black people, and the fear induced from not relating to them. At the same time, although denying racialism, one respondent did say that he found aspects of ethnic minorities disagreeable [and in the process divided Black people from Indians and Pakistanis — the latter did not talk in one language or adopt European dress, were more separate, and had more smelly cooking. They were allowed to wear turbans and carry swords. He said he knew Black people who also did paki- bashing. He also said that rastas went around deliberately provoking problems. His wife reported that coloured and Pakistani kids took up far too much time in schools with their special needs].

Cashmore says that these are common concerns, especially the tendency towards cultural isolation and the retention of different values beliefs and behaviour patterns this is seen as 'an affront to White culture' (23) and effects particularly Asians. These only have an instrumental attitude to British society. Black people are seen as more content, but, at the same time more parasitic, sponging off the state, and supplementing their income with crime. Neither particularly want to assimilate, and both are seen as potentially dangerous in the future. A respondent in CW advocates much more forceful assimilation, including insisting that everyone eats the same food — but also parental choice if schools had too many coloured people

Again research does not back all these perceptions, of course, including that showing the over-achievement of Asian children. Although there may be some support for the view that the relative isolation from ethnic minorities in CW has increased fears, those with plenty of contacts in Newtown also have plentiful anger having perceived what they take to be preferential treatment. There is hope that the younger generation who will mix much more will become more tolerant. A particular respondent takes these views and bases them on their own experience of having European parents and, despite some early problems, finally becoming accepted. Similarly, a person of Irish descent took a more positive long term view, and referred to the willingness of UK employers to exploit immigrants both Irish and new Commonwealth. He sees this as partly responsible for the resentment of the older Black population

It could just be that some parents 'need to think positively for the sake of their children… [rather than]… take refuge in an outer city area' (26), or see city break down in much more general terms, such as urban congestion or lower standards of living. They tend to have much more faith in education. The Irish respondent cited above sees a kind of Marxist account at work in that everyone is now being exploited and the resulting resentment is quite justified. He also splits West Indians from Asians. Asians worked hard, bought a house, rented it out to their family, saved and bought another house or established the business, but West Indians were more happy-go-lucky, not at all inclined to start businesses and so on

They also interviewed a mixed family, White woman and Caribbean man and noted that 'culturally, Mrs Beech is Black' (32). So is another respondent who has also got deeper into rasta culture. They both commented on the extra sensitivity of Black people in these matters, their '"inferiority complex"' (33), their inability to laugh prejudice off, although they do experience an awful lot of [micro-aggressions], or as they call it '"poison"' from some individuals, who talk behind their back, avoid them in the street, their neighbours ignore them, their parents have cut them off, people tell their kids not to play with them, offer racial insults. One reports inter-racial rivalry with Pakistanis and particular problems of '"half caste"' kids [she has a fair bit of prejudice and resentment about their privileges themselves — they buy big cars, they run their own businesses, they cheat the social services and so on. They impersonate each other in driving tests, they even swap babies in maternity wards. They claim to be representing the views of the Black community in these thoughts.

CW people draw more on 'detached reliance on stereotypes and imagined fears…  folk history' (37) in the absence of direct personal experience and this can affect their contacts with actual people. Media stories are also important. Newtown residents are more interested in favouritism especially housing, some of which they have read in the press. They are often measured against personal experience of unsuccessful bids for social support. In both cases 'working class orientations to race our by and large forged by comparison' (38).

Chapter 3 A Loathing of Compulsion — White Middle-class

In Edgbaston, race relations 'are little more than a media invention' (39), especially for one prosperous White respondent. He blames the '"natural conservatism of the English"' (40) for problems. He is intolerant of those who do not work as hard as him, which makes him more sympathetic to Asians rather than West Indians. Minority groups have to become more acceptable themselves, however, for example in adjusting to the existing education system. There is a danger of overcompensating, especially with race relations legislation. Proper incentives to adjust should be developed instead. The intentionally jobless should be treated with far less sympathy — if they include immigrants they should be shipped back to where they came from.

People in Edgbaston are unaware of the reality of life in working class estate. Race relations are no big deal. The riots are something to read about. Images of emigrants are stereotypes. There are sufficient resources 'to avoid confronting race relations' (43), no need for scapegoats. Any actual ethnic minorities present in their areas might be 'perfectly decent folk'. The perspective of these respondents is 'as valid as anyone's', and might be considered to be common among decision-makers who lack experience of inner cities.

The main irritation is 'an ardent refusal to conform' (44), not to accept the rules that already exist in the White community, to insist on special treatment in wearing a turban instead of a motorcycle helmet, for example. There is an emphasis on the rights of individuals and their powers, and a scepticism towards group rights and the activities of '"do-gooders"'. Politicians interested in local votes are also treated with cynicism. The human rights of local White people are seen as being infringed, the 'law of the majority' threatened, contrary to British nature, a residue of an 'obtuse utilitarian philosophy'[with a bit of social Darwinism] (46). In particular, people cannot be compelled to change, but must be educated, and that includes immigrants who have to be '"educated into our reality and our laws"' (47).

This is simplistic in assuming that moral values are never contradictory. There are contradictions, however, in insisting on governments promoting single standards while adopting minimal interference, [no idea of tyrannous majorities who perpetuate out-of-date traditions]. Fears are expressed for the future of children if state intrusion develops any further, especially if it is like affirmative action in the USA. This respondent claims to know an actual Kenyan Asian who did adjust, worked hard and prospered, and was sceptical about race relations. He admits that for the majority of immigrants, there is unfairness, but thinks they are '"fair enough by our standards"'

Cashmore thinks that these views are 'integral to the middle-class perspective on race relations' (49), and progress will be achieved through individual enterprise, not 'a capitulation to ethnic needs, nor through government intervention'. One characteristic is to detach from responsibility except individual responsibility — for example it is OK to respond to customers by not employing coloured or Black people initially (or to staff objections in one particular case): 'virtually every middle-class [entrepreneur] agrees that staff and customer preferences have to take precedence over the more abstract objective of improving race relations' (50). Compulsion will not help, although a local businessman can see that things will get worse.

This is how 'institutional racism prospers when employers exonerate themselves with phrases like "it's not my fault"' (51). Letting existing arrangements stand 'are often based on racist images'. These racist images are often really negative — that Black people are inherently violent and criminal, unemployable, of low intelligence, liable to undeserved state benefits.

Some of the conflict turns on the reorganisation of education. Some regard any changes as anathema [even a Jewish resident who did not feel that teaching about the Holocaust was particularly relevant]. There was scepticism about African studies, and '"learning to play steel drums instead of violins"' (53), although a greater tolerance for teaching about other religions. There is a fear of lowest common denominators, based on the inadequacy of Blacks and their inability to catch up with Whites. This partly explains the popularity of independent private schools.

There is a fear of mixed marriages, partly because '"God intended people to be a certain colour, not half and half"' (54), or because social isolation is anticipated. Arranged marriages are unpopular, yet voluntary mixed marriages also arouse hesitation, more so for West Indians and Asians.

Many residents are aware of positive discrimination in the USA, and are '"very unhappy"' about it, seeing it as threatening meritocracy (56). This can be accompanied with an underestimate of the extent to which racism impedes progress, leading to a belief that market mechanisms will solve the problem. Some anticipate resentment at the ending of 'fair play', and feel that people should be encouraged to struggle to make it [sometimes based on their own experience]. This transfers to strong support for ownership, and a notion of personal autonomy, being threatened by government institutions.

The existing framework has served middle-class well and 'the commitment to it is unshakeable' (59). Many believe that the media have exaggerated race relations problems, although there is a recognition that racism has had an impact. Some even admit their own parts, although they tend to blame market situations. Change is seen as unlikely after so many generations. The middle classes see themselves as upholding moral values, but not perpetuating injustices — they just see the UK 'as a selfish society' (60).

Chapter 4. Coming to Terms – Ethnic Minorities

One woman had only been living in Newtown for six weeks and had had dirt and rubbish pushed through a letterbox, pellets fired at windows, and abusive conversations with neighbours. There been earlier abuse as well from the 1960s, including job discrimination, and other signs of low expectations, at least before the second Race Relations Act in 1967. She just got used to it in the early stages, but she could understand why some other Black kids got frustrated and angry. Now she turns a blind eye. Her husband had also been refused jobs, but just dealt with it. He saw some improvement in the younger generation. Both saw that racism was more subtle in the 1980s, and hostility by young Blacks is 'both predictable and reasonable' (65).

Others believed there is a need to acquire resilience without getting disheartened or aggressive, to change society from within [this is an Asian man], to persist, maybe to start their own business, to earn the respect of the host community. He also had experiences of severe racialism in the early days, graffiti, windows smashed, car damaged, attacks. He now stresses 'individual effort and achievement' (67) and is now somewhere 'to the right of Tory policy'. He also thinks racialism is just less detectable, but has managed to become relatively immune to it.

Cashmore thinks neither of these examples is typical, although the Asian man's ambition is shared by many others and discrimination 'as a spur, almost as a resource' is widely acknowledged (68), sometimes approving of past Jewish efforts. The Black woman also expresses 'some widely held sentiments' and sees the system as still very daunting even if more sophisticated.

Some Black people are making their way up through the professions, businessmen, teachers, academics and professionals. Some see themselves as middle class, able to live in Edgbaston, but always with ambiguity — one says there is no '"class rigidity among Blacks"' and it is still possible to feel an affinity with street kids. He is '"Black first"' (69). This person had a classic manual working class background, with some social mobility through education, and followed a classic 11+ and Grammar School route. He was able to break the stereotypes by overachieving and going to university, but even there, encountered obstacles at job interviews. He made his way once employed even though he is still in a minority and encounters people '"[who] won't deal with me because I'm Black"' (71) so he has a White girl upfront.

Cashmore also asked Daley Thompson, the Pentathlete how to deal with job rejections, and he said he would just deal with it by going back to jobs that required lower qualifications. This informant has the same stance, taking a lower position, or one behind the scenes if necessary, preserving striving for independence through individual effort. He also rejects government interference and does not see race relations laws as particularly essential. Discrimination is natural and racism will never end. Black people need to make their own efforts, including adjusting the ways in which they see society, especially Black kids: they need to be more ambitious especially in education, their parents need to be more motivated, they need to take a leaf out of the books of American Black kids. He is sceptical about affirmative action.

Of course there are problems and motivation is linked to achievement, competition is always for a limited number of rewards and 'casualties outnumber successes' (73) as this respondent acknowledges. He does think there is enough to form a '"vibrant young Black intelligentsia, a proud section"' who are prepared to mix and adapt and fit in, not adopting a radical posture as they do in the USA. He is just aware of the possibility that dissociation could take place in the UK as well as in the USA where the most capable Blacks became detached and turned into 'a Black bourgeoisie, whose interests had little to do with the overall interests of the majority of the US Black population' (74) [I'm not sure if this is Cashmore's or this respondent's fear]. This is not widely shared with the ambitious Blacks in Birmingham, however and this respondent is increasingly ambitious, partly inspired by Asian success.

A Runnymede Trust report in 1983 suggested that there might be particular problems with Black businesses who are too dependent on ethnic markets, but 'lucrative independence' and 'at least partial escape' is  enough to attract Blacks towards be entrepreneurs, and this is seen as a rational response.

Part two moves on to look at younger people

Chapter 5 Posing New Problems – White Working class

A local CRE officer working in the Newtown community believes that the younger generation are the only hope, that the older generation include too many 'hard-bitten racists' (79). The younger generation have  been born in the more affluent 60s and have not experienced the dramatic changes of deindustrialisation. However not all youths have identical responses and views or experience the same problems of adjustment. They also have different problems such as unemployment, which was high at the time [about 40% overall in Britain for the under 25's]. There will be quite different experiences for all middle-class kids who will be thinking about university and professions, instead of, say youth training. This will produce 'diverging thoughts on race issues' (80) especially if young people are 'flanked by Black and Asian contemporaries each time he lines up at the… Job centre'.

One Newtown respondent is unemployed and might be expected to scapegoat ethnic minorities, but does not himself believe that they are there to steal jobs, although he says that many of his neighbours believe so, especially the older ones and some people in this family. He thinks that '"youngsters of today, Black and White, are becoming more liberal"' (82) and gets quite empathetic with the rioters who are confined in certain Black areas and harassed by the police. He does admit it's difficult to make friends with coloured people because they have to be on their guard. He has no fears of stereotyped Black muggers or Asians taking over the shops and sees the need for more jobs and better housing [at one stage, Cashmore suspects that he might have read some sociology!].

Other respondents are different and talk about Blacks taking over, getting back at us for slavery, taking over shops, getting all their family in to live in the same houses [this is an unemployed youth with a criminal record], committing crimes, seeing all coloured people of the same, seeing them as predatory towards women. The views are not based on any actual analysis or close familiarity, but rather on 'a limited repertoire of stereotypes' (85) [some which are really dreadful].

These two respondents have quite different views although they have 'broadly similar circumstances', even family backgrounds, even similar parental views. But 'their actual experiences with Blacks and Asians are different' (86): the first has grown-up on a multi-ethnic estate, the second with a conflictual Black neighbour. The second one draws a lot from media images about race riots or unfair welfare claimants and 'has not been able to test out this knowledge, except in the detention centre' (87).

Just living near ethnic groups is 'an uncertain foundation' for tolerance, however, and in some circumstances like economic insecurity, proximity can promote racism, especially with older people who have had adjustments 'forced on them' (87). For children, there is 'ample opportunity to explore an alternative reality to the one envisaged by many older residents' [especially about some of the more stupid stereotypes like Black people having tails] (88). In less mixed areas alternatives are not so available. The more plausible beliefs may last longer 'such as those concerning White superiority, the 3 million jobs equation [3m unemployed, 3m immigrants] and the inevitability of conflict' and peer testimony may support it. Parental arguments are harder to contradict. But in multi-ethnic intercity areas 'enough material exists to stimulate critical reflection on parental perspectives'.

One young woman shows this tendency, and is able to tell her father that Jewish and Irish people also suffered prejudice in the past, and points out some of the contradictions in his views [he is one of those who quite likes individuals, but '"as a mass he can't stand them"'] (89). She found personal differences between Asians and Black people in terms of politeness or aggression, and found other differences once you got to know some Black girls. She says herself that her father is more prejudice because 'he lacks that first hand experience' (91).

It is important not to exaggerate proximity, however. Familiarity is not enough to stabilise relations and there are splits among the young on the grounds of race. Some White kids perceive 'what they take to be Black racism', sometimes encouraged by Blacks from other areas, or developing as kids approach school leaving age. One White youth describes it as 'a broadening of Black consciousness' (92) developing from a number of sources including their own observations, and realisations that they will face difficulties. They are inspired by Roots, [A romantic TV programme celebrating Africa before the horrors of slavery], a reminder of slavery and transportation and this leads them to reject White people and associate more with other Blacks. Asian kids do not do this so often, although they still isolate themselves after leaving school. White kids reciprocate.

Others would say that Whites develop exclusivity on their own by excluding ethnic peers, perhaps because they have racist ideas from their parents, or that they respond to media stories, or even that they are picking up on teacher racism. The cycle can be self confirming if there is 'visible confirmation that Blacks and Asians do not "belong"' (93).

In Newtown, daily personal contact is 'virtually guaranteed', however, and mutual tolerance, 'or even camaraderie' can develop, especially if, say the unemployed, see themselves as all suffering from government policy. In CW it is the opposite and the absence of daily contacts can even become a 'basis for open conflict' (93) [an anecdote is told where an individual White man assaulted Black woman and it escalated into a full-blown racial fight. Cashmore claims that 'conflicts of this kind of common' in CW (94), and 'ethnic gangs, including gangs of Asian youths mobilised and ready for action, are commonplace']. This is not common in Newtown where there is more of a 'vague coalition… The perception of common conditions and, possibly, shared destinies'.

Overall, living in the in the city with multi-ethnic populations seems to have 'an appreciable effect' on perceptions and relationships with ethnic groups. Sharing a sense of relative deprivation 'leads to an empathy, even to a sense of unity among ethnic groups'.

Chapter 6. The Keys to Tomorrow – White middle-class

There was a surprising support for the National Front in a mock election in a school in Edgbaston, explained away as '"casual racism"' (95). It did raise questions about what middle-class youth were thinking, arguably 'the single most important aspect of race relations' (96), as the more likely decision-makers of the future. It would be a mistake to think that they are free of prejudice. Some kids saw the vote for NF simply as anti-authority rather than a vote for racism. One, about to go to uni, shared many of the attitudes of the elders in Edgbaston, that conflict has been exaggerated except for isolated incidents, that past race riots had been protests against the police, or frustrations of unemployment, not really racially motivated. The media had exaggerated in blowing up the instance and giving Black kids a bad image. He saw access to benefit as about the same for Whites and Blacks, and the same with job chances, although he admitted he doesn't really know any Black kids, only Asians.

Another kid did think that immigrants had to learn to respect the values of the host country, for example not talking their own language. He did not see any deep discrimination, and in fact saw that migrants get things done for them, without paying in the benefits. His friends hated Blacks and Asians and he learn from them. They were arrogant towards them. The media and the CRE were responsible for exaggerating the impact of racism.

Neither youth had much experience of diversity and relied on the media even while condemning them. Other than that parents applied additional information, including personal experience of selling houses to Asians. At the moment they suffer from the 'middle-class melody of underexposure' to the world outside of Edgbaston (100).

There is a heavy emphasis placed on individual motives, 'consistent with the Protestant – capitalist ethos' (101) applied to race relations. There is a perception of increasing racial separation at the secondary school level. There are anecdotes of separation and failure to integrate, including building mosques and temples, or insisting on time to pray during work. Sacrifices should be made. The majority should prevail. Asians are as ruthless employers as White people. Asians have clung on too long to their traditional culture and this creates resentment, West Indians have adapted too readily to rasta culture and this has made them arrogant and wanting to cause trouble.

This clearly blames the minority group, and preserves an us and them distinction [this is a young female young resident of Edgbaston]. Resentment is caused if roles are reversed and advantages or favouritism extended. This is a 'benign and simplistic conception of race relations' (103) overall. Problems are exaggerated and mostly lie with immigrants themselves, and there is nothing wrong with the British way of life, notions are never really tested out on reality unlike with the working class counterparts. Parental values seem more resilient.

Edgbaston does have a relatively large number of ethnic minorities although they might well be unrepresentative — affluent business people, mostly Asian, and probably more assimilated, perhaps retaining traditional values in private. Edgbaston youth probably sees ethnic people as more likely to want to assimilate as a result, and see a success for assimilation.

This is not the case in Sollihull where 'perceptions and attitudes of youth… have a sort of textbook attitude, flavoured with guesswork' (105). Solihull is relatively isolated, by a market mechanism, and a kind of generational succession. Youth in that area often are expecting to go to university. They disagree on the effects of education — privately educated kids are seen as really prejudiced by one. For the other, the claim is that you could be colourblind, so race relations emphases are exaggerated, and other factors are just as important, such as poverty, or harassment by the police. Welfare provision is seen to be quite generous. Asians are blamed for their own isolation due to their own religion. The future is not seen as multicultural, but this increasingly segregated. There is an awareness that lots of people resent hard-working and socially mobile Asians, especially the older generation.

For the colourblind one, the real problem is material deprivation, almost a Marxist analysis, Cashmore suggests. He has got there because he is so detached and because he is well educated and critical. He cannot grasp the reality of racism and sees it merely as 'convenient fabrication of the police force to tighten its grip' (109). His view is in conformity with some working class Newtowners and some Marxist commentators.

The other one, racism is something separate and she identifies her parents as racists and opposed to anything that strange. She thinks it will die out. Neither see the pressure that working class people experience. Both are able to detach and analyse. The second one has experienced racism at [private] school, but it is rare in Solihull. Nevertheless, these two have the best consistent and analytical arguments, they have been spurred on 'to greater objectivity' (110). And there is this strange complementarity with the perspectives of working class kids in Newtown.

Chapter 7. Crawlers No More — Ethnic Minorities

The composite picture of Black youth in the mind of the older White council estate tenants is someone who is unemployed, perhaps voluntarily, engaged in illegal activity and reluctant to integrate, pursuing an alternative lifestyle involving parties or drugtaking. The thing is that 'a good deal of older Blacks and members of the middle class have similar ideas' (110). Black youth has been demonised, seen as the source of central social problems.

Black youth do not see themselves 'as congenital misfits prone to long spells of idleness and a talent for the criminal life' (112), nor as social problems. They are victims of systematic discrimination which is rarely acknowledged — denied constructive employment, emasculated as Black people. Rastafarianism is important. There is a history of enslaving Blacks and exploiting them, and after slavery ended, less obvious methods of control were developed meaning racism and discrimination. [Just like CRT really].

One youth has been in detention centre and prison a couple of times and wears dreadlocks, speaking Jamaican patois and Brummie. He expounds the rasta view [112 – 3], left school early, worked as a trainee but then left because he didn't want a low level job, became a dropout, left home, stole cars and other things to earn money. He is an unsuccessful thief. He has a general view that White people expect Black people to do the dirty jobs and punish them if they don't. Successful Black people join in. As a result, there is disunity, '"Blacks against Blacks"' (114). Even fellow White dropouts and prisoners are unreliable friends, while Black ones stick together and fight back. The police encourage segregation. The system is called Babylon, to 'denote captivity and repression' (115), not changed since the 15th century Portuguese colonies. 'The basic power relationship between Blacks and Whites has remained intact for years' so social changes have not ended the asymmetry.

Not all White people are 'bastards', but most are, even false friends. The working classes are split on racial lines which makes them easy prey. However, the respondent sees some signs of unification, nevertheless, for example in Newtown. However, nearly all his examples are pessimistic, for example one White person who really established friendship with Blacks and adopted Black culture, but then disowned the respondent in prison.

The respondent acknowledges that his views have been affected by living in a rough area. He sees Black youth more than any other group as victims, with schools and then the job market as the main sources of discrimination and negative classifications. Black youths are forced into alternatives, often on the street and there they attract negative police attention. It is no good telling Black youth to pursue an education or to find a better job because racism is integral, constantly confirmed. Rastafarianism has been a major source of confirmation and is now 'has purchase for a great many Black youths' (118). This respondent is an example of downward mobility, even further from the poor family that arrived as immigrants in the 1960s.

An Asian informant in Edgbaston has been much encouraged to do well at school and go to university and then enter the professions. Her parents were middle-class already (medicine). She was heavily protected during her teens, and sheltered from racism. She did meet it though at school, and thinks that lots of middle-class people are racist even though they do not realise it. She has examples of when it has come out in conversation and people reminded her that she is different: however, she has also experienced generalisations about Black people followed by rapid attempts to exempt her (121) ['"yeah, but you're different aren't you."'].

One result is 'a kind of inverse racism', parental disliking for going with White boys, even more dislike if she went with Black boys. However, the new generation is different, although she did meet people at her sister's university '"who really hated Whites for the way they'd been treated by them"' (122). She prefers them to people who will crawl to White people, however, 'preoccupied with gaining acceptance' [maybe her parents]. She sees the answer as combating racism early, at schools, with infants, learning about other people's culture. She expects racism in other areas of Birmingham to be even worse.

Both people are aware that racism has affected their lives, even the successful female, and will continue to do so. Others find it difficult to identify with either 'the White majority nor an ethnic minority' (124). They think of themselves as a potential majority. One who calls himself half-caste felt unwelcome by both Indians and White kids. He thinks '"Indians must be the most prejudiced people in the world"' (125), they won't mix, there always want to get on, starting their own business, or working hard at school. He has also been racially abused and assaulted by White kids. He is not ashamed of his identity, and seems content to just keep in touch with Indian kids, not actually join in fully [he lives in CW]. There are a number of other ethnic youths 'deliberately not identifying with their own minority' in order to survive (127). This respondent does not want to identify with bigots and takes a much more balanced view. 'He has taken stick from both groups, but mostly from Whites' (128) and sees colour as an obsession with White kids.

So all three see racism as permanent, not in decline, still deep, unable to manifest itself again. The arguments are 'reasonably well-informed' (128) and they are ambitious. They do not over dramatise although they may exaggerate. They provide the most 'authentic material out of which we should be building that future' (129).

Part three Perspectives in Later Life

Chapter 8 As Communities Crumbled – White Working class

The elderly are the most vocal and opinionated group because they witnessed the most dramatic changes, not only the world war, but the 'complete ruination of their neighbourhoods since' (133). Their communities have been destroyed. Self-seeking individuals have moved in trying to get housing on new estates, insulating themselves from neighbours, ending the feeling of connectivity. 'These are sites of abrasive individuality' (134). [Newtown]. Some people like the vertical streets, but not the elderly.

Housing is symbolic for them. Ethnic minorities are seen as the key agents in the destruction, especially the young ones. They fight back through residents' associations or one-person pressure groups, but see the neighbours as often '"frightened of the coloureds"' (135). They have personal stories of abuse of welfare and think the ethnics have been privileged at the expense of the Whites. One respondent in particular worried about standards on behalf of her daughters and related lots of stories of abuse from Black people, even children and these 'are to be taken seriously' (137 ) even though some of them have been acquired 'through the Newtown grapevine'. She cites apparently prejudiced statements by local councillors, and changes in laws and rules, including turbans again, or exceptions to school uniform, or seeing Black people in government training centres. Pakistanis do not speak English and fail to conform. Black youths play loud music with '"jungle drums"' — and one indeed apparently was evicted. She talks of '"vigilantes"'. This respondent has 'a veritable army of admirers' (140). She was nostalgic for the community spirit that used to be there, and partly blames the British people who have not ensured proper equality of treatment, through[unfair] things like the Race Relations Board as she still calls it.

Another respondent reports feeling unsafe, threatened by '"race trouble". The old housing was a slum, but people coped. The new estate was taken over by Blacks and Asians who brought with them '"the noise and the muggings"' (142). She pleaded to move but was unsuccessful, and saw more and more immigrants arrive with more and more noise and violence. She claims to have witnessed poor behaviour including theft, which no one dared report. Cashmore thinks this is 'based on a highly selective perception', including an overestimation of the numbers of immigrants in Newtown (143) but insists that her views 'have to be understood'. She has witnessed considerable change which has 'engendered a sense of insecurity… Compounded by first hand experience' [which she relates in the form of apparent observations of theft, including personal assault including sexual assault, stabbings, kids running wild at school, protection rackets, ineffective policing practices at school, Asians sticking together to employ other relations, 144 – 5]

Personal safety is one level of anxiety, added to those concerning housing and employment and education cuts. These are 'understandable' misconceptions (146). The respondents know nothing about the history of immigration or actual housing policy. She just sees that ethnic minorities got a better deal 'at her cost', and that White people are frightened to protest because they might be called prejudiced. She has had a rough time, and will not accept that ethnic minorities 'often have an even more raw deal'.

The elderly in CW are less numerous, and have often lived in other areas of Birmingham, and have often experienced the same changes in ethnic composition in the inner city. They can afford to detach themselves and be more analytic, however, since the issues are less immediate. In some ways they are 'not considered issues at all' (147), and race relations is seen as an academic matter. Many are [White flighters], however, mixed with a desire to leave industrial surroundings [it is specifically called White flight on 148]. CW attracts few ethnic minority families and provides a relatively safe home. The flight has been facilitated by 'complicated and frequently confusing criteria' operated by Birmingham's Housing Department, and 'racist fears may or may not be a motivating factor' (149).

Fear does not seem to be the major inspiration for views of race, not even for the accepted view of moral decline. Respondents would be happy to have ethnic minorities provided they were 'like myself', and West Indians are seen as more likely than Asians to adapt. They do have adverse views about Black people, such as that '"they've got a chip on their shoulder"' and are responsible for their own misfortune, or that they are more responsible for robberies and muggings. They also accept there is discrimination [this is based on personal experience working in an engineering company]. There is disagreement about whether this is their own fault, whether it's because they are always considered to be inferior, or whether Birmingham has just been swamped, especially in its schools. Even more tolerant respondents agree with this. One respondent said that even the successful West Indians are pressured into an oppositional posture.

One respondent thinks the prejudice will diminish with the younger generation, but not in her own case, and she favours geographical segregation. Others talk of voluntary repatriation or distribution around the country. [Apparently Birmingham tried this by dispersing Black families throughout Birmingham in council dwellings, but abandoned it in 1975].

Living away from the inner city does not diminish these respondents' views about the importance and sanctity of British culture, nor the threat imposed to it. They do acknowledge a personal element, nearly White flight. They do not encounter ethnic minorities themselves, and so rely on media reports and testimony relatives. There were race riots in Birmingham in 1958, and this would have affected these people. Large increases in numbers also had an effect, especially when housing became scarce. There is a feeling that they had given most in the war and now they were competing with an alien group, who had always been regarded as inferior, partly because of popular fiction of the day. As a result there is a 'subdued ever present resentment' (156), more detached than those who live in the city, less likely to blame the ethnic minorities themselves, but more likely to blame the political parties for failing to control immigration.

Chapter 9. A Natural Equilibrium – White Middle-class

The elderly middle-class think it might be too early to judge. They are comfortable, and suspicious of any attempt to interfere with a natural progression, preferring 'imperturbable equilibrium' (157) punctuated by occasional unfortunate conflicts based on misunderstandings. It may take a thousand years or several generations, just as problems of immigration did in the past. Ethnic minorities will gradually abandon any distinctive features. 'There is no room for diversity' and no need to integrate different cultures (158), and those who argue for diversification are mistaken — like Jesse Jackson. They should '"do as the Romans do"' (159) and race relations is misguided. It is all a matter of conscience. Ethnic groups themselves have made things worse, and so has the conservatism of Whites. Government strategy to use the law is misguided and impossible. This is 'the consensus view of the elderly middle-class, and it reflects the members own backgrounds to an extent'.

One respondent started as an engineering business, began life in an area of Detroit which became a Black ghetto. He did employ West Indian girls in West Bromwich, but found that they would '"suddenly get a chip on their shoulder and they leave"' (160). Indians were good business people but exclusive. He has opinions of West Indians as '"lazy layabouts"', lacking drive, content to accept a lower standard of life, although their children are likely to have higher expectations. Other minorities run willing to toe the line [Sikhs and turbans again]. Lots do not want to integrate like the Chinese. The children all want to look [dress] different. Skin colour is offensive. We try too hard to help and have been too lax with immigration. Now the British are being discriminated against themselves by race relations law, which just will not work. Many middle-class residents would find this objectionable but others will endorse it. Cashmore thinks that 'the tone and thrust… speak in a general sense for the middle-class' (162) especially in the faith in drive to bootstrap up the social ladder, willingness to integrate.

This is 'common amongst the middle-class. Diversity is discouraged; successes often seems contingent on conformity' (163). Race relations laws will only erode civil liberties, and the civil liberties of ethnic minorities are not considered. [The employer says that he often discriminates on behalf of his workers, to keep them happy]. Those have made their own careers are particularly forceful rejecting government interference.

Another respondent stresses this and argues that the White English male is the only one '"who has no rights now"' (164). He has worked abroad and has actively tried to adapt, and is intolerant of traditional groups. He is very critical of the Race Relations Acts, and is afraid that they will restrict his judgement in picking the best candidate. Equality legislation is seen as pushing new rules onto business practice. Their own careers show the success of free enterprise unfettered by any similar obligations: 'it was almost a case of habits of a lifetime being bludgeoned to appease a few soppy liberals in the House of Commons' (166). However, there is a contradiction in the consensus about the need for more restrictive legislation to deal with immigration, law instead of laissez-faire. There is no sympathy with the argument that we should compensate for Empire or for debts incurred during two world wars. There should be tighter requirements, the need to be able to make a contribution, for example, not scrounge off the state, a need to balance.

As the problems are different, race relations is seen as inflating the issues, exaggerating the crisis, creating problems, undoing the gradual progress. The main worry is that cultural diversity will threaten the homogeneous world in which they have prospered, attack free enterprise, paralyse productivity. There is care to 'distinguish between different ethnic groups and to evaluate their contributions accordingly', however (169).

The example of the Jews 'would be an object lesson for the ethnic minorities' (170), overcoming anti-Semitism and yet becoming highly successful. Middle-class Jews do feel a certain empathy with minority groups based on their understanding of racism. One Jewish respondent in particular can identify with the immigrants and the problems they have with traditional dress. However, he identifies most with Asians, less so with West Indians [he also reports a Jamaican girl working with him who does not like Asians and says that they smell. He also noticed prejudice against the Egyptians in the war]. He reports that Jewish kids were taught to adjust, to pass, but now they are more confident to wear their own clothing — this is seen as '"sheltering behind the coloureds"'. He did think that English tolerance would overcome tensions, but he does not believe it now. Determination to overcome adversity and perseverance is essential, and banging on about deprivation is only an excuse.

Another Jewish respondent agrees that meritocracy will have to prevail, and that people will get used to seeing people with different skin colours. This one lives in Solihull. He has not been particularly exposed to crude racism and thinks it is just a matter of lack of familiarity. He sees '"a fine line between discrimination and preference"' (174), meaning that it is hard to prove the former: even perpetual discrimination is not a particular problem, and ethnic minorities can form their own associations, as Jews do. This may be an underestimation, Cashmore thinks. This respondent also distinguishes between anti-Semitism and anti-Jewishness, seeing the former as hatred and the latter as preference again: it might be the same with coloured people, that racism in fact might just be preference based on familiarity. This is why attitudes will change.

Again these values have proved successful. There has been a balance of contribution and benefit. It is unwise to upset this balance to overload the system or to favour non-contributors [very similar to the conclusions of the East End study]. Asians get a more favourable impression than West Indians here, as long as they adjust culturally, and they will, in time.

Chapter 10 Swallowing the Bitter Pill – Ethnic Minorities

Some Black people are also convinced that racism will not disappear, including early immigrants. One distinguishes between prejudice about colour and actual victimisation, a bit like the difference between anti Jewishness and anti-Semitism. She she has had equal problems with 'her own people' from being a single parent. She distinguishes between what might be seen as personal and institutional racism, and sees the former is not particularly dangerous and not particularly confined to Britain [there is colourism in Jamaica] institutional racism is more anonymous and can be disguised — personnel department staff are not racists nor a trade union shop stewards, but routine practices in employment still discriminate because each group has to consider the others and assume they are racist. This sort exists in schools hospitals, housing, and 'virtually any sphere' (181). This helps prejudice develop. The people at the top are responsible. It is all covered up with politeness and that makes it difficult to prove.

This respondent also talks about the common '"myth of return"', the belief that they would one day return to Jamaica. She is never experienced actual rejection. She is sceptical about the idea that Blacks have to stick together, and sees it is just an effect of being thrown together. She was surprised at first by the importance of colour, but not particularly defeated by. She is bitter against institutions rather than White people. Other older migrants are 'more content' (183). English racism has just seen the stupidity at first and is getting better.

The generations are divided by the police, and the second generation Blacks 'are generally unremitting in condemning the police as racist intimidators' (184). The older generation report never having been abused, but are sympathetic. Rastafarianism has not helped. They are not prepared to dignify it as a religious or political movement and see it as a lack of discipline, from parents and schools. The state and the media have opposed traditional family authoritarianism. Some admire Asian families for keeping a tighter grip.They see themselves as a' target for muggers'as much as anyone else (187), mostly by Black youths. This is a 'liberal extreme', however. .

Older members of Asian families have been the most disoriented with culture shock, including the technological environment and living in cities. They also had a lot of racist attacks and still do. They spoke little English and had to build ethnic enclaves. Despite considerable variation in the Asian population, they maintain ethnic boundaries and cultural identities in the same way — traditional religion, Asian dialects, traditional values. However, the younger generation might be changing and this will marginalise the elderly, and weaken the traditional respect for elders. As a result, some elders feel particularly isolated [the respondent here lives in Edgbaston which might not help].

The Asians were the first ones to be regulated by an '"incontestably racialist law"' concerning immigration. There was an atmosphere of hostility, but this particular respondents cannot remember specific instances of races. She remembers prejudice, but saw that extended towards '"the Irish and Scottish as well"'. She has learned to avoid areas where she is not accepted, and finally not to go out much at all. She's heard that the smell of their food is unpopular or that some people think they are dirty and has to admit '"that some [poor] Asians are dirty"' (191), but sees White people as far to intolerant these minor problems, and far too ready to blame Asians. She sees the problems of identities affecting grandchildren especially, and wants them to stay in Birmingham where there are some signs of Asian culture like mosques and multicultural education, and a greater tolerance of traditional dress.

Overall, she thinks her own past experiences toughened up and so racial discrimination 'is not a huge problem' (193). Asians get their own back by succeeding, even ordinary people. They do have to swallow a bitter pill. She is more afraid of '"West Indians"' especially rastas — she had some violent neighbours. Her husband has experience racist attacks, but she does not '"think the people who did it were like all English; they were idiots"' (194).

Cashmore says that this group all downplay the impact of racism and say is exaggerated, even by writers like him. They all claim to be a cope with it without protest. They are stoical. They know life is hard anyway. They make comparisons with the past, which is often more unsatisfactory.

Part four. Problem–solvers of the Future

Chapter 11. Multicultural Challenges — Schools

The headmaster of a junior school in CW says that everyone's racialist deep down but education can keep it under control and this is a common idea among other heads, variously blamed on a natural xenophobia or the imperial past. Others think that education should do something more positive to provide 'intellectual equipment to repel the ideas' (200), although there is still hesitation about policies. Multiculturalism and individual needs seem to be the preferred option, although there is no consensus about content or application of policies. The four areas here did reflect national patterns, that is 'a mishmash of different and sometimes contradictory policies applied unevenly and without clear purposes'.

For some the education system is a positive ideological support for class inequalities, a state apparatus, for others, it equips children to gain qualifications and thereby social mobility and to liberate themselves from ignorance and prejudices. This was the preferred option for policymakers of course, advocating equality of opportunity. Multicultural education was intended to reflect ethnic diversity and was originally seen to be relevant only in schools where 'more than 2% of children' were of new Commonwealth or Pakistani background, later '"substantial numbers"' of ethnic minority children. Predominantly White school populations are ineligible for funds, and directors of education see little use for multiculturalism, say in Solihiull. Other authorities have taken a more positive stance and see multiculturalism as relevant for all children, however.

Apparently parents in Solihull, in a school with less than 1% ethnic enrolment would see multiculturalism as a waste of time, even though the principle is good. Anyway understanding English culture is more important. Others argue for '"wider perspectives… [Preparing]… Pupils for the society and the country at large"' (204).

[In those days] individual schools could operate with independence over the curriculum and pedagogies anyway, as long as they were monitored, although that was uneven. They had pressing other needs, like language, sexual equality and special needs. No school in CW was planning multiculturalism. The issue was the size of the ethnic enrolment, seen as a crisis that demanded action in inner city areas — one school has a 95% ethnic enrolment, so multiculturalism can be defended just on the grounds of good teaching practice, eliminating bias, developing good parent teacher contacts, reflecting the catchment area. The same goes for predominantly White areas, though, although some heads still think their kids should be made aware of differences.

Some schools are deliberately colourblind and do not keep records of ethnicity. Edgbaston is particularly aloof and conservative, resistant to 'unwarranted interference' even with a 9% ethnic minority intake in one school — the head thinks that even those parents are looking for a traditional British education [it is an independent school]: this was confirmed by research on those parents who were interested in getting their kids qualifications and not multicultural initiatives. Few independent schools and public schools have multicultural education, often invoking this free-market model, whatever the future needs of pupils might be acknowledged to be as they go on to occupy key positions [Cashmore is worried about them].

In Newtown, one multicultural initiative involved pupils asked to depict a sporting scene of their choice for a frieze in the main hall: they chose cricket, but painted the cricketers with White faces — no one seemed to know why, but the head saw it as a bit of a failure for multicultural education. It might be that the aim of MC, '"countering racialism and the discriminatory practices to which it gives rise"' might be particularly appealing to White people, and that the best way to erode racism in racialism is not in schools but outside in the community. This would imply that it is White areas that most need multicultural education, where there are few other resources.

One teacher reports that a child in the class had referred to 'not wanting "wogs"' but had exempted his friends in the class, an example of a conflict between values learned at home and those encouraged at school. The same kind of exemption was offered by a girl at another school who objected to an Asian doctor but exempted her Asian friends, separating '"the stereotyping from the daily experience"' (211).

This prompts the general conclusion that 'racism is not a totally natural phenomenon and something we inherit, we are drawn to the conclusion that it must be learned'. There may be a propensity to prejudice, but this has to be converted into ideas and actions and this 'is influenced by social factors' (211). Sometimes there can be a tug-of-war between homes and schools, and there has been some research on the relative influences on this of racism, generally contradictory [one study is Hartmann and Husband of blessed memory, identifying community norms].

The category of race like other categories 'reduces ambiguity' and helps children order and rank. Cashmore thinks families are obviously going to be important. There is also problems on the streets in CW and Newtown, and the school staff 'are more adept at dealing with them' (213), including contacting parents. Parental obstruction is common, and many teachers realise that it is decisive. So are peer groups. Teachers in middle-class schools appear to be more fatalistic, but most realise they are going to have little influence and will be 'out of phase with parents' (216). Paradoxically, those with the greatest clash of values are likely to be in the working class areas, precisely the ones that offer the most multiculturalism and staff training.

Piecemeal change is probably not likely to be effective anyway and whole curricula have to be rethought and the attitudes, perceptions and expectations of staff as well, and their teaching practices. Teachers are resistant to change, unless forced by changes in their recruitment. Staff often still have little opportunities to understand ethnic minority children and still [then] had stereotyped images. Reports like Swann have recommended reform, but there is still a view that immigrants should adjust to British culture and diversity should be absorbed.

Multicultural education is far from being a panacea, and its influence is hard to establish. Education should influence future generations and they are a problem if they do not acknowledge change.

Chapter 12 The Wheels of the Race Relations Industry – practitioners

It is cynical name, but there are now many organisations focused on racism of all kinds. Cashmore has interviewed some of the practitioners.

One respondent is not very hopeful. The adults are a lost generation, and base their views on Blacks in the world not just in the UK. Racism is not susceptible to logical argument. She sees her job as focused on the elimination of discrimination rather than attitudes, and the promotion of equality of opportunity rather than multiculturalism or racial awareness. '"You can be a racialist but still not discriminate, because you have got no power to discriminate… We concentrate on the discriminator. You can be a discriminator even though you don't personally hold racist views"' (224). People respond to the racist views of others. Responding just to racism '"really is a misuse of very limited resources"' [she works in the CRE]. It should do law enforcement. There will be a backlash from Whites. There are always good reasons for not doing something, but there will be more consequences for disorder and disturbances.

The CRE needs more political power, say to affect teacher training — compulsory courses on racial awareness and stronger discipline to meet racism. More of a focus on predominantly White areas, more exposure to Black persons in authority. The media need to be radically questioned. There will be White backlash but it must be faced because racism brings with it too high a price. There are no easy political solutions such as socialism.

Another community worker agrees that there is '"a strong tribalism"' just beneath the surface, so that racialism can emerge when people are angry even though their work [in schools] is immaculately multicultural. Racialism must be positively attacked through legal reforms, reforms and police procedure. Older people however are beyond reach. There must be positive discrimination for ethnic minority group members, and political change itself will not particularly work, so capitalism [Thatcherism then]  is not at the root of it all. A common view is that 'individual human qualities determine the choices' (230).

The problem is in culture but that can be changed, through racial awareness, and social mixing at the personal level. Exclusive families including working class ones, and communities, can inhibit change. It is a tragedy that Blacks and working class people have not developed more solidarity, but that is the fault of trade unions. Gradual integration is more likely, with West Indians but less so with Asians, although the work ethic is more promising for them. Business owners and senior professionals should be encouraged by positive discrimination. Schools can help if they engage in cultural education, a universal education, although, paradoxically, this respondent also supports Muslim schools.

So, racism is 'an invariant quality of human culture' not human nature, something created learned and passed down through generations, it is somehow independent of political systems. It can be unlearned. However, prejudice is also easily reinforced and becomes established in the older generation. Universal education is required, including an integrated system of multifaith and multicultural curricula.

To some extent, it is just a matter of conflicting lifestyles [but we know how deadly these are these days], and unnecessary conflict is produced by jamming people together, say in tower blocks. However, social mixing will gradually produce tolerance. Individuals can destroy this process, however — an example is provided of a particularly recalcitrant deviant Black woman who annoyed everyone else and reinforced the stereotype. Stereotypes are readily applied to individual cases, of crime or moral laxity. Housing is a particular source of conflict, and allocation policies are misunderstood [one community worker says it is simply that Black people are much better at being organised and complaining a lot more effectively]. Cashmore thinks that even the practitioners have absorbed 'some of the popular ideas and beliefs' (238).

Another respondent thinks that all depends on the rate of assimilation. Asians are not prepared to assimilate, especially Sikhs, and West Indians have a different colour. Assimilation will also confirm White superiority. For this reason, it will never succeed fully.

So overall, there are a variety of opinions, affected by the background and experience of the practitioners themselves. They all seem to put faith in educational reform, but not all share estimates for sufficiency . The views are based on coping with practical problems, day-to-day experience, practical policies.

Chapter 13 conclusion – Politicians and Policy

There have been three Acts of Parliament devoted to race relations. One analogy is with medical ethics, which limit not feelings or thoughts but behaviour. Race relations legislation does the same, forbidding discrimination, but not racist thoughts [until recently, with the expanded notions of racism introduced by CRT].

Racism 'of some form exists in all classes, in all places and amongst all age groups. Its logic is persuasive because it is constantly fused with relevance' (243). If behaviour can be changed, perhaps norms will change as well, and there will be new pressures to conform [apparently Banton's argument]. However, evidence suggests otherwise, and lots of people think the government has lost enthusiasm with its new immigration policies and its local authority cuts [this was written during Thatcherism].

The 'natural course' argument is the response. Too much too soon has led to intolerance, and legislation is seen as imposing unfreedom, and legal compulsion will not work. Britain has been a successful melting pot in the past, but new immigrants are more entitled and this leads to resentment [confirmed by the East End study]. Life is unfair anyway and ethnic minorities should not be protected any more than anyone else is.

There is no need to introduce compulsory multiculturalism because that will be seen as unfair and intimidatory. The same goes for affirmative action. All areas should be levelled up [nearly]. Some politicians are advocating dispersal, even compulsory dispersal.

These policies underestimate the problem, for Cashmore. There is a rationale to racism 'beyond sheer prejudice' (253). It is significant to all classes and ages and geographical groups. It is not confined to extremists. It is pervasive even among the young it is nourished by economic downturn and disillusionment. Mere rectitude will not solve it. Institutional racism is a problem because it appears to be 'anonymous and abstract' and is supported because there are 'those who do not make moves to oppose it'. It is immune to race relations laws. Current policies only combat symptoms. Racism is not seen as morally wrong.

It will change if circumstances show that the negative stereotyped images are inaccurate. They may not do so. Racism is capable of turning even the virtues of targeted groups into vices — hard-working White people are considered industrious, but Asians working the same hours are seen as ruthless and unfair, and so. POC are condemned for both laziness and excessive ambition. This is 'genuinely felt'(256).

[A two-pronged attack seems important]. Better educated Blacks [less successful Asians?]. New forms of the logic of racism are likely to emerge, though, since empirical refutation and reasonable argument can be resisted — 'its power is in its self-maintaining facility' (256). Racism is not irrefutable, just deep and complex, not just associated with periodic depressions, not easily remedied by social mixing, or by better education. It can be discouraged, and maybe CRE needs more powers, but scepticism about the race relations industry must be borne in mind.

Causes rather than symptoms need to be addressed — 'White racism rather than… Ethnic disadvantage' (258). Racism is not 'an inborn psychological constant' [nor permanently embedded in institutions]. We do classify people, but racial classifications are culturally constructed and subject to 'the appropriate institutional and administrative conditions'.

There are powerful conservative forces which are widespread among all age groups and all classes. These inform racism not prejudice or hatred, not personal dislike, but by what ethnic minorities symbolise 'disruptive changes' {hence the different 'levels' of individual and group prejudice etc]. There is no necessary sense of inferiority.It is an intellectual appraisal' not an emotional reaction ( 259), a 'protective manoeuvre'. White people have been temporarily privileged and POC weakened by 'historical  and contemporary currents' and 'such positions are not willingly relinquished'.