Monday, October 09, 2006
A recent CRE survey showed that over 90% of white people in Britain could not name a ethnic minority close friend. Surprisingly, a similar statistic applied to ethnic minority people also - few had any white friends. Ghettoes are familiar and known territory. However, the world is changing - I know that my children have made a range of friends through school from different backgrounds without prejudice. So there is hope at that level. For adults, it seems that more effort needs to be made to build and nurture mixed friendships and sustain them. And there are too many demands on their lives to break into new ground. Also habit plays a part - if they did not have mixed friends when they were young, they would find it difficult to make them now. I am also sensing that there are separate worlds, which does not help us build unity and diversity. We need to be conscious of our own prejudices to remove prejudice from society. We need to move away from the ghetto of the mind and the locality.