Category Archives: Social Engineering

Abolishing America: Biden and Bettina Love

National Review   July 30, 2021  – By Stanley Kurtz

Bettina Love during a TEDx talk in 2014 (TEDx Talks/via YouTube)

If you care about the battle over critical race theory (CRT) in the schools, you need to know about Bettina Love. The Biden administration recently got caught promoting a guidebook from her group, the Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN). The booklet asks teachers to “disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression.” Following that revelation, the administration disavowed ATN and claimed that touting its program had been an “error.” Almost certainly, however, Biden’s support for Bettina Love’s ATN was no slip-up. Bettina Love is all the rage among progressive educators (i.e., the entire education establishment), including leading members of Biden’s Education Department. Love may be less well known to critics of CRT than Ibram X. Kendi, Nikole Hannah-Jones, or Robin DiAngelo, but that is our mistake.

Love’s 2019 book, We Want to Do More Than Survive, is arguably the single most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to the ideology of the CRT movement in education. Diving into Love’s highly readable and stunningly radical book clarifies, and in some cases virtually decides, a number of live controversies: Is CRT just an obscure and irrelevant legal theory, or is it actively shaping educators and schools? Is CRT Marxist? How should we understand the Left’s new interest in civics and so-called media literacy? What is CRT’s attack on “Whiteness” all about?

We need to consider Love’s answers to these questions, not only because her book is an extraordinary document, but because there is no way the Biden administration can successfully disavow Bettina Love or her group. Love’s ideas are so popular with the progressive “civics” community — including Biden’s own political appointees — that the massive federal civics bills now pending in Congress will fuel her crusade, whether her group gets federal money directly or not.

We Want to Do More Than Survive, the title of Love’s book, alludes to a saying of Maya Angelou: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.” Who can argue with that? A more accurate title — say, We Need a Socialist Revolution — would have been a tad more contentious. Yet somehow the book manages to move from “thriving” to revolutionary socialism. The connection comes from Love’s life story.

Although her family was not religious, Love spent her early years in Catholic school. The nuns believed they were helping their students, but their rhetoric of colorblind liberalism left Love feeling cold and lost. (Today, Love views the nuns’ colorblindness as actively “anti-Black.”) Everything changed when Love joined an after-school program run by a leftist college student. Dissatisfied by tame liberal stories of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, Love’s activist teacher tutored his charges in the radical thought of Angela Davis, Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers. Love and her fellow students were being groomed as radicals, and, beyond a doubt, it worked. Till then, Love tells us, she had been operating in mere survival mode. Once she joined this small group of young blacks militantly resisting the crushing power of a racist society, her life turned around. At long last, Love was thriving.

The book’s argument pivots around this moment. Love brands standardized testing and the usual battery of education nostrums as the “educational survival complex.” That edifice of mere survival must be dismantled and replaced, says Love, by an “antiracist” pedagogy in which test scores and grades take a back seat to fighting systemic oppression. Only participation in a movement of societal transformation can allow our young people — and minorities in particular — to thrive, says Love.

Her book’s subtitle, “Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom,” supplies the name of Love’s “Abolitionist Teaching Network.” So, what does Love hope to abolish? Plenty. The educational survival complex must go, as we’ve seen, but also the prison-industrial complex, and pretty much every other pillar of the existing social order, including capitalism. Most especially up for abolition is “Whiteness.” At base, Bettina Love wants to abolish America itself and replace it with an entirely different system.

Love relentlessly attacks this country as a “spirit murderer” of minority children, and worse. Her book opens with an indictment of America by W. E. B. DuBois in which he suggests the need to abandon and replace America’s fundamental “goals and ideals.” Later in the book, Love quotes approvingly from the work of writer Robin D. G. Kelley to clarify her own view of America. Love embraces Kelly’s praise for that tradition of political radicalism that “cannot be traced to the founding fathers or the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.” Along with the Constitution, Love clearly hopes to overturn the “Eurocentric, elitist, patriarchal and dehumanizing structures of racial capitalism and its liberal underpinnings.” The unmistakable implication of this, and much else in Love’s book, is that her ultimate goal is the abolition of America itself. That is, Love wants to replace our constitutional system, and the classical liberalism that helps ground it, with a society built on radically different “goals and ideals.”

Along with America’s core political structures, Love aims to revolutionize our character. She disdains the efforts of educators and policymakers to instill in “dark children” traits like problem solving, zest, self-advocacy, grit, optimism, self-control, curiosity, and gratitude. Love considers education designed to encourage character traits like hard work, discipline, and personal responsibility to be anti-Black. In its place, she wants an education in civics, although not the sort of civics you may be thinking of.

Civic education that teaches children to “pay their taxes, vote, volunteer, and have good character” is rejected by Love as “code for comply, comply, comply.” “History tells us,” Love says, “that dark folx’ humanity is dependent on how much they disobey and fight for justice.” In consequence, Love enthusiastically embraces the practice of “action civics” (what I call “protest civics”), now all the rage on the left. Civics, to Love, means launching protests and acts of civil disobedience aimed at dismantling and abolishing racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, classism, mass incarceration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and, ultimately, the American system itself. So, when Love says “civics,” she refers to something utterly opposed to the original meaning of the term.

So-called media literacy is a big part of the protest-civics package, and Love embraces this as well. In fact, her faculty webpage lists media literacy as one of her academic specialties. Supposedly, media literacy helps students distinguish “fake news” from reliable information. In the hands of Love and others like her, however, media literacy is one more tool for politicizing students. Love’s writings prior to We Want to Do More Than Survive focused on “Hip-Hop-Based Education.” While Love grants that hip-hop lyrics may often send the wrong message, she claims that media-literacy coursework on the evils of our racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, and overly commercialized society can remedy the problem. With a little help from a good media-literacy curriculum, hip-hop can be converted into a powerful tool of political resistance, Love claims.

For Love, “civics,” understood as agitation for system transformation, is the very core of education itself. “Abolitionist teaching,” she says, “is not a teaching approach: It is a way of life, a way of seeing the world, and a way of taking action against injustice.” When Love lists real-world examples of “abolitionist teaching,” they nearly all turn out to be political protests: a mass student walkout to protest President Trump’s DACA order; the walkouts for gun control organized by David Hogg and the Parkland students (heroes to the action-civics community); school districts organizing a “week of action” in support of Black Lives Matter, etc.

Notably, after providing a long list of school-based protests, Love ends with an example of abolitionist teaching that has nothing to do with schools per se. She lauds Jackson, Miss., sometimes called “America’s most radical city,” for organizing a “cooperative commonwealth” built around “workers’ power, environmental sustainability, and socialism.” Here is where the politics that so obviously permeate her book receive a name.

Critical race theory derives from Marxism, but treats race as Marx once treated class. Love shows that the CRT-Marxism connection is more than just an historical “gotcha,” and also less than a total transformation. Race does function in Love’s framework as class once did for Marx. “Dark folx,” in her terminology, are the new proletariat. Oppression lends dark folx unmatched insight into the evils of America’s system, thereby marking them as proper leaders of the movement to overturn it. Yet capitalism remains a target for Love, and socialism is clearly her answer. We might call Love’s version of CRT, “race-inflected Marxism.”

But is Love actually practicing “critical race theory”? You bet she is. If you think CRT is just an abstruse legal concept erroneously used by conservatives to identify a contemporary education movement, you are mistaken. CRT has been a force in education circles for a quarter century. Love’s book draws on the extensive CRT education literature, and contributes to it as well. In fact, Love devotes an entire chapter to CRT, which she calls her North Star. CRT, for Love, is the indispensable guide to abolitionist teaching. You could say that Love thinks of her abolitionist education movement as CRT brought to life.

Love herself is a CRT trainer, using the theory to uncover the racism allegedly permeating every element of American society. Because it exposes and debunks “the normalization of the White worldview,” Love also recommends free CRT therapy for teachers. Educators — especially white educators — need CRT therapy, says Love, to understand why recovering from Whiteness is so hard.

Ah, “Whiteness.” Love’s book is a veritable font of knowledge about Whiteness and how to abolish it. According to Love, the white teachers who attend her CRT training sessions often feel uncomfortable. I believe her. There is no easy cure for Whiteness. Love condemns white flight to the suburbs, as well as white gentrification of cities. That does tend to reduce the options on your next move. Love identifies schools as “spaces of Whiteness and White rage.” But what precisely is her cure?

Love’s prescription for the abolition of Whiteness goes something like this: Whites must come to recognize that they are “living a racialized life and . . . having racialized experiences every moment of every day.” Only then can whites speak of justice. More specifically, whites must come to terms with the role played by violence in maintaining Whiteness. That, in turn, requires accepting that their successes in life are merely by-products of Whiteness, and of the violent means used to uphold it.

So, will recognizing all of this finally free up white people from their Whiteness? Not quite. According to Love, “White folx cannot lose their Whiteness; it is not possible.” Yet there may be another way out. Overwhelmed by the guilt and shame they encounter with the help of CRT, white people may ultimately get free of those emotions by acting in solidarity with dark folx in the fight for justice.

Even then, however, daunting challenges remain. According to Love, “Whiteness cannot enter spaces focused on abolitionist teaching. Whiteness is addicted to centering itself, addicted to attention, and making everyone feel guilty for working toward its elimination.” In other words, whites must act in political solidarity with dark folx, yet without taking over the movement. Essentially, whites must support the leadership of dark folx, while surrendering their power and position so as to make that happen. All the while, they must remember that their whiteness can never be truly transcended.

Some might call all of this bigotry. They would be right. In any event, Love’s approach is — very explicitly — an application of critical race theory to the world of education, and beyond.

The publication of We Want to Do More Than Survive in 2019 made Bettina Love a star. She may not enjoy the recognition that national bestseller status has brought to Kendi and DiAngelo. Within the education universe, however, Love is highly influential. Since 2019, she has been a regular contributor to Education Week, the forum of America’s education establishment. Her work now shapes “antiracism” initiatives and curricula at colleges and schools of education across the country, not to mention K-12. As a professor of education at the University of Georgia, Love’s book success enabled her to co-found the Abolitionist Teaching Network in July of 2020, and to speak and consult widely on its behalf since then. ATN, which essentially promotes the program and ideology outlined in Love’s book, held its first national conference earlier this month.

Love is also a favorite of the educators working overtime to press protest civics and media-literacy programs on every state in the Union. The anti-racism resource page at, the nationally influential flagship site of the Left’s CRT-friendly “civics” community, features one of Love’s Ed Week pieces, along with the very same ATN guidebook the Biden administration got into trouble for promoting. The creation of that resource page was supervised by Shawn Healey, now a national leader of the CivXNow coalition, the most influential backer of several federal bills designed to effectively nationalize America’s civics curriculum.

In other words, if Biden and the Democrats pass a federal civics bill, Bettina Love’s work — and the work of many others who share her politicized vision of protest civics and so-called media literacy — could soon be imposed on the states. That could happen whether Love’s Abolitionist Teaching Network is directly funded by the feds or not. Federal funding for her many prestigious friends and supporters in the leftist “civics” world would be enough to spread Love’s work far and wide. And again, Love, is indicative of a perspective broadly shared by leading figures within the leftist “civics” community. Nearly everyone promoted by the “new civics” movement will be on board with some combination of protest civics and CRT. Love is just more open than most about the nature of that shared agenda.

Since the Biden administration was caught promoting ATN’s attack on “Whiteness,” a series of reports from Fox News have suggested that, despite disavowals, that was no mistake. Top Education Department officials have ties to Bettina Love. The Biden Education Department clearly loves CRT, and that is the important point. The department’s supposed retreat from CRT in its priority criteria for grants in history and civics is smoke and mirrors. So is its disavowal of Bettina Love.

If congressional Democrats manage to pass one of their pending “civics” bills, it will be easy for the Biden administration to route that money to advocates who will not only push the work of the Abolitionist Teaching Network, but many other versions of protest civics and CRT. How, exactly, can Biden’s Education Department do all that? I’ll have more to say on that in the not-too-distant future.


Evidence of foolishness

Some of the comments attached to this article are classic. mrossol

Unherd  5/11/2021  by James Carden

Mask wearing and reverence for Dr. Anthony Fauci have become the twin pillars of Washington DC’s civic religion.

Consider what happened in the District earlier this month. Our mayor, Muriel Bowser, and the city’s public health officials decided that the time had come to lift the mask mandate. As of last Friday the city would allow fully the vaccinated to gather inside without a mask.

The order was rescinded almost immediately. The new order then went further, allowing businesses to ask for proof of vaccination. Even more preposterously the city has also enacted a ban on dancing at weddings (nor are guests allowed to stand during cocktail hour).

What exactly is going on here? It seems the thought of returning to some semblance of normalcy is too much for city officials to even contemplate. In DC the civic religion reigns supreme — even of course if that means not, in this particular case, following the science.

It is emblematic of the hyper-cautious attitude of liberals to the pandemic. Born out of a dismay at the former president’s cavalier attitude towards the virus, liberals in blue states like mine have taken their reverence for Dr Fauci to new extremes.

Everywhere you look in the tonier precincts of our fair capital one sees the posters and placards and pictures: ‘Thank you Dr. Fauci!’ A house I passed by in Georgetown even had its front door covered in pictures of the good Doctor.

There is something peculiar about the way in which this new cult of personality has arisen. How have we gotten to the point where the media and many ordinary citizens have taken to treating Dr. Fauci as a kind of divine figure, as an object of veneration and awe? After all, this is a man who said that he wouldn’t travel or eat at restaurants even though he’s fully vaccinated (CDC guidance says that these activities are safe for vaccinated people who take precautions).

[These are] Washingtonians who refuse to recognise that the time to move along from the Covid crisis is upon us. Following the science is no way to order a society, and it is an even worse way to order your priorities as a human being. Science is not, has never been and never will be infallible. The unctuous worshipping of an aged public health official and wearing a mask on an empty street in the middle of the night is not evidence of morality: it is evidence of foolishness.


Professor Explains Flaw in Many Models Used for COVID-19 Lockdown Policies

The much better solution for COVID is providing good, complete (at any given point in time) information, data, etc and letting people make decisions about their own actions. mrossol

The Epoch Times, By ANDREW CHEN  May 10, 2021


Economics professor Doug Allen wanted to know why so many early models used to create COVID-19 lockdown policies turned out to be highly incorrect. What he found was that a great majority were based on false assumptions and “tended to over-estimate the benefits and under-estimate the costs.” He found it troubling that policies such as total lockdowns were based on those models.

“They were built on a set of assumptions. Those assumptions turned out to be really important, and the models are very sensitive to them, and they turn out to be false,” said Allen, the Burnaby Mountain Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University, in an interview.

Allen says most of the early cost-benefit studies that he reviewed didn’t try to distinguish between mandated and voluntary changes in people’s behaviour in the face of a pandemic. Rather, they just assumed an exponential growth of cases of infection day after day until herd immunity is reached.

In a paper he published in April, in which he compiled his findings based on a review of over 80 papers on the effects of lockdowns around the world, Allen concluded that lockdowns may be one of “the greatest peacetime policy failures in Canada’s history.

He says many of the studies early in the pandemic assumed that human behaviour changes only as a result of state-mandated intervention, such as the closing of schools and non-essential businesses, mask and social distancing orders, and restrictions on private social gatherings.

However, they didn’t take into consideration people’s voluntary behavioural changes in response to the virus threat, which have a major impact on evaluating the merits of a lockdown policy.

“Human beings make choices, and we respond to the environment that we’re in, [but] these early models did not take this into account,” Allen said. “If there’s a virus around, I don’t go to stores often. If I go to a store, I go to a store that doesn’t have me meeting so many people. If I do meet people, I tend to still stand my distance from them. You don’t need lockdowns to induce people to behave that way.”

Allen’s own cost-benefit analysis is based on the calculation of “life-years saved,” which determines “how many years of lost life will have been caused by the various harms of lockdowns versus how many years of lost life were saved by lockdowns.”

Based on his lost-life calculation, lockdown measures have caused 282 times more harm than benefit to Canadian society over the long term, or 282 times more life years lost than saved.

Today, some 14 months into the pandemic, many jurisdictions across Canada are still following the same policy trajectory outlined at the beginning of the pandemic. Allen attributes this to politics.

He says that politicians often take credit for having achieved a reduction in case numbers through their lockdown measures.

“I think it makes perfect sense why they do exactly what they did last year,” Allen said.

“If you were a politician, would you say, ‘We’re not going to lock down because it doesn’t make a difference, and we actually did the equivalent of killing 600,000 people this last year.’”

You wouldn’t, he said, because “the alternative is they [politicians] have to admit that they made a mistake, and they caused … multiple more loss of life years than they saved.”

Allen laments that media for the most part have carried only one side of the debate on COVID-19 restrictions and haven’t examined the other side. Adding to the concern, he says, is that views contrary to the official government response are often pulled from social media platforms.

He says he has heard that even his own published study has been censored by some social media sites.

“In some sense these are private platforms. They can do what they want. But on the other hand, I feel kind of sad that we live in the kind of a world where posing opposing opinions is either dismissed, ignored, or … name-called, [and] in some ways cancelled,” Allen said.


The Report That Shook Britain’s Race Lobby

WSJ  4/10/2021

If you’re an American who worries that your country’s influence is waning, you may not be heartened to learn that it isn’t. After last year’s killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, angry demonstrators in Britain, emulating Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S., took to city streets. Some committed acts of vandalism. In the port city of Bristol, a statue of a local 17th-century philanthropist was toppled because he also traded in slaves. In London’s Parliament Square, the words “Was a Racist” were daubed on the plinth of Winston Churchill’s statue.

In July the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded by impaneling the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. “We decided to step away from the heat and all that vitriol,” says its chairman, Tony Sewell, “and just take a cold look at the data on racism.” In doing so, “we examined ideas that weren’t to be questioned,” namely “the race industry’s articles of faith.” In its March 31 report, the commission concluded that while Britain isn’t yet “a post-racial society,” neither is it any longer a place where “the system” is “deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities.”

As a result, Mr. Sewell, who is black—only one of the 10 other commissioners is white—has come under blistering attack. It ranges from the achingly predictable (a profusion of “Uncle Tom” accusations on Twitter ) to the grotesque. A Cambridge professor of postcolonial studies likened Mr. Sewell to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. A Labour member of Parliament suggested that he belonged in the Ku Klux Klan. Add in put-downs like “house Negro,” “token” and “race traitor,” and you have a picture of the liberal rage ignited by the commission’s refusal to endorse the belief that Britain is irremediably racist.

Mr. Sewell, 62, runs a charity that coaches black schoolchildren in science and math. “It’s a STEM pipeline program,” he says via Zoom from the study of his house in London. “It starts when they’re young and takes them up to university, using summer schools.” Thousands of black kids have been given a college opportunity they “didn’t have in the first place.” Yet he’s called an “Uncle Tom.”

He characterizes the abuse as “a sort of antiracism that borders on racism.” He also detects some desperation, “not only in black lobby groups but on the white left”: “they’re frightened of the report.” Since few ordinary citizens will read its 258 pages, its opponents have busied themselves spreading “distortions” in a bid to capture public opinion. He singles out the leftist Guardian newspaper, which published a sweeping condemnation by David Olusoga, a historian of slavery, who scorns the report as “poisonously patronising” and “historically illiterate.”

Born in London’s Brixton district, where his Jamaican parents settled after immigrating in 1957, Mr. Sewell says the country was harsh and racist, “harder than anything they had ever experienced.” He felt the sting of racism in his youth. But Britain has “come a very long way in the last 50 years.”

The report echoes that point, observing that “there is a salience and attention to race equality in the U.K. in policy-making, and in the media, which is seldom found in other European countries” and asserting that the success of much of Britain’s nonwhite population “should be regarded as a model for other White-majority countries.”

Mr. Sewell says his team was careful to take a “fact-based approach” to their examination of Britain’s racial questions. In an obvious reference to activists and lobbies of the left, the report bemoans the “reluctance” in Britain to acknowledge that the country has “become open and fairer,” and singles out for attention “an increasingly strident form of anti-racism thinking that seeks to explain all minority disadvantage through the prism of White discrimination.”

The report also questions the value of some cherished racial shibboleths: Do repeated assertions that the “dominant feature” of British society is institutional racism and white privilege “achieve anything beyond alienating the decent centre ground”? If every problem in society is attributed to racism, Mr. Sewell asks, “how can Britain ever be a country at peace with itself?”

The report acknowledges disparities between races in Britain. But whites aren’t uniformly at an advantage, and Mr. Sewell and his commissioners part company with the race lobby, which blames racism for all differences between ethnic groups in education, health, prosperity and crime. Instead, the report argues that many of these disparities arise from differences in economic class, geography, family patterns and culture.

Black Caribbean children perform worse in British schools than those of any other group. “For years,” Mr. Sewell says, “it has been said that this is explained in terms of teachers’ racism.” Yet black African students—“same age, same demographic, same classroom”—had academic achievement rates higher than those of whites. In fact, he says, all ethnic groups other than Caribbean blacks perform better than white British students, with the exception of Pakistanis, who are on par with whites.

Mr. Sewell says that you can’t understand ethnic differences in outcome—particularly in education and crime—without focusing on what he calls “family strain,” the effect of single-parent families. “This is the first time we’ve ever had a race report,” he says, “that looks at the family and links disparities to the family.” Race activists, he explains, “just take all questions about single-parent families off the table.”

It’s a distant echo of the U.S. in 1965, when Assistant Labor Secretary Daniel Patrick Moynihan prompted controversy with his seminal report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” But Mr. Sewell emphasizes the differences between the American and British experiences with race. “I think it’s dangerous to compare the two places,” he says. “I do think there are very specific issues in the U.S. that come out of having a society that was based on slavery inside that country. Britain isn’t built like that, and blacks here haven’t got that same length of time that black Americans have been in their own country.” He also says that the U.S. has a “significant black middle class that Britain doesn’t really have.”

Although it deals with family structure in less detail than the Moynihan report, the Sewell report contains sobering numbers. While 14.7% of all British families are single-parent units, the share is 63% in the black Caribbean community. Britons of Indian origin have the lowest single-parent incidence—only 6%. Mr. Sewell says these numbers are like tinder in public debates on race. If he were to go on TV and observe that 6 of 10 black Caribbean children grow up with only one parent, he would “be shot down for stigmatizing the single parent and blaming the victim. The headlines would say, ‘Commissioner Blames Single Parents.’ Actually, no—they would say, ‘Commissioner Attacks Single Parents.’ ”

Mr. Sewell stresses that he has “no problems, in and of itself, with the single-parent design,” but single parents “are not getting the support they need” and that the commission recommends they receive. Absent any acknowledgment of the sociocultural strain such families face, there is no policy to provide them with “therapeutic assistance, conflict management and educational support.” When their children underperform at school and are later incarcerated, racism is the catchall explanation.

A notable recommendation of the Sewell report is that Britain abandon the ugly acronym BAME, which stands for “black, Asian and minority ethnic.” Numbers from the most recent U.K. census, conducted in 2011, indicate that 7.5% of the population is Asian (0.7% Chinese, most of the rest from the Indian subcontinent), 3.3% black (of whom one-third are of Caribbean origin), and 86% white. “We need to disaggregate the term ‘BAME.’ ” Mr. Sewell says. This ethnic portmanteau “just lumps everyone together.” He offers examples: “The category ‘Asian’ includes prosperous Gujarati consultants in London and impoverished Pakistani taxi drivers in Bradford.” Within the “black” cohort, the Caribbean school-expulsion rate is 3.5 times that of Africans. “The idea that all ethnic minority people suffer a common disadvantage is an anachronism,” Mr. Sewell says. Forty percent of Britain’s medical clinicians are Indian: “This last fact isn’t celebrated, by the way. This is hidden.”

Perhaps the report’s most striking aspect is its emphasis on class and geography as more powerful drivers than race of disadvantage in Britain. “Of course, once you start shifting the template,” he says, “you get accused of race denial. And then you become an ‘apologist’ for racism in the eyes of the critics.” Yet with a focus on class, says Mr. Sewell, “we’re able to bring everybody together, including the white poor—what we might call the British deplorables, to use Hillary Clinton’s remark.”

A race-centered narrative lumps white people together. This is a problem, he says, “especially when you talk about white privilege, and you have white people in Britain who are doing worse than everyone else in health, education and employment. . . . You can’t ignore disadvantaged whites, even if the race lobby thinks you’re watering down their issue.”

Mr. Sewell isn’t surprised by the venom that’s been directed against him. A network of charities, consultants, researchers, academic departments and political activists are “literally invested” in keeping the idea of racism alive. “People have a financial stake in this area, so there’s a sense that they’ve got to protect their own base.”

Yet Mr. Sewell acknowledges that racism can’t be wholly eliminated. “I’m not that naive,” he says. “But what I do think you can do is to build a society where those people who experience it are protected.” Fairness is the key—for blacks, whites and everybody else. He worries that Britain’s “young people are growing cynical” by internalizing the lobby groups’ insistence that “the door is closed” on the basis of race.

“Our message is that the door is open”—that Britain is, or at least aspires to be, a society “where, genuinely, everybody gets a chance, where everybody gets a fair opportunity.”

Mr. Varadarajan, a Journal contributor, is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and at New York University Law School’s Classical Liberal Institute.


I'm serious… usually. (Martin Rossol)