No reply to sent 26/07/2010
letter sent again 15 September 2010
The Right Honourable The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
Dear Prime Minister,
Colour labelling of pupils, peoples and history
Various Government Web-sites and local and national administrative procedures refer to pupils, peoples and history by colour-labels. Examples of terms used, include "black role models", "motivational Black and mixed heritage men", "black women", "black community", "black history", "black boys", and "black girls".
To be clear what the Government means by these terms, I would be grateful if The Prime Minister would respond to my following questions, please.
Who or what are 'black men/boys'?
Who or what are 'black women/girls'?
Who or what are 'black peoples'?
What is/defines 'black history'?
I find that these terms pose substantial issues to children and adults. It is my belief, that it might be difficult to offer such answers as might show the terms to be reasonable, well–founded, well considered, consistent, and, serve to make the subjected people feel good about themselves, rather than demean, discourage or otherwise debilitate them.
Indeed I believe the terms fuel emotional and behavioural attitudes that inhibit learning and achievement, and the terms debase mutual respect in society.
Schools inspection reports often categorise pupils in ('apples and pears') terms as
"… being mostly from a White British background with minorities from Black/ Black British and Indian backgrounds" and
"Nearly all pupils are from ethnic minority families, with the highest numbers from Pakistani, Indian, Black Caribbean and Black African heritages" and
"The pupil body is made up of many different cultural groups, the largest of which is Black or Black British of Caribbean heritage".
It seems significant that different terminology appears in some reports — for example, in reports on Eton College and Harrow School. It is notable that when Britain occupied India, Europeans described Indians as 'black/blacks'. When Britain occupied Africa, Europeans described Africans as 'black/blacks'.
I would welcome an opportunity to discuss with the Prime Minister or a member of his staff, points leading to and from my questions. I would also cite and justify a range of 'reasonable grounds' that support their asking.