I know that I can create an atmosphere of doom and gloom here at times, what with my ranting about the environment and how we need to do something about it right now – but there are things that are happening that give me hope for the future.
One of these is the fact that Birmingham is fast on the way to becoming the first ethnic majority city in the UK. How cool is that? This once grimy manufacturing city has thrown open the doors to everyone who wants to pay us the ultimate compliment of coming here to live! We will have the really rather cool situation of white people being in the minority – which is something every white person should experience once in a while….
I have been there myself several times. Recently I went along to the judging of the Birmingham Carnival Queen competition to take photos for the Birmingham Carnival website that I run; whilst there I was literally the only white person in the building. I did not feel threatened in the slightest: maybe because I knew that most people there knew that I ran the website and that I was a vehement anti racist. But – I was most definitely in the minority and had to observe the etiquette of a slightly different society.
When my other half lived in Oxford and I went down to see her, I would walk down the street with her and soon get struck by the fact that something was not right… there were not enough black or Asian faces around us: it made me feel uncomfortable – it was too “white bread” – there was not nearly enough intangible vibrancy or colour (in every sense of the word)
The diversity of our culture makes us stronger. Hybrid vigour applies to societies as well as to individuals. A monoculture is not just boring but dangerous: when we are all the same just one virus or meme can take hold with nothing to stop it.