the dirty d - the dirty d-word guardian, 29 october 2003...

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the dirty d-word guardian , 29 october 2003 'We need to improve our diversity training'. That was the response of Chris Fox of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) to the revelation in a BBC documentary that police recruits in North Wales and Greater Manchester liked cavorting in Ku Klux Clan outfits. Ah yes, diversity training. It's become the contemporary version of ghostbusting - an army of people always on call to clean up any polluted air and put the genie of racism firmly back in the bottle. Back in the eighties, diversity training was the province of loony left councils. Today, there's barely a blue chip company that has not called on services of diversity trainers to help its employees understand their differences. The fashion for diversity training reflects the new-found emphasis on the celebration of cultural diversity. Twenty years ago it all looked very different. I became an antiracist because I thought it unjust that people should be treated differently simply because they happened to have a different colour skin. Today that's just what antiracists want. Where once I fought for equal treatment, antiracists now demand respect for diversity. Where once I wanted to be treated the same as everybody else despite my skin colour, activists now want to be treated differently because of it. 'You have to treat people differently in order treat them equally', as Lee Jasper, Ken Livingstone's race adviser, told me. 'It’s good to be different' might well be the motto of our times. But is it that good to be different? And can diversity training really exorcise the ghosts of racism? Earlier this year I attended a diversity day organised by North Wales police as part of a film I've been making for Channel 4 about multiculturalism. In a Mormon church in Gaerwen, a tiny village in the middle of Anglesey, seven police officers were put through their paces by five trainers. The day began with a video of racism in North Wales. 'I know nearly everybody in that film', one of the policemen remarked. 'There are not many of you - visible ethnic minorities - around here.' The officers then went off to see the four 'visitors' for the day to learn about the diversity of Welsh culture. It was becoming uncomfortably like a Richard Littlejohn parody - there was an Asian woman, a disabled man, a lesbian and a transsexual. Each visitor sat in a
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Parkin during the Summer '11 term at Wilfred Laurier University .

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the dirty d - the dirty d-word guardian, 29 october 2003...

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