H.D.S. Greenway discusses Britain's experiment with multiculturalism, compared to the American experience with racial problems, and viewed in light of the terrorist bombings of July 7, 2005.
Greenway notes that Britons "used to shake their heads at America's racial problems" and ridiculed America's ''obsessive saluting of the flag and other ostentatious demonstrations of national unity." However, racial difficulties in Britain have forced Britons to reconsider the value of muticulturalism and the need to encourage a national identity.
A study, unsurprisingly, found that "that racial disturbances are more likely to happen 'in those areas where diversity really hadn't been valued and seen as a positive force. It had been allowed to degenerate into segregation and polarization.'" The chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality said children of different races are ''[s]leepwalking into segregation." Such division, the chairmain stated, provided a ''fertile breeding ground for extremists."
Accordingly, while some are still arguing that ''multiculturalism is crucial to establishing a national bargain" between the racial majority and racial minorities, others are calling for the overt patriotism that Britons once chided.
Indeed, Greenway concludes by highlighting this ironic, if not hypocritical, situation; the conservative Telegraph (UK) publication ran the following headline: ''Teach our children what it means to be British."
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