Prologue: Facing Up 2

Ain’t no Black or White

…The event was outstanding except for one or two references which I believe exposed the fundamental dilemma facing our society.

Here were women talking about the glass-ceiling and barriers facing women which all these women had overcome. Then there came the comment by the moderator, the senior female presenter of the BBC’s Newsnight, who is Scottish. In response to an account by Cherie Blair about how she was treated by her male counterparts when she was first appointed a judge, this dear lady laughed and then said: “You’d have thought women were an ethnic minority!”

As there were ‘ethnic minority’ women in the two thousand one hundred-strong audience, even if only two or three, I wondered how she would have felt had she been an ethnic minority in the audience. One wonders who the ethnic minorities she was referring to were, and where she stood as a Scottish female and – technically, if one followed her thinking – a double ethnic minority in London, in this human hierarchy. Innocent as I am sure her comment was, it exposed the fault line running through everything that is wrong with our society: the rules for thinking about each other as human beings, as men, women, and people from different ‘racial’, ethnic, religious and social backgrounds…

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