Extracts from "Community
Pride not Prejudice" by Lord Ouseley
for Bradford Vision, July 2001:
BRADFORD DISTRICT has witnessed growing divisions among its population
along race, ethnic, religious and social class lines - and now finds itself
in the grip of fear . . . Fear of confronting all white
and/or all Muslim schools about their contribution, or rather lack of
contribution, to social and racial integration . . .
What was most inspiring was the great desire among young people for better
education, more social and cultural interaction . . . Some young
people have pleaded desperately for this to overcome the negativity that
they feel is blighting their lives and leaves them ignorant of other cultures
and lifestyles . . .
There are signs that communities are fragmenting along racial, cultural
and faith lines. Segregation in schools is one indicator of this trend.
. . There is "virtual apartheid" in many secondary schools in the District.
Parental prejudices are fed to children with detrimental results in attitudes
and behaviours. Race/ethnicity is an issue of real concern for schools
when they are predominantly of one ethnic or monocultural composition.
Admission policies and catchments have failed to bring about mixing, sharing
and integrating -instead encouraging segregation and separationů
People's negative attitudes about each other are formed and influenced
in education, through the media, family and friends, and on the streets.
These are deeply held attitudes and perceptions. They also restrict social
interaction between different cultural groups, with the main casualties
being young people who are discouraged by their parents and peer groups
from mixing, interacting and socialising . . .