The town that pioneered multiculturalism

I have become a stalker of old men. I seek them out in community centres, cafes and mosques, in their cluttered flats and in dark alleys. I don’t want anything nefarious with them, just to capture their memories.

My speciality is old Somali men, especially those in Cardiff. Having grown up in London, where it is anathema to turn up unannounced at a stranger’s door, it is always discombobulating to ring doorbells in Butetown and be met with a smile.

This is a district built on the absorption of strangers, particularly sailors from all corners of the globe, and the resulting community is one of the most truly mixed I’ve ever seen. The area gave us Shirley Bassey,, but it also lost a quarter of its men in shipping disasters during the second world war and nurtured “multiculturalism” before the word even existed.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 122 votes] Guardian confusing multiculturalism with multiracialism again I see.

[2ND 73] Author failing to understand the distinction between assimilation , racial integration, and multiculturalism. Throughout the article praise is heaped on the two former eg “very British Muslims” in the name of the latter. Multiculturalism is about people retaining intact their cultural identities. Not mixing them.

Very woolly thinking here. The examples show how assimilation and integration are both excellent well worn paths for newcomers to Britain over the ages. And how multiculturalism the antithesis of integration has failed. And miserably so.

[3RD 69] The problem is the Guardian doesn’t understand multiculturalism. The true test of multiculturalism is mixed families, that is the very definition of a melting pot. Eventually the immigrant group mixes with the rest of the population and you don’t have completely separate communities anymore.

That isn’t what is happening with some communities in this country. We don’t have multiculturalism, we have separate communities that sometimes meet in the workplace and in schools. This is happening for generation after generation.

It is allowed to happen, because the barrier is being created by minorities communities themselves. Communities that have no desire to integrate. The Guardian has massive blind spot when it comes to this. Good intentions, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

[4TH 60 ] Nice article, but by and large multiculturalism doesn’t work. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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