I'd Compare England in 2011 to Orwell's 1984, But Airstrip One Was More Culturally Unified

Ten years ago, Michael Graham’s Redneck Nation was a humorous, P.J. O’Rourke-style look at a deadly serious problem for America: Frankfurt School-style political correctness fueling a return to the racial segregation of the pre-Civil Rights-era South, and on a national scale. (All happening “unexpectedly,” of course.) As Graham said at the time while promoting the book:


Having fled these attitudes among my rural southern neighbors, I now live in a modern, liberal America where Ivy League colleges are building segregating housing because “race matters.” I actually heard one modern defender of segregated public schools (blacks-only academies) say “black people learn differently from white people.” Gee, I haven’t heard that since I was 12 — from a Klan member!

“Black people learn differently from white people” was the very argument Rev. Wright would later make while speaking to the NAACP in 2008 (video here), about 15 minutes before he went under then-candidate Obama’s bus in 2008 and into the MSM’s memory hole. And in the years between Graham’s book and Rev. Wright’s speech, American education’s self-imposed segregation has only gotten worse, particularly on college campuses. (Anderson Cooper, always a safe barometer for center-left conventional wisdom, defended the practice last year on CNN.)

A new article at the London Telegraph spotlighted by Mark Steyn on his homepage reports on a similar racial bifurcation occurring in England:

David Levin said parts of London were starting to resemble apartheid-era South Africa, with black and white pupils being separated at a young age.

He insisted that Britain was becoming a “silo society” as many young people never leave their own housing estate or mix with children from different racial and religious backgrounds.

The comments come amid continuing alarm over segregation in inner-city communities.

Entrenched segregation in the education system was seen as one of the fundamental causes of the race riots that rocked parts of northern England a decade ago.


A recent report found that schools in Oldham – one of the worst flashpoints – are still largely split along racial lines.

More than eight-in-10 Pakistani or Bangladeshi pupils attend schools where fewer than 20 per cent of children are white, it was revealed.

In parts of inner-London, including the east London borough of Tower Hamlets, more than eight-in-10 children speak English as a second language.

Mr Levin, the head of fee-paying City of London School, said he grew up in South Africa “where apartheid was imposed and people had to live in different areas”.

“Increasingly I am alarmed at the way London is divided into ghettos,” he said. “We are becoming a silo society.”

The BBC is also doing their best to bifurcate English society, as EBD (no relation) of Canada’s Small Dead Animals blog notes:

We’ve got guests. Quick – hide our culture.

A recent memorandum sent out to BBC employees by the broadcaster’s religious and ethics department suggested that the use of the terms AD (Anno Domini) and BC (Before Christ) be replaced by BCE (before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) when referring to historical dates:

As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians.”

The new terms, of course, happen to use the exact same point of historical reference, as the Vatican points out:

The BBC has limited itself to changing only the description, rather than the computation of time, but in doing so, it cannot be denied that it has made a hypocritical gesture: the hypocrisy of those who pretend not to know why years began to be counted precisely from that moment.

I find this sort of thing truly unnerving, for a variety of reasons. I’m a reluctant agnostic these days, but was born to believing, practicing Catholics, and spent 13 years in an Episcopalian prep school (K-12) with weekly chapel services. So perhaps there’s a vestigial religious guilt left over from my upbringing, along with frustration at seeing a culture bifurcated, and a thumb jammed into the eye of history for no good reason. (As Chesterton said, tradition is the democracy of the dead; but it’s also a hindrance to those wish to constantly hit society’s CTL-ALT-DLT buttons and “Start From Zero.” Or return to zero, one smashed idea at a time.)

As I wrote back in 2005, the trend to divide the terms used to describe the Gregorian calendar, essentially creating one calendar for those who believe, and another for those who don’t, is one that began in academia, and has now spread to at least one rather prominent state-run media agency. It’s a theme that appeared during earlier cultural revolutions. And today, on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s a reminder to those who wish to push back against an era has hard as it pushes against you, as Flannery O’Conner once said, we can complain about media bias all day and night, but culturally, the MSM simply parrots ideas that for the most part bubble up out of academia, an arena that conservative have for the most part sadly abandoned.



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