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Education Last Updated: Aug 5, 2020 - 5:39:30 PM

BBC Pushes ‘White Privilege’ Through Bitesize School Education Service
By Jack Montgomery
Aug 5, 2020 - 5:37:12 PM

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circa 1960: Children playing in an area of slums under clearance in the Gorbals area of Glasgow (Photo by Albert McCabe/Express/Getty Images)

BBC Bitesize, which provides lessons for British schools, has published a video by former National Basketball Association (NBA) player John Amaechi pushing the concept of "white privilege".

"We've been engaged in a global conversation about race and racism," began Amaechi, the first NBA star to come out as openly gay and also a qualified psychologist, born in Boston, Massachusetts to an English mother and a Nigerian father who he describes as "a malign figure" who inflicted "torment and mental abuse" on his mother and played little part in raising him.

"You've probably had discussions at home, at school, or at work, and in those conversations you've probably heard the term white privilege," Amaechi said in the video for BBC Bitesize, which "provides support for learners aged 5 to 16+ across a wide range of school subjects".

"You may have even had this term used in a way that felt like an insult or an accusation," he continued.

"Others will have told you that it's all just made up to make white people feel bad and none of this is right," he said, alluding to the fact that the concept is highly contentious and hotly disputed - although neither he nor the BBC admit outright that it is by no means a universally accepted idea.

"Privilege is a hard concept for some people to understand, because normally when we talk of privilege we imagine immediate unearned riches and tangible benefits for anyone who has it," Amaechi continued, tacitly conceding that many working- and underclass white people do not appear to be reaping any economic windfall from their ethnicity - possibly their ancestors never did either, with it being more likely they were child labourers or sickly coal miners than slave traders or plantation owners.

"But white privilege, and indeed all privilege, is actually more about the absence of inconvenience, the absence of an impediment or challenge, and as such, when you have it, you really don't notice it," he claimed, before appearing to compare the challenges associated with being non-white to the challenges faced by the disabled.

"I have two very close friends who are wheelchair users, and I'll be honest, when I met them I was completely ignorant about the ways their lives are made harder through not fault of their own," he said.

How Amaechi could have possibly failed to consider the challenges being unable to walk might pose to someone in their everyday life was not explained.

"There's a good chance, as a white person watching this, your life is already hard," Amaechi conceded.

"Every day you have to overcome some difficulty or challenge just to get by, but you can still have white privilege," he insisted.

"White privilege doesn't mean you haven't worked hard, or you don't deserve the success you've had. It doesn't mean that your life isn't hard or that you've never suffered. It simply means that your skin colour has not been the cause of your hardship or suffering," he declared - making no allowance for the fact that white people have indeed been murdered because of their race, grievously injured while being racially abused, or excluded from jobs and lucrative paid internships at institutions including the BBC on racial grounds.

The BBC publishes Amaechi's white privilege lecture as the corporation, funded by all television owners through a compulsory licence fee, is pushing for an expanded role in children's education, with a top executive using the coronavirus lockdown to suggest it might provide a "spine of... content" which could supplant some aspects of "traditional" teaching.

However, given the widespread perception of anti-Brexit and left-wing bias at the BBC, even from veteran employees of the broadcaster, the push has not been met with universal acclaim.

"The BBC should have no place in children's education, for one simple reason," said former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney.

"The BBC drones on endlessly about diversity, yet it is missing the most important diversity of all: diversity of thought.

"It has no place brainwashing kids."

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery

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