Politicians and the media have become “terrified” of discussing race issues and multiculturalism has become a “racket”, former equality chief Trevor Phillips said.
Phillips, a former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, suggested some ethnic groups had become “isolated” and politicians’ unwillingness to address the issue had led to the rise of “angry, nativist political movements”.
His comments came ahead of the release of his documentary, titled Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True, and after Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he would scrap race discrimination legislation.
Phillips wrote in the Daily Mail:
The perverse and unintended consequences of our drive to instil respect for diversity is that our political and media classes have become terrified of discussing racial or religious differences.
Our desperation to avoid offence is itself beginning to stand in the way of progress. And all too often the losers are minority Britons.
Preventing anyone from saying what’s on their minds won’t ever remove it from their hearts.
People need to feel free to say what they want to without the fear of being accused of racism or bigotry.
– TREVOR PHILLIPS
Phillips, a Labour London Assembly Member, also admitted he felt he bore some responsibility for the the July 7 bombings because, as then-head of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), he failed “to see what was coming”.
Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True will air on Thursday at 9pm on Channel 4.