White and Coloured: The Behavior of British People Towards Coloured Immigrants

White and Coloured: The Behavior of British People Towards Coloured Immigrants

White and Coloured: The Behavior of British People Towards Coloured Immigrants

White and Coloured: The Behavior of British People Towards Coloured Immigrants

Excerpt

Relations between white and coloured people in Britain abound in paradoxes:

Why should coloured people so often be shabbily treated when the vast majority of individual Britons are favourably disposed towards them?

Why should Britons be strongly opposed to any discrimination in the public treatment of coloured people and at the same time be so hesitant about treating them equally in private relations?

Why should British conduct towards coloured people be uncertain and inclined to change in so startling a fashion? For example, a hotel proprietor let rooms to three coloured students whose complexion was so light that they could not easily be recognized as coloured. After the arrangements had been completed he asked what country they came from. 'India,' they replied. Whereupon he turned them out and refused them their rooms. Sudden changes of front are not unusual. How are they to be accounted for?

Why should individual Britons believe their fellows to be less favourably disposed towards coloured people than they themselves?

This book began as an attempt to review the available material on race relations in Britain -- published and unpublished -- and to ascertain what it taught us about British behaviour towards coloured immigrants. As the work progressed this aim gradually took second place to a consideration of certain theoretical issues which had to be cleared up before the original task could be completed. Several earlier writers had discussed the unfavourable treatment of coloured people as if it were the outcome of prejudice on the part of individual Britons. This interpretation seemed inadequate and indeed seriously misleading, so it became necessary to clarify the relation between psychological and . . .

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