After the US invited representatives from the UN to aid its efforts to combat domestic racial injustice last month, Donald Forbes asks whether the efforts of those outside of Government are currently the most effective means to achieving this most crucial of ends.

I am white. If I were black, my worldview would obviously be different but would that difference lead me to support Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory? I suspect it would.

CRT is about a reckoning for the historic wrongs of slavery and colonialism, the extent of the debt owed to blacks by 'guilty' whites and the means to building future racial relationships that are fair and do not create new inequities that are just as bad. These are ambitious but legitimate issues that need resolution.

For now, black activists have white elites on the run and every reason to pursue their advantage until the patience of ordinary whites turns as it eventually will. Black power pioneered last century by Malcom X and the Black Panthers has come into its own. Martin Luther King's teachings are no longer the template.

Everybody is born with a patrimony but patrimonies are far from equal. The patrimony of a middle class child is a stable family, financial security, access to a good education, a wide range of career options and – crucially – cultural capital built over generations. The patrimony of an inner city black child is close to zero by comparison. This is untenable.

If I were black, I might tempted to see BLM and CRT as the best, quick path yet devised toward changing the world in ways that offer, through equity (aka quotas), a society built on the fair relationship between white majorities and non-white minorities which King's dream failed to achieve. Chinese university professor Jin Canrong wrote that "the United States is in a state of mental transition." He was discussing Sino-US economic relations. But his words fit perfectly America's current ferment over race, immigration, freedom of speech and Covid.

On the racial front, the fight is essentially between African-Americans and whites although there are other non-white minorities in the US who can't be ignored. To get around this, Bettina Love, a progressive powerhouse in US education, has coined the term "dark folx" to embrace all non-whites. But blacks consider themselves primus inter pares in the victimhood stakes.

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Love, a White House favourite who runs the Abolitionist Teaching Network, has written a book demanding an education-led socialist revolution in America entitled We Want to Do More Than Survive, which she claims non-whites have mostly been doing until now in the world's richest country.

BLM and CRT complement each other. BLM is about achieving power. CRT applies to any society which contains disadvantaged minorities. Both derive from Marxism whose theories never long survive contact with reality. Movements that make non-negotiable demands are always constrained to soften eventually because compromise is the lifeblood of society. Black hyper-activism at its present level, energised by the death of George Floyd, is unlikely to win everything it wants but it will have changed the majority white world positively for at least some young blacks in ways that would not otherwise have occurred.

Even so, it would be wise to temper expectations. Social rivalries do not arise only from skin colour and even when United States becomes majority-minority, whites will remain the biggest single group and assert their rights in the eventual social settlement.

Universities are on equity's front lines, admitting disadvantaged minorities who may not be academically qualified at the expense of whites and Asians in order to make up for past injustice. The response to this is fear-mongering about future professionals who may not be optimal performers in STEM fields.

Entrenched irreconcilabilities are well known in Europe; in Northern Ireland, divided by religion, and in Belgium. In the latter, French and Flemish speakers are "frenemies" who co-exist with difficulty by dividing everything – territory, education and politics – strictly down the middle. What one side has in the social sphere, the other has an equal right to. They don't even have to speak each other's languages and many Belgians do not.

If Belgium could not be a model elsewhere, it is because its separate language communities are heterogeneous. In polarised America, 'Red' states and 'Blue' states cannot separate as some suggest. Neither is red enough or blue enough to go their different ways without retaining communities that are hostile to them, which is what happened in Northern Ireland

The solution to skin colour divisions has to come from the evolutionary classical liberalism of the Enlightenment because it offers the possibility of a synthesis that enables minorities and whites to co-exist to each other's benefit, however long that happy situation takes to realise.

One thing to take into account is that in some western countries, continuing white majorities are not guaranteed because of immigration. A former Swedish prime minister said Swedish policy was to be nice to immigrants from developing countries in the hope that immigrants would be nice to native Swedes once they became the majority. Shoe on the other foot.

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