Donald Forbes writes, whilst ensuring minority groups avoid racial prejudice is absolutely crucial, drawing up solutions based on the belief that white privilege is overwhelmingly to blame, whilst this may have been the case 50 years ago, is no longer the best way forward.

If white privilege theory is correct, Britain became racist when the first black man set foot in the country, we don't know when. Being different from everyone around him, his colour was a stigma that identified him indelibly. His descendants have suffered ever since, through empire, two world wars and into the modern day.

Whiteness remains privileged even though whites range from people living in poverty to others possessing wealth and power and despite the same disparities in status appearing among blacks. The poorest white man always has the advantage of being white which cannot be taken from him.

This is awkward for the theory; a backhanded way of admitting that being white really is always better than being black. Race activists cannot not go there because it means the problem can never be fixed so long as whites continue to exist in their own country.

For Britain, there was no doubt about the existence of white privilege during the empire. A small elite of white officials ruled native populations or white immigration overwhelmed them as in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Queen Elizabeth the first did not have white privilege because the country was white and owned no colonies. Queen Victoria who was Empress of India did. There was no question of one of her Indian or African subjects aspiring to her throne although they could fight for their freedom for their own countries.

Black minorities in historically white countries are subject to the law of minorities everywhere, putting them at a disadvantage unless majorities share enough power and opportunity to make up for their lack of numbers. The idea that this is inherently wrong exists only in the West, in particular since the central Europeans reject the EU's attempts to force them to take migrants for racial reasons.

No one would suggest, for example, Chinese privilege suddenly came into existence as an evil to be put right simply because a black man arrived in China to make it his home. Yet that is what privilege theory means in essence. In fact, the Chinese authorities persecute their minorities like the Uyghurs.

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White privilege theory originated in the United States where it has resulted in racial hysteria that does not look like waning soon because of the enormity of slavery. But it affects Europe too because of colonial guilt and immigration over recent decades that has to be accommodated.

Black Americans are also a decisive electoral constituency, which they are not in Europe, and this has distorted the argument about race. Practically every race in the world is represented in the population of the US but privilege theory in reality pits only blacks and whites to the exclusion of everyone else (including Asians, who are accused of being too successful to qualify for minority status).

The law allows Harvard to discriminate against Asians – as it used to do against Jews – and the university's policy is administered by whites who by many measures are less smart than Asians.

White privilege extremists have the upper hand politically although there is no evidence that blacks who work within the American system fare worse than whites or do minorities in Europe who assimilate.

In our current phase, black activists in America are demanding not equality but the right to dictate to the white majority. They want to be the country's established power brokers well ahead of the moment when the US ceases to be majority-white in the 2040s, not because there will be more blacks but because of immigration from around the entire world.

There were officially 60.57 million Latinos in the US in 2019, around 20 per cent of the population, and they will be a projected 99.8 million by 2050 while blacks remain static at 13 per cent. Such an objective, therefore, is surely unsustainable no matter how passionately activists like Ibrahim Kendi claim that blacks are owed the irreparable debts of slavery and Robin DiAngelo agrees that whites must pay them by "stepping aside". They are reductionists with whom no compromise is possible.

Despite numbers of racial incidents continuing to occur, white America and Europe are the least racist they have ever been. The key to eroding what racism remains lies with the assimilation of new immigrants into the native majorities. Multiculturalism, which is a form of separatism, has harmed immigrants by promoting resistance to absorption.

This does not absolve majority white cultures from the duty of compromising with incomers. Far from it, in order to welcome new migrants into their culture, majority white populations in the US and UK must be able to open their arms. Integration, rather than confrontation, is the only way forward.

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