In the seven years between 2002 and 2009, 280,000 British schoolchildren from the age of three upwards were reported by schoolteachers as having made “racist” remarks, according to an article in the Daily Mail of 23 September.
These extraordinary statistics emerged after an investigation by a leftwing pressure group called the "Manifesto Club." This is as a consequence of the 2000 Race Relations Act, which places an obligation on teachers to report language which could be interpreted as being derogatory to other ethnic groups -- even if the alleged target of the alleged abuse did not understand what was being said, or did not mind.
This “information” will be held in government files for the rest of the “guilty” children’s lives, with potentially serious consequences for their later education, employment and reputation -- not to mention their ability to trust other people.
Such clumsy actions to muffle free speech and stifle natural emotions are also likely in the long term to make race relations much worse, by making everyone more sensitive, easily offended and aggrieved -- and by adding hundreds of thousands of officially-designated “racists” into an already unstable social mix.
In an article in the centre-left Prospect magazine, Munira Mirza, who is an adviser to Mayor Boris Johnson, observed wearily:
The more we seek to measure racism, the more it seems to grow. … Does this heightened awareness of racism help to stamp it out? Quite the opposite. It creates a climate of suspicion and anxiety.