Monday, June 14, 2021
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Confessions of a privileged white male

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MY parents were in the first year group to benefit from the raising of school leaving age to 13. They then went to work in the cotton mills. My mother’s parents ended their lives, in the 1960s, in a one-up-one-down rented house in a dark corner of an inner courtyard, with the toilet (not flush) across the cobbled yard. My father’s parents rented a two-up-two-down terrace house, no front garden.

I passed the 11-plus and went to grammar school, leaving at age 16. Looking back now, I realise that my best friend’s mother was Eurasian, as was another mother on our street. There was also a black lady on our street (war brides). It never struck me as significant that their children, my pals, had a darker skin. As children, we spent a lot of time sitting in the company of adults and listening to their conversation. Never did I hear any remarks about race or colour.

Now 80, I have no interest in these passing fantasies about wokeism, race, diversity, inclusivity, genderism and the climate change delusion. But then I am only a privileged white male, according to university-educated black activists.

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Keith Rothwell
Former independent school bursar with five children and seven grandchildren

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