Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

Backgrounds


A British politician gave a brave speech a few days ago, defying political correctness to name a pressing problem of British society that most would rather ignore. He said,

There is a danger in some of our communities that you can go your whole life and have little to do with people from other… backgrounds.

The prime minister’s response to this attack on his isolated Etonian upbringing was… no, wait, that was the prime minister himself who said it. And the words I left out — “other faiths and backgrounds” — make clear that he’s talking about Muslims. (He could also be talking about the insular Hasidic communities of London, but he’s probably not.) Those are the people in need of integration.

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