Race Obsession harms those it is meant to help

Malik, Kenan
http://www.kenanmalik.com/essays/st_monitoring.html

Publisher:  Sunday Times
Date Written:  29/03/2009
Year Published:  2009  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX11429

Ethnic monitoring does not just produce misleading data. The process of classification often creates the very problems it is supposed to solve. Local authorities have used ethnic categories not only as a means of collecting data but also as a way of distributing political power - by promoting certain 'community leaders' - and of disbursing public funds through ethnically-based projects. Once the allocation of power, resources and opportunities becomes linked to membership of particular groups, then people inevitably begin to identify themselves in terms of those ethnicities, and only those ethnicities.

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