With all its claims to be a humanitarian, charitable organization, the Prince’s Trust is largely run by Whites from mainstream society. And there are reasons for blacks and other minority ethnics to view their offers for emancipation with scepticism. Added to the entrenched prejudices against skin colour, the issues of minority religious beliefs have been part of media discourse in recent years. For example, some critics have asserted that the BBC is systematically biased in favour of Christianity and against Islam. This assessment was prompted by the public broadcaster’s dress code policy for newsreaders. According to Mark Thompson, the former Director General of the BBC, “the BBC does not object to newsreaders wearing small religious symbols, whether crosses, crescents or Stars of David. But we do not believe it would be appropriate for a newsreader to wear a veil over the face, not because we favour one religion over another but because we believe it would distract from the presentation of the news” (Thompson, 2006). To be fair to the BBC, the criticisms of ethno-religious bias in this case does seem far-fetched. But instances such as these have not encouraged minority ethnics to trust white, mainstream British institutions such as the Prince’s Trust.
Finally, cultural imports from the United States, mainly through the infusion of television programs and music have not helped the disgruntlement of minorities in Britain. One of the talking points in this respect is the music genre Hip-Hop, which portrays blacks in negative stereotypes. This essentially boils down to the manipulation and exploitation of the historically disadvantaged black community by making a select few of them believe that they are ultra-masculine, rich and powerful. But the reality is quite the opposite. Beyond those visuals of glorification, superiority and success projected by the hip hop genre, the artists are subverting their own progress. For example, by glorifying violence and prison terms for blacks, the hip hop artists are undermining the efforts taken by social activists to address the disproportionate rates of incarceration and conviction against blacks. Hence, the hip hop genre does disservice to the blacks across the world through its narrow stereotypical portrayal of black men and women. If left unchecked, it will prove to be a resistance to further emancipation of blacks and other minorities in the UK and beyond. Simultaneously, it will continue to undermine social integration of minority communities within Britain, by alienating minority students from 16-25 age group (Alia & Bull, 2005).
Alia, V., & Bull, S. (2005)., Media and Ethnic Minorities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Thompson, Mark, Bias, the BBC.And Why I Will Not Allow Newsreaders in Veils. (2006, October 29). The Mail on Sunday (London, England), p. 42.
Biney, A. (2008, June)., Britain Skin Colour Still Matters: Racism in Britain Is Now Disguised in Language Such as Diversity, Immigration and Citizenship, and Is Thus Far More Sophisticated, Subtle and Slippery in Identifying. but as Ama Biney Finds out, the Colour of One’s Skin Still Very Much Matters in Britain Today. New African 86+.
Holliday, A., Hyde, M., & Kullman, J. (2004)., Intercultural Communication: An Advanced Resource Book. New York: Routledge.
How the Prince’s Trust Helped Rose. (2008, December 11). Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), p. 34.
Prince Is an Inspiration to City’s Young; the Heir to the Throne Is Proving to Have a Formidable Talent in Galvanising People Together to Create Something Special for Their Community, as Neil Connor Reports. (2006, September 13). The Birmingham Post (England), p. 5.
Thrive: Prince’s Trust Achievers Celebrate Their Success. (2007, November 13). The Birmingham Post (England), p. 26.