Oak Token

To remember the iconic canopied path of the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana, I took both this picture and a piece of bark that had fallen down. I keep it in my living room, next to an ornate leaf from the Taj Mahal which had also fallen down — I'm not that kind of tourist! — and other things I have picked up on my travels: a lava rock from Mount Vesuvius, a desert rose from the Sahara ...

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Ideas

A Journey Into The Dark Heart Of British Racism, Past And Present

For an Indian growing up in the UK in the 1960s, racism was an everyday experience ranging from schoolyard taunts to threats of violence and persecution. And with the recent revelations of abuse suffered by Pakistan-born cricket star Azeem Rafiq, overt racism is still very much alive. in British society.

Cricket player Azeem Rafiq

Shyam Bhatia*

-Essay-

LONDON — Azeem Rafiq’s recent disclosures about the racist taunts endured during his years as a first class English cricketer are as revealing about how some deeply ingrained prejudices still prevail as they are instructive about changing national attitudes of recent times.

Off spinner Rafiq is 30 year old, so may not appreciate the deeper and wider context of racism that has flourished for the past half century and more. Apologists would certainly argue that racism has abated in recent years and that many in the white majority are less willing to tolerate the questionable standards of earlier times. Certainly, Blacks and Asians today are present and more welcome than ever before in advertising, entertainment, the media and even front rank politics where an ethnic Indian, Rishi Sunak, is routinely touted as a possible future prime minister.

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