The Problems of the White Ethnic Majority' revisited: a personal, theological and political review

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Just over three and a half decades ago, as a young, white, Christian anti-racist activist challenged by Ambalavaner Sivanandan’s (1981), ‘White Man Listen!' and Salman Rushdie’s (1982) ‘The New Empire Within Britain' the author of this article wrote a booklet with the deliberately ‘inverted’ title of ‘The Problems of the White Ethnic Majority’. In the light of the summer 2020 ‘I Can’t Breathe’ death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter uprisings, I was challenged to return to what I had previously written to interrogate how far since then, as a white Christian individual; the Christian tradition to which I belong; and/or also the UK ethnic majority of which I am a part, have or have not changed. Out of that reflection, this article argues that, despite many important developments, in relation to the stark realities of racism, much that was the case in the mid-1980s remains today. It continues to affirm that the route to liberation for members of the UK white ethnic majority still needs to go through a serious reckoning with the differential impact of the histories and continuing legacies of colonialism and imperialism upon ourselves and those who are of the African and Global Majority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalPractical Theology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • Black Lives Matter,
  • racism
  • white ethnic majority,
  • listening
  • white anti-racism
  • liberation


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