I was slightly confused by Dalrymple's article- who will be on the receiving end of the inquisition- the job applicants or the employers? If it is the latter, then it is refreshing that a step is being made in the right direction in Britain to address the deep seated and insiduous racism which exists there and shows no sign of abating. It is not by accident that a well known British phrase is 'if your face fits'. This permeates every facet of the society-interviews for medical schools and universities, job interviews, doctors' surgeries- the level of treatment one receives, schools and even for promotion when one is fortunate enough to get the kind of job for which one is qualified. All these are subjective to the mentality of the person in authority and even some favoured ethnic minorities are not averse to such behaviour.
Travelling as I do between England and the US where, because of familial ties, i spend a good part of each year, I consider myself well placed to comment on the racism in both countries. While racism still exisits in the US, (witness the Don Imus affair and the reaction to his sacking, and the discomfort among some groups to Barack Obama's bid for the presidency) there is a determined effort by many well meaning, educated Americans to halt it. Also , in America people face up the fact that it exists, a first step to minimising it. In America, too, at official levels racism is actively discouraged, like in job and college applications. There are remedies to seek if one is actually a victim of racism. In Britain because there is constant denial as its existence at all, no such recourse exists. And so instead of lessening, it increases with every generation of British born people of African descent, particularly. Britain loses out as a result, with increasing numbers of their bright but disaffected, moving elsewhere. So, Mr Dalrymple, although you might see this move as an 'inquisition' ( a few years ago you would probably have called it political correctness gone mad) it might actually be beneficial to the country in the end.
Yolande M. AGBLE
New York City