by Latoya Peterson
The BBC Two has unveiled a series of programming devoted to exploring the realities of being white and working class in Britain. White Season, as the lineup is called, seeks to tell the story of the white working class through documentaries, short films, and drama.
The introductory video to the series sets a confrontational tone. A white man is shown looking at the camera, staring straight ahead as people of varying tones and ethnicities scribble on his face with a black marker. In addition to writing characters of Asian and Arabic origins, the phrase “Britain is changing” is scrawled across his chin. Eventually, the man’s skin is covered in black and he closes his eyes, a question appears on the bottom of the screen: Is white working class Britain becoming invisible?
See for yourself – it is quite a striking visual:
Richard Klein, BBC’s Head Of Independent Commissioning For Knowledge, explains his views in the Daily Mail:
The voice of the white working-class is barely allowed to intrude into British politics or culture.
In metropolitan circles, where sneering at any minority ethnic group would be regarded as an outrage, this white working-class opinion is all too often treated with suspicion or contempt.
The word chav, for instance, is now often accepted as a way of marking the behaviour of the working class, even though any similarly abusive description of ethnic minorities would lead to police inquiries.
What is particularly bizarre about this approach is that, until recently, the white working class were seen as an integral and respected part of our national life. Continue reading