The BBC has admitted that the concept of “white privilege” is contested after its youth-focused news service received a complaint over its “controversial” definition of the term. The Telegraph has more.
An article dedicated to teaching children about the concept, which includes sections defining the term and explaining how people can “use white privilege for good”, was branded as politically partisan by campaigners.
Now the article, originally published in 2020, has been signposted with a link to a new explainer that “examines arguments about the concept’s use” and admits it is a “contested area”.
It comes after the campaign group Don’t Divide Us, which seeks to promote a “common sense” approach to race, complained to the broadcaster.
The group’s Director said that they were “pleased” with the addition but added that the original content should not remain on the Newsround site where children can read the “divisive” resource.
Dr. Alka Sehgal Cuthbert told the Telegraph: “Although we’re pleased the BBC has recognised ‘white privilege’ is a contested term, the original content remains on the Newsround site, where children will continue to read its historical distortions about black and white people in America.
“No educator or broadcaster should be pushing controversial, U.S.-imported ideology to schoolchildren as fact.
“As the national broadcaster, the BBC has a duty towards impartiality as set out in its own editorial standards. Telling children that they are inherently privileged or disadvantaged purely because of their race is divisive and has no place within any educational resource for children.”
The new resource on Newsround is titled: “What do people mean by white privilege and why do they have different views about it?”
The article explains that the concept shot to the forefront of the public sphere after the death of George Floyd in America in 2020, but adds that it is a “term that some people find unhelpful”.
It reads: “There is also debate as to how accurate it is and how useful it is in tackling racism and inequality.”
Worth reading in full.