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Diversity And Tolerance Thrive In This British City

on 2001/2/12 8:48:02 ( 1482 reads )


LEICESTER, ENGLAND, February 2, 2001: Government figures have just projected that Leicester will become, in a decade, the first British city with a nonwhite majority. Instead of experiencing the cultural antagonisms and anti-immigrant politics that have occurred elsewhere in Britain and in Europe, where once all- white populations have increasing numbers of immigrants in their midst, the outcome here has been different. "Leicester defines itself as the tolerant, multicultural city of Europe," said Richard Bonney, priest and professor. "There is greater diversity in two or three square blocks here than anywhere I can think of in Europe," he added. Leicester was already a migrant's goal a century ago, drawing people from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and elsewhere in England. However, in the early 1970's when East African countries in the Commonwealth moved to evict their large Asian populations, the Leicester City Council placed an advertisement in the Ugandan Argus newspaper warning that housing, education and social services were "already stretched to the limit," and discouraged them from coming to Leicester. Many people who came from Kenya and Uganda had already experienced being immigrants and learning to adapt. In addition, they came in settled family groups. They were skilled and educated with goals of economic independence and social success. These new arrivals created employment and services and a retail, wholesale and real estate economy of their own. This lengthy article discusses further: Leicester history, Asian immigrant success and the lack of success for many Afro-Caribbeans.

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