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Britain is not America

Black Lives Matter protesters in London in 2016. Daniel Leal/AFP/Getty

Brits think their country is much more diverse than it actually is, says Lionel Shriver in The Times. According to a new poll, they estimate that 20% of the country is black (it’s 3%); 15% is Muslim (actually 4%); 5% transgender (no more than 0.6% in reality); and 15% gay and lesbian (in fact, 1.8%). For good measure, people think 20% of the country is vegan or vegetarian – the actual figure is 4%. It’s a similar story in my native America, where people “wildly” overestimate the size of racial and sexual minorities. The left’s “fetishistic” obsession with these groups has skewed the general population’s sense of how numerous they are.

But for Britain there is “additional embarrassment”: these are American left-wing obsessions, cooked up in US universities and shipped across the Atlantic “alongside Domino’s Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream”. Another example of cultural colonisation from a former colony: “aping an American truism”, British lefties will sometimes assert that “Britain has always been a land of immigrants”, a claim that’s manifestly false. And when a black American was killed by a police officer “in the far-off Midwest”, droves of Britons trooped the streets chanting the BLM rallying cry, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” – in a country where barely any police are armed. Come on, Britain. “Have some self-respect. Come up with your own self-destructive manias.”