Interesting piece, especially the point about the "W towns", which I'm sure is applicable to many other regions.

I'd be cautious of rushing to say we "don't get it", though. Of course, if we're white we will never *fully* understand what it's like to be black, just as none of us can ever *fully* understand the experience of another individual anyway.

But it is possible to have a pretty good understanding of things beyond one's own personal experience - or even one's own social group's experience.

If we deny that possibility, we are giving in to permanent divisions, not only on racial lines but on many others.

Surely it's far better to strive to "get it" than to throw up our hands and say we will never be able to "get it"?

Barnaby is a journalist based in Suffolk, UK. By day he covers science and public policy; by night, film and classical music. He has also been a cinema manager.

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