Forty years after Britain’s first race relations act, employers are starting to follow US firms by sending workers on race awareness courses. But instead of smoothing office relations, such lessons could be inflaming tensions that never used to exist.
Sceptics say the message of diversity training is that racism is in the eye of the beholder. Put simply: if you think an act is racist, then it automatically is.
The result is a heightened sense of grievance, even when it is not warranted.
Worse still, commentators suggest it could mean genuine cases of racial discrimination get swamped in a mire of less credible claims.
It is hard to judge what the effect of diversity training is likely to be in the UK. We may like to think that as a nation we are better at handling racial issues than Americans.