6. 'RACE' AND RACISM: SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE WELSH CONTEXT Charlotte Williams INTRODUCTION It is now readily acknowledged that there can be neither a generalized theory of racism nor a generalizable set of solutions to the problem of racism. The pursuit of 'catch-all' theories has gradually been displaced by a growing interest in understanding the specificities of distinct locales. (Miles et al., 1987; McVeigh, 1992; Ben-Tovim et al., 1986; Small, 1991). This important trend reflects an acknowledgement of the complex interplay of factors of class, culture, race and other social groupings across time, space and place. In any particular context therefore, key variables in social structural arrangements and social relations will combine at times in complementary ways and at times intersect conflictually and may produce particular manifestations of racism or racialized boundaries. In the context of Wales there has been little theorizing of such relationships with regard to 'race'! and racism and a paucity of empirical investigation. Wales provides a most interesting research territory in this respect for a number of reasons. Much of the literature on black and ethnic minority groups2 has focused on urban areas with sizable ethnic minority populations, with little or no attention given to the effects of rurality, isolation and dispersal. Secondly, the majority of analyses of the experience of black and ethnic minority groups has focused on a population of immigrant peoples of relatively recent arrival, such as people from the Caribbean and Indian subcontinent who came to Britain almost exclusively in response to a demand for their labour. This is not the case for Wales, with a major part of its black population being indigenous to Wales, many families having residence over generations. There is in Wales a significant number of people of mixed ethnic origin, which attests to the fact of a population who may describe themselves both territorially and in terms of identity as 'black Welsh'. (For anecdotal accounts see Sinclair 1993, Dennis 1988, Independent 14.7.90.) Thirdly, the notion of 'internal colonialism' first put forward by Michael Hechter (1975) has a particular significance in that it expresses a predominating