According to a new report, the UK “no longer” has a system rigged against people from ethnic minorities, a review set up by No 10 says.
The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities said family structure and social class had a bigger impact than race on how people’s lives turned out.
It said children from minority ethnic communities did as well or better than white pupils, but overt racism remained, particularly online.
The Runnymede Trust think tank said it felt “let down” by the report.
The commission was set up after Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests across the country last summer – triggered by the killing of George Floyd in the US.
The main findings were:
- Children from ethnic-minority communities did as well or better than white pupils in compulsory education, with black Caribbean pupils the only group to perform less well
- This success in education has “transformed British society over the last 50 years into one offering far greater opportunities for all”
- The pay gap between all ethnic minorities and the white majority population had shrunk to 2.3% overall and was barely significant for employees under 30
- Diversity has increased in professions such as law and medicine
- But some communities continue to be “haunted” by historic racism, which is creating “deep mistrust” and could be a barrier to success
The Shocking conclusions are as follows – and it must be expressed that Black Economics does not agree with these conclusions marked in xxx brackets.
xxx The commission’s report concluded that the UK is not yet a “post-racial country” – but its success in removing race-based disparity in education and, to a lesser extent, the economy, “should be regarded as a model for other white-majority countries”. xxx
xxx A foreword to the report by chairman Tony Sewell, an education consultant and ex-charity boss, said: “We no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities.” xxx
xxx While the “impediments and disparities do exist”, it continued, they were “varied and ironically very few of them are directly to do with racism”. xxx
The report added that evidence had found that factors such as geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion had “more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism”.
“That said, we take the reality of racism seriously and we do not deny that it is a real force in the UK.”
The report also said there is an “increasingly strident form of anti-racism thinking that seeks to explain all minority disadvantage through the prism of white discrimination” which it said diverted attention from “the other reasons for minority success and failure”.
xxx In a statement issued after the report was published, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “right” that ministers now consider its recommendations in detail and assess “the implications for future government policy”. xxx So this is a report written for Boris with his fingerprints all over it. Now all of a sudden he wants to consider the recommendations and enable it to affect government future policy when there are 4 previous reports provided from which he has ignored all those recommendations.
He added: “The entirety of government remains fully committed to building a fairer Britain and taking the action needed to address disparities wherever they exist.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Sewell said while there was anecdotal evidence of racism, there was no proof that there was “institutional racism” in Britain.
“No-one denies and no-one is saying racism doesn’t exist”, he said.
“We found anecdotal evidence of this. However, evidence of actual institutional racism? No, that wasn’t there, we didn’t find that.”
Dr Sewell added that the term “institutional racism” is “sometimes wrongly applied” as a “sort of a catch-all phrase for micro-aggressions or acts of racial abuse”.
Does Dr Sewell know what “institutional racism and unconscious bias is?”
What was the methodology used to create this report. Did they interview / survey 1000 black people from all spectrums.
Did they only use education statistics and work stats from those companies who bother to respond to a survey?
Considering this was a report prompted by the Black Lives Matter Campaign, what were Asians doing on the committee who have a a totally different life experience in the UK?
Prof Kehinde Andrews, a professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, said the report was not a “genuine effort to understand racism in Britain”.
Prof Andrews said: “It’s complete nonsense. It goes in the face of all the actual existing evidence. This is not a genuine effort to understand racism in Britain. This is a PR move to pretend the problem doesn’t exist.”
Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission , said: “This report rightly identifies the varied causes of disparities and by making recommendations to address them gives the government the opportunity to design policy targeting the sources of inequality.
“There are a number of recommendations we can play a leading role in and we welcome the recognition that additional funding would help us carry out our important work to tackle discrimination and disadvantage.”
‘Deeply worried Chief Executive’
Dr Halima Begum, chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, a race equality think tank, said she felt “deeply, massively let down” by the report, and that the government did not have the confidence of black and minority ethnic communities.
Asked for her view on the commission’s suggestion that the UK is not institutionally racist, she said: “Tell that to the black young mother who is four times more likely to die in childbirth than her young white neighbour, tell that to the 60% of NHS doctors and nurses who died from Covid and were black and ethnic minority workers.
“You can’t tell them that, because they are dead.
“Institutionally, we are still racist, and for a government-appointed commission to look into (institutional) racism, to deny its existence is deeply, deeply worrying.”
She added: “We feel that if the best this government can do is come up with a style guide on BAME terminology, or what we should do about unconscious bias training, or extend a few school hours, then I’m afraid this government doesn’t carry the confidence of black and ethnic minority communities any longer, certainly not on race.”
Dr Begum also claimed the report had failed to acknowledge the “suffering” of black and ethnic minority communities, adding: “All this is is a whitewash and a script that has been written to 10 Downing Street.”
She also questioned the suitability of Dr Sewell and head of the Number 10 policy unit Munira Mirza, who had a role in setting the commission up – both of whom have questioned the existence of institutional racism previously .
The 258-page report makes 24 recommendations which include:
- Extended school days to be phased in, starting with disadvantaged areas, to help pupils catch up on missed learning during the pandemic
- Children from disadvantaged backgrounds should have access to better quality careers advice in schools, funded by university outreach programmes
- More research is needed to examine why pupils perform well in certain communities, so this can be replicated to help all children succeed
- The acronym BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) should no longer be used because differences between groups are as important as what they have in common
- Organisations should stop funding unconscious bias training, with government and experts developing resources to help advance workplace equality
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said the commission had “chosen to deny the experiences of black and minority ethnic workers” who were “far more likely” than white workers to be in “low-paid, insecure jobs”.
She added they have been “far more likely to be exposed to Covid infection and far more likely to die – because they are far more likely to be in frontline roles.
“This is institutional racism. And it traps too many black and minority ethnic workers in poverty, insecurity and low pay.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he felt “disappointed” with what he had seen of the report’s findings so far, insisting there were “structural” issues that needed to be addressed.
Speaking on a visit to Leeds, he told reporters that whilst there was “an acknowledgement of the problems, the issues, the challenges that face many black and minority ethnic communities” there was also “a reluctance to accept that that’s structural”.
The report had been due to be published last year but was pushed back until 2021 , with the commission blaming Covid restrictions and the large number of responses from the public for the delay.
What work has already been done on racial inequality in the UK?
- The Race Disparity Audit , published by then Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017, showed inequalities between ethnicities in educational attainment, health, employment and treatment by police and the courts
- The 2017 Lammy Review found evidence of bias and discrimination against people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the justice system in England and Wales
- Also in 2017, the McGregor-Smith Review of race in the workplace found people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds were still disadvantaged at work and faced lower employment rates than their white counterparts
- An independent review of the Windrush scandal , published in March 2020, found the Home Office showed “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race”
The full report can be found here…
Black Economics Conclusion.
- An apology should be made for the shortcomings of this report.
- This report is similar to the type of report demanded by dictators – who want to convince a compliant population that they are doing a fantastic job.
- The attempted rebranding of the Slavery period is absolutely shocking.
- The lack of depth in the Recommendations are an insult to the intelligence, and are what any Secondary School student could have come up with.
- The Recommendations are without Teeth.
- A unbelievable glorification of the British Empire and Commonwealth looks differently
- Another report should be made by a coalition of non-government organisations – with the real truth and evidence about institutional and structural racism.
- How much did this committee get paid to do this report? We can guarantee it was not value for money.
- The Committee members have done well in their own right – and as thus may be far removed from the suffering of 95% of black people in this country. They are blinded by their own privilege. Not everyone can pull themselves up from their bootstraps, because most get batted back down again.
- Dr Sewell should never ever be given a platform for Race discussion again.
- Unconscious bias training exists to inform people of what they are not aware of. It is not dealt with in school,
- BAME should be dropped – yes. Asians are not happy about being lumped with Blacks. Many Asians have a different experience of British life. Indians for instance do better economically. There success has skewed the figures of non-white progress in the UK. This masks what is truly happening in the black community. Our success of failures needs to stand on its own so that we can truly see what is going on.
- A prolonged discourse of denial – sprinkled with the occasional truth – is what this document is.
- Sixty thousand incidents of racism were reported in UK schools during the last 5 years, and we guarantee that this was the tip of the iceberg. Not every child reports they have been been called racist names or had chants against them. In the workplace adults do not always report racism for fear of it affecting their jobs.
- The report comes from committee members who have the air of “I’m alright Jack” so they seem to assume that everyone else is also alright and can achieve what they can.
- The glowing educational achievements of black African students at school seems to have been a surprise – but why. Most of their parents came to the UK as students and as such would have come from middle class households – where education is pushed.
- We do agree that we cannot blame all under-achievement on racism, but we cannot minimise its effect when people strive their whole life to move to a higher social class – and find the doors more often than not – closed. One person at home not getting a job, or promotion affects the whole family. Low paid jobs do not cover all the household bills. Enticement to be involved in selling drugs starts with the need for money for items the family cannot afford. Middle class employees have the added stress of not being treated equal at work, or having promotion prospects blocked and black business owners struggle to raise finance – which is easily acquired by white men.