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UK racism report sparks angry backlash

Bianca Rahimi
Press TV, London

A long awaited report on racism has been published here in the UK. It was commissioned last year after the murder of George Floyd in the US but was postponed by the pandemic. It seems it has only served to further damage the relationship between ethnic minorities and the British government though, by downplaying their struggle. 

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities says the UK system is not rigged against people from ethnic minorities and there is no proof of "institutional racism." In a report released Wednesday, it did admit that minorities still face overt racism, but insisted Britain should be regarded as a quote model for other white-majority countries.

The report has touched a nerve. It suggests that disparities based on race in education and the economy are negligible, but people here in Brixton, strongly disagree.

The report has been slammed s nonsense that flies in the face of all existing evidence. Flagged up are many issues that Black and Minority Ethnic’s grapple on a daily basis. For example, the fact that black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched by police than white people, and black mothers are four times likely to die in childbirth. So is this a genuine effort to understand racism in Britain, or a PR stunt?

Many black artists share the view that racism today is alive and well. Junior from The British Collective says his life and career were deeply impacted by racism.

The Covid-19 pandemic, and the disproportionate number of deaths among Black, Asian and Minority ethnic people, clearly illustrate that something is seriously wrong. Being much more likely to have to live in a block of flats, do a job involving a high level of exposure to the public, share accommodation with relatives and live on an unhealthy diet are exactly the sort of factors that critics say prove systemic or structural racism is real.

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