Boris Johnson asked a group of supposed experts to find out how bad structural racism is in Britainthey concluded that it doesnt exist at all.
Last summer, after George Floyds killing sparked mass anti-racism demonstrations around the globe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked a dedicated team to investigate and report back on racism in the U.K.. On Wednesday, they came back with their findingsthat institutional racism no longer exists, and that the slave trade had some upsides.
Put simply, we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities, it says. The impediments and disparities do exist, they are varied, and ironically very few of them are directly to do with racism. Too often racism is the catch-all explanation, and can be simply implicitly accepted rather than explicitly examined.
The report went on to say that other factorssuch as geography, socio-economic background, culture, family influence, and religionhad more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism.
Perhaps the low point of the report is when it appears to find some benefits of the African slave tradean atrocity in which Britain very much led the way. The government report chirpily states: There is a new story about the Caribbean experience which speaks to the slave period not only being about profit and suffering but how culturally African people transformed themselves into a re- modelled African/Britain.
The report has, predictably, received an extremely bad reaction from anti-racism advocates. Rehana Azam, the national secretary of the GMB trade union, said: Only this government could produce a report on race in the 21st century that actually gaslights Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic people and communities. This feels like a deeply cynical report that not only ignores Black and ethnic minority workers worries, but is part of an election strategy to divide working class people and voters.
David Lammy, a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party and shadow Justice Secretary, described the report as an insult to anybody and everybody across this country who experiences institutional racism. He added: Boris Johnson has just slammed the door in their faces by telling them that theyre idealists, they are wasting their time. He has let an entire generation of young white and Black British people down.
Prof Kehinde Andrews, a professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, said: Its 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 doesnt exist.
Institutional racism in Britain has been under the spotlight in recent weeks after Prince Harry and Meghan Markles allegation that the royal family expressed concerns about how dark their babys skin would be. Harry said racism in the British media was a large part of why he left the country, adding: Unfortunately, if the source of information is inherently corrupt or racist or biased, then that filters out to the rest of society.
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