Racism in the UK: Is the UK institutionally racist?

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 A report in Pink News,the brand for the global LGBT+ community and the next generation, whose mission is to inform, inspire change and empower people to be themselves, says claims that there is no evidence of institutional racism in the UK, by a leading race equality think tank, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities are a “gross offence”  and “extremely disturbing”. The commission was set up to investigate and report on racism in the UK following Black Lives Matter in the summer of 2020.

The UK Government is condemned over ‘disturbing’ report claiming there’s no evidence of institutional racism in the UK, wrote Patrick Kelleher March 31, 2021.  

The commission’s report claims that the UK “should be regarded as a model for other white-majority countries” on race issues because children from ethnic minority backgrounds were found to do as well or better than their white counterparts in school, and there is no evidence of institutional racism in the UK.

Leading race equality groups, have expressed their profound disappointment after the Government Equalities Office released key findings from the commission’s report on Tuesday evening (30 March), showing that the commission had dismissed the effects of structural racism.

Halima Begum, chief executive of the Runnymede Trust said the commission indirectly acknowledged a lack of institutional support for young Black and Ethnic_groups_in_the_United_Kingdom  students by attributing their success at school to “minority aspiration”. She said the finding is a “clear acknowledgement by the commission that immigrants and ethnic minorities are left to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, urging their children to over-achieve in school, precisely because there is not the necessary institutional support available to them.”

Begum continued: “The very idea that government evidence confirms that institutional racism does not exist is frankly extremely disturbing. A young Black mother is four times more likely to die in childbirth than her white friend. A young Black man is nineteen times more likely to be stopped and searched by the Metropolitan Police than his young white neighbour.” She felt massively let down by the report.

David Lammy delivered a stirring response to the government’s diversity report after the Commission on Race and Ethnic disparities found no evidence of “institutional racism” in Britain. On his LBC show, the Labour MP listed the names of families who had suffered first hand from institutional racism. He said: “Young people are saying black lives matter and Boris Johnson stands in their way.” It comes after Tony Sewell, the chairman of the race commission said, while there was anecdotal evidence of racism, there was no proof that it was structural, saying there was data to show some ethnic minorities were doing well in the jobs market and in education.

Cressida Dick refused to quit over vigil policing and dismissed ‘armchair critics’. TheMetropolitan police chief stood firm after criticism from the London mayor and the Home Secretary: ‘If it had been lawful, I’d have been there,’ said Cressida Dick after the Sarah Everard vigil. Britain’s most senior police chief defied pressure to resign as she dismissed “armchair” critics amid widespread outrage over officers manhandling women who were mourning the killing of Sarah Everard.

According to Patrick Vernon, the race report is stuck in a time-warp – it doesn’t engage with the realities of being a minority in 2021. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities is in denial about the past, and about the future in a post-pandemic Brexit Britain.

Air pollution is another disparity. People of colour are more likely to live in an area with illegal air pollution levels. Research by the Environmental Defence Fund Europe shows that toxic nitrogen oxide (NO2) is on average 24-31% higher and the most deprived Londoners are over six times more likely to live in areas with higher pollution than the least deprived ( Page 4 Resurgence Ecologist May/June 2021).

If you want to take action, here are some groups to support:


The Black Napoleon by James Hannon.

Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala. From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realised his mum was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers – race and class have shaped Akala’s life and outlook. In this unique book he takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have left us where we are today. This is a very powerful book.

Why I’m no Longer Speaking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published on the 31st of March 2021.

I am an author, writer and speaker. In normal times, I give participative talks in communities, universities, schools and at conferences. My latest book The 21st Century Revolution – A Call to Greatness was Oxford Alumni Book of the Month for November 2016. Professor Katherine J. Willis, CBE, Principal of St Edmund Hall and Professor of Biodiversity, Department Zoology, University of Oxford said “I am greatly enjoying it; you write beautifully”. I update the book through my Blog https://brucenixon.com/ which includes many other topics.

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