It’s sad that it still needs to be said that racism is bad, racism exists, and it is the moral duty of those with power to take action to end racism.
The Government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which can be found here, missed the opportunity to make a clear, bold statement on the state of race equality in this country, to expose the real issues and to make recommendations that would address them in a decisive and comprehensive manner.
The evidence and impact of racism in the UK is overwhelming - ethnic minority communities are at a disadvantage in almost all sectors of society:
In education, the difference in attainment between white working-class children and black Caribbean (British) heritage children is negligible. However, after leaving school, white working-class children are significantly more likely to be taken on into work and will likely earn more while in work.
Black Caribbean and mixed-race students are three times more likely to be expelled from school, when found to have committed similar offences to white students.
In healthcare, black women in the UK have a mortality rate which is five times higher than the UK average and have an infant mortality rate which is twice that of the UK average.
In the justice system, black men are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched. Young black people (under 16s) are more likely to be given a criminal record for the same crimes as white children.
Also overlooked are the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on black communities, and the hostile environment which deported the Windrush generation who came to our country to help us rebuild after the war.
The problem with the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report is that it refuses to acknowledge the lived reality for many people in the UK.
Whilst some of recommendations made in the report are helpful, they fall far short of what could have been achieved. It’s sad that it needs to be repeated: racism is bad, racism exists, and it is the moral duty of those with power to take action to end racism.