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|UK Race Report Written By Blackman Promptly Rejected By Fellow Blacks And Asian by laptramaptra: 7:35pm On Apr 02, 2021|
Doreen Lawrence says No 10 report gives 'racists the green light'
Exclusive: Mother of murdered teenager says Sewell report has pushed fight against racism back 20 years or more
Doreen Lawrence said the new report sought to undermine and deny progress since her son Stephen’s death.
Doreen Lawrence said the new report sought to undermine and deny progress since her son Stephen’s death. Photograph: Andy Hall/The Observer
Thu 1 Apr 2021 15.27 BST
Last modified on Thu 1 Apr 2021 21.28 BST
Doreen Lawrence, who campaigned for 18 years for justice after her son Stephen was murdered by racists, has said a government-commissioned report that claimed the UK no longer had a system rigged against minorities could allow racism to flourish.
“My son was murdered because of racism and you cannot forget that. Once you start covering it up it is giving the green light to racists. You imagine what’s going to happen come tomorrow. What’s going to happen on our streets with our young people? You are giving racists the green light,” Lady Lawrence said.
Race report: 'the government has completely missed the mark'
Her words follow an outcry over the 258-page report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED), which claimed the term “structural racism” was “too liberally used” and that factors such as socioeconomic background, culture and religion had a “more significant impact on life chances”.
Shortly after the report’s publication the government admitted that a “considerable number” of people giving evidence – particularly from ethnic minorities – had in fact told the commission that structural racism was a real problem.
Speaking hours after the report was released at a virtual event organised by De Montfort University in Leicester, Lawrence said: “When I first heard about the report my first thought was it has pushed [the fight against] racism back 20 years or more.
Despite the Sewell report, No 10 can no longer remain in denial about racism
“I think if you were to speak to somebody whose employer speaks to them in a certain way, where do you go with that now? If a person is up for promotion and has been denied that, where does he go with that now?
“You know, all these things we’ve been working for and showing that structural racism exists – we talk about the pandemic when you look at how many of our people have died, all the nurses, the doctors, the frontline staff, of Covid, and to have this report denying that those people have suffered?
“They are denying that the likes of my son was murdered through racism and the fact that it took 18 years to get justice for him. The report is denying all those issues.”
Stephen Lawrence’s death in 1993 prompted the 1998 public inquiry headed by Sir William Macpherson. Macpherson examined the police investigation into Stephen’s death and ruled that the Metropolitan police force was institutionally racist.
The publication in 1999 of Macpherson’s report has been called one of the most important moments in the modern history of criminal justice in Britain.
Lawrence told the audience on Wednesday night that the new report sought to undermine and deny progress since her son’s death.
“Those people who marched for Black Lives Matter? It’s denying all of that. The George Floyd stuff? It’s denied all of that. So those who sit behind this report [saying] that racism doesn’t exist or it no longer exists need to speak to the young boys who are stopped and searched constantly on the street. They need to speak to those young people.
“They [the report authors] are not in touch with reality, basically. That’s what it boils down to. When you are privileged you do not have those experiences,” she said.
Lawrence and her solicitor Imran Khan were speaking at a public event organised by De Montfort University’s Stephen Lawrence research centre.
The event had been planned in advance to discuss Leicester’s plans to mark the national Stephen Lawrence Day on 22 April, but conversation quickly turned to the report published on Wednesday morning by the CRED, which had been set up after the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
Lawrence and Khan fought for 18 years to get convictions against two of Stephen’s murderers. The Macpherson report concluded the police investigation into the killing had been “marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership”.
Lawrence’s comments were disclosed on the day that a British police officer became the first to be convicted of belonging to a neo-Nazi terrorist organisation.
PC Ben Hannam, 22, was found guilty of membership of the banned rightwing extremist group National Action (NA) following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Downing Street did not wish to comment on Lawrence’s criticisms. A UK government spokesperson said: “The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has now been published. The government will respond to the recommendations in due course.”
Khan said of the new report: “I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked. It’s unbelievable. One of the panel members of the Lawrence inquiry coined the phrase ‘a reality spectrum’ because when we were talking about racism in the inquiry around the time that Stephen was murdered there was one reality of those who experienced racism and there was another reality of the [police] officers and the institutions.
“So, what this panel member said was that you have got to cross that reality spectrum. That’s what reminds me of today.
“These authors of the report are living in a completely different reality to those who are going about their business and on the same day that I am looking at the trial in the States [of the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd], you are having this.
“What reality do the authors occupy when they see the statistics of stop and search and they see the statistics of the number of black people within the prison system or the disproportionate number of people who are getting convictions and so on?
“The data completely undermines that report and you wonder whether it’s the sort of thing that we got immediately after the Lawrence inquiry – in fact, during the Lawrence inquiry – of police officers saying: ‘There is no institutional racism,’ and then, after that, they said: ‘Well there was, so now we have changed it.’
“And that gives, unfortunately, those who wish to peddle racism the opportunity now. They have been given the green card to say: ‘I am not being racist. Racism does not exist.’
“So, I am afraid, as Doreen rightly says, it has put back the issue of tackling discrimination and racism 20-odd years. We are back to square one. Disappointing is an understatement.
“It is shocking and, to not put too blunt a point on this, it is not worth the paper it is written on. I have client upon client who complains about racism left, right and centre. Nobody has spoken to me about that. I wonder who they have spoken to about that and what this is out to achieve?
“Is this government seeking to draw a line under issues of racism because they don’t want to deal with it? Because to deal with racism is difficult. It requires changes to be made and this government does not want to do it. Individuals and institutions don’t want to do it. So, we are in for a really rough ride.”
A spokesperson for the CRED said the report found evidence that outright racism did exist in the UK and had made strong recommendations that the Equality and Human Rights Commission be given more resources.
The spokesperson said: “The report also highlights many instances of success among our ethnic minority groups, in education and health, something which we should recognise and learn from.
“Commissioners have also made clear that factors such as deprivation, geography, family structure and sex all merit consideration before confirming that racial discrimination is driving different outcomes between groups and that is conveyed in the report we have presented to government.”
|Re: UK Race Report Written By Blackman Promptly Rejected By Fellow Blacks And Asian by laptramaptra: 7:36pm On Apr 02, 2021|
Ndi isi oji
|Re: UK Race Report Written By Blackman Promptly Rejected By Fellow Blacks And Asian by Henrydonland(m): 7:38pm On Apr 02, 2021|
The truth is that racism would continue till the end.
|Re: UK Race Report Written By Blackman Promptly Rejected By Fellow Blacks And Asian by Rossikki: 8:45pm On Apr 02, 2021|
Choke in your self-hatred.
Empty headed dunce.
I bet you bleach too.
|Re: UK Race Report Written By Blackman Promptly Rejected By Fellow Blacks And Asian by McSquishi(f): 9:04pm On Apr 02, 2021|
I’m glad for the pushback. But honestly I don’t know why we expect the institutions to do anything beside gaslight us. They have absolutely no gains by acknowledging structural/systemic racism and much to lose.
Once they acknowledge the current social structure is built to keep racial/ethnic minorities as a permanent exploitable underclass they will have to change things and thus lose their permanent exploitable underclass...
Of course they will deny that racism (and its offshoots) exists and do harm until the very end...
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