A commission set up by the Prime Minister has released its report into racial inequality in Britain.
The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was set up by Boris Johnson following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last summer. The 258-page report looks into inequalities in education, criminal justice and employment.
The report criticised Critical Race Theory and the so-called ‘unconscious bias’ training, noting the “bleak new theories about race that insist on accentuating our differences”. It also attacked the “increasingly strident form of anti-racism thinking that seeks to explain all minority disadvantage through the prism of white discrimination”.
The Commission also found that: “Put simply, we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities”, and that racism was being used as a “catch-all explanation” for inequality. They also attacked diversity training very bluntly, saying: “Diversity training and policies that treat people differently according to ethnicity does not work.”
Another aspect picked up on by the report was the importance of family for educational success and for crime rates. It said: “Family is also the foundation stone of success for many ethnic minorities”, and added that it was of “grave concern” that 63% of children from black Caribbean backgrounds have grown up in single-parent households, compared to a UK average of 14.7%. The report stated that it was not “passing judgement” or “allocating blame”, but also that “governments cannot remain neutral here”.
‘Stop and search’ tactics used by the police were described by the report as a “critical tool for policing when used appropriately, and lawfully”. It argued that the disproportionate numbers of minorities pulled over were due to the demographics and characteristics of the local populations.
On schooling, the report stated that the primary factors in determining achievement were family, geography and poverty. It also described schooling in the UK as the “single most emphatic success story of the British ethnic minority experience”.
According to the statistics in the report, ethnic communities did as well as or better than white students in compulsory education, with black Caribbean students the only minority to do worse. It did acknowledge the teaching profession as “overwhelmingly white”, but said the disparities in expulsions between ethnic groups “cannot be reduced to structural racism and individual teacher bias”.
A spokesperson for Black Lives Matter UK said that the report fails to “explore disproportionality in school exclusion, eurocentrism and censorship in the curriculum, or the ongoing attainment gap in higher education”.
They continued: “We are also disappointed to learn that the report overlooks disproportionality in the criminal justice system – particularly as police racism served as the catalyst for last summer’s protests.
“Black people in England and Wales are nine times more likely to be imprisoned than their white peers, and yet, four years on, the recommendations from the Lammy review are yet to be implemented.”
‘A spokesperson for Black Lives Matter UK said that while the report focused on education, “it fails to explore disproportionality in school exclusion, eurocentrism and censorship in the curriculum, or the ongoing attainment gap in higher education”’https://t.co/y023bjSdvL
— #BlackLivesMatterUK (@ukblm) March 31, 2021
David Lammy MP responded to the report on Twitter by saying:
For my own mental well-being I am not doing media interviews on the race commission today. Like so many in Britain’s Black community I’m tired! Tired of the endless debate about whether structural racism exists with little desire to actually address it. We are being gaslighted.
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) March 31, 2021