• Tuesday, May 17, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Race report ‘whitewashes daily challenges’, groups urge Johnson to withdraw

The report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was ordered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government after widespread Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests last summer.

By: Sattwik Biswal

CAMPAIGNERS of groups including Black Lives Matter UK say the report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has “provoked national indignation”.

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson they have asked to withdraw the report and instead look to implement recommendations of previous inquiries.

They also allege that the report “whitewashes the daily challenges faced by black and minoritised communities”.

The government set up the commission in June last year, following anti-racism protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd in the US.

The report that was published last month said the country “no longer” has a system working against the people from ethnic minorities.

The report did admit that overt racism exists, particularly online, but said for removing race-based disparities in the society, UK should be regarded as a model for other white-majority countries.

After the report was out, Johnson reacting to its findings had said that he does not agree with everything in the report but wants to implement its recommendations.

The letter also said the report was “lacking in intellectual rigour” and urged Johnson to establish a task force to implement the recommendations made by previous inquiries.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has said its work has been misrepresented and it had “never said that racism does not exist in society or in institutions”.

“We say the contrary, racism is real and we must do more to tackle it,” the commission had said in a statement last week.

“Robust debate we welcome. But to depict us as racism deniers, slavery apologists or worse is unacceptable.”

The letter calling for the withdrawal of the report, has gained more than 20,000 signatures in 48 hours, and also receiving support from writer Afua Hirsch and actor Riz Ahmed.

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