• Monday, May 20, 2024


Survey: Britain best place to live for ethnic minorities, but inequality remains

The 75th anniversary of the Windrush will be held on 22 June with events taking place across the UK

Passengers walk past the National Windrush Monument created by Jamaican artist Basil Watson at Waterloo Station in London on April 6, 2023. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

BRITAIN is a better place to live for ethnic minorities than other countries like the US, Germany or France, a new survey has revealed.

According to the report, as many as 80 per cent of ethnic minority Britons agree that the UK is a better place to live but added that much more work to do on racial equality.

The new findings were released on Wednesday (7) in ‘Why the Windrush matters today’ report by think tank British Future as part of the Windrush 75 network.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of ethnic minority respondents to the survey agreed that black and Asian people face discrimination in their everyday lives in Britain, while only 10 per cent disagreed.

The report also examined what people know and feel about the Windrush, how we should commemorate its 75th anniversary on 22 June and what we should do now to tackle prejudice and bring people together.

The survey revealed that seven in ten people (71 per cent) and of ethnic minorities too (68 per cent) believed that the UK has made significant progress on racial equality in the last 25 years.

However, a vast majority of ethnic minorities (80 per cent) and 66 per cent of the public agreed that the country needs to make much more progress on racial equality in the next 25 years.

As many as 87 per cent of black respondents felt that much more progress is needed in this regard.

“The Windrush 75th anniversary is an important moment to honour the pioneers of this history. It should now be seized as a chance to imagine our future too. Britain has changed for the better in these 75 years but we must also focus on the progress we still need to see on race,” said Sunder Katwala, director of British Future and co-author of the report.

“Committing now to an ambitious agenda for change in the quarter-century to come would be a fitting legacy.”

According to the report, two-thirds (66 per cent) of the public and 70 per cent of ethnic minorities urged to focus less on arguments about language and more on practical action to tackle racial inequality.

More than half the public (57 per cent) felt that the UK political and media debate has become more divisive on questions of race in the last 10 years. Meanwhile two-thirds of ethnic minority respondents and general public said that they would welcome a less heated debate on race.

“The Windrush is black history and it is British history, the story of how our society came to look as it does today and why we all have a stake in it. It is something that all of our children should learn about at school and something that all of us can celebrate,” said Patrick Vernon, convenor of the Windrush 75 network.

“It is also history that we must take care not to lose as the Windrush generation sadly passes away. We should act now to capture and preserve their stories, engaging the next generation so they understand their heritage.”

Six in 10 people (61 per cent) felt that the 75th anniversary of Windrush is important. That rises to 71 per cent of ethnic minorities and 84 per cent of black Caribbean Britons.

Three-quarters of the respondents think that children should learn about the Windrush and how post-war migration shaped today’s society. Around 89 per cent from the black Caribbean community wanted to teach this history.

The survey revealed that two-thirds of the public and 7 in 10 ethnic minority Britons would support setting a Windrush 100 goal of ‘net zero racism by 2048’.

Only 28 per cent of the public and 45 per cent of ethnic minority Britons think that it could be achieved in 25 years.

Almost half of the general public want government to prioritise tougher rules on online hatred to achieve net zero racism, but ethnic minorities urged to focus on fair chances in employment.

The HMT Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury docks in 1948, bringing more than 800 passengers from the Caribbean.

It has come to symbolise the start of post-war Commonwealth migration and the multi-ethnic society of Britain today.

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