Good news! Britain has solved racism!

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Little waster
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Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Little waster » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:07 am

I don't know about "exemplar of racial equality" but we are certainly world class at gaslighting.


Tl;dr version There is no institutional racism in the UK the real problem is a) Muslims, b) uppity black people who don't accept their lot and c) the gayz.

So that's nice.

I don't know if anyone could possibly have predicted that a commission hand-picked to only include people who have made a career out of denying the existence of institutional racism would surprisingly conclude everything is wonderful in the garden.

In other news, random members of the RCP/$piked continue to pop up in senior positions shilling right wing orthodoxies just like Marx apparently wanted them to.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by discovolante » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:13 am

I was looking for the report and turns out it isn't released until 11:30am, which feels strangely deliberate, and here is a thread about it: https://twitter.com/KateEMcCann/status/ ... 25441?s=19

From what I can gather it isn't quite fair to say the report says 'Britain has solved racism' but by only releasing a section of the report in time for the morning's headlines it makes it more difficult to avoid prejudging it.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:36 am

It might be useful to go back to the definition in the McPherson report:
"Institutional Racism" consists of the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotypingwhich disadvantage minority ethnic people.

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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by discovolante » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:48 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:36 am
It might be useful to go back to the definition in the McPherson report:
"Institutional Racism" consists of the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotypingwhich disadvantage minority ethnic people.
Maybe once we have the report :P but yeah it's relevant, although I find it hard to imagine that institutions are unlikely to be racist if individuals still are. I get that processed and systems can help but they are only worth anything if they can be easily enforced.

Also here is some commentary from last August on the statutory (or not) basis of the report, the issues that raises and the government's habit of commissioning reports whenever things get a bit sticky: https://insights.doughtystreet.co.uk/po ... isparities
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by monkey » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:45 am

David Lammy had some things to say about this (about 8 mins long) - clicky

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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Tessa K » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:02 pm

monkey wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:45 am
David Lammy had some things to say about this (about 8 mins long) - clicky
He's really good, a heroic amount of patience and calm.

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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by monkey » Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:31 pm

I decided to give the report a skim (not got to the data bit, which is the bulk of it). It seems to be full of freshly picked cherries and distortions.

I think bit neatly summarises what the whole thing does (from page 46):
Almost exactly half of ethnic minority Britons do not think their race has been an obstacle to their personal advancement. Responding to the question ‘Do you think your race has or has not directly prevented you from being able to succeed or pursue opportunities in your own personal life?’, 40% of ethnic minority people said it has and 38% said it has not.

Despite this, a majority of ethnic minority Britons agree that race relations have improved over the last 50 years and this view is held by 3 times as many people as those who believe race relations have got worse.
Step 1: Cherry pick the positive statistic and emphasise it, to give the impression everything is OK
Step 2: Acknowledge the negative.
Step 3: Dismiss the negative by saying "Things aren't as bad as they were"*

It's basically a really long Spiked article.


*We're not as bad as other places is also acceptable.

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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:50 pm

In what world is it accurate to describe 40% as "almost exactly half"? It doesn't seem fair to assume that the third category (presumably "don't know/prefer not to say" or whatever) haven't had problems.

There's also a whiff of the typical Toryish "I'm alright Jack" attitude: just because it hasn't affected their "personal advancement" doesn't mean it hasn't affected them, nor that it hasn't affected others.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by monkey » Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:20 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:50 pm
In what world is it accurate to describe 40% as "almost exactly half"? It doesn't seem fair to assume that the third category (presumably "don't know/prefer not to say" or whatever) haven't had problems.
Well, if you're not counting the don't knows, it is about 50%, but a couple of percent under.

The biggest problem I have with that passage is that it also means that just over half of ethnic minorities think they have been discriminated against, which is not something that should be swept under the carpet in such a way.

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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by discovolante » Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:42 pm

Mmm, in comparison, then if I'm being honest I would be hard pushed to say whether or not being a woman has 'directly* prevented me from being able to succeed or pursue opportunities in my own personal life'. I don't feel like it has *directly*, but I can't know with absolute certainty. If it hasn't then I consider myself lucky, or perhaps someone who has just pursued opportunities that tend to be relatively available to women anyway (I also haven't had kids). But I know that I'm lucky, and say, career-wise, if I had been better at maths I might have been a bit more inclined towards science (I am a total lost cause on that now, however, and haven't got a clue), which may have posed more challenges. It's fairly easy to not be 'directly' affected by something if you go down the line of lesser resistance in the first place, consciously or otherwise.

*note use of word 'directly' here - what about indirectly? If I was asked that question I'd probably find it more difficult to answer.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Gfamily » Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:47 pm

Although I've not read the report, from the interviews with commission members that I have heard, they appear to have focused on the changes in the Education system over the last few decades, and (apparently) used this to say that BAME groups are not always the worst served by the education system, therefore there isn't a problem with institutional racism.

and not going any further.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Little waster » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:04 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:47 pm
Although I've not read the report, from the interviews with commission members that I have heard, they appear to have focused on the changes in the Education system over the last few decades, and (apparently) used this to say that BAME groups are not always the worst served by the education system, therefore there isn't a problem with institutional racism.

and not going any further.
Putting my ex-teacher hat on, this is the result of a concerted effort over a number of years of deliberate, centrally-mandated positive discrimination* to lift the educational achievement of BAME groups all the way from "below average" to the heady heights of "average" (both with massive error bars; IME poor black lads still perform much worse than say middle class East Asian girls) to the point that poor white lads are now probably the biggest academically underperforming group, even with all the focus on PP/FSM kids, but this isn't really much of an argument to now let the BAME kids sink or swim on their own.

*This of course is just the sort of intervention that this report and its two main authors are saying (and have always been saying) we should now discontinue as being no longer required. :?
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Little waster » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:06 am

And as further evidence of how well-received this report was No 10's Race Advisor resigns saying
tensions over race policies within No 10 had become “unbearable”

and
he considered resigning over fears the Conservatives were pursuing a “politics steeped in division”.

He wrote: “It is well documented that black and Asian people are significantly less likely to vote Conservative, despite often having values that are aligned. The gains made under David Cameron in 2015 have been eroded in subsequent elections.”
While Lord Wooley who originally appointed him said:-
The only black special adviser in No 10 has felt that his only recourse to this grubby, divisive Sewell report is to resign. I appointed Samuel to the race disparity advisory group when we first launched. He is a decent man whose energy has been hellbent on serving his country and tackling systemic racism.

“This is going to be a real moment for the PM and his aides at No 10 Downing Street. Black people around the country are incandescent with rage that their lived experience of persistent race inequality is being denied and belittled,”
So that's all obviously going swimmingly.

Boris Johnson (presumably) waffled something in reply that anyone who thinks there is any institutional racism in the UK should do what the Racist Van tells them and go home back to Bongo Bongo Land with the other picaninnies before they find the environment becomes too hostile for them. Is HMT Empire Windrush still in service?
Last edited by Little waster on Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Fishnut » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:10 am

The BMJ has some choice words about the health section.
The 30-page section on health in the report claims to undo several decades of irrefutable peer-reviewed research evidence on ethnic disparities, previous governments’ reports, and independent reviews all reaching similar conclusions: ethnic minorities have the worst health outcomes on almost all health parameters. The report’s conclusions, recommendations, and cherry-picked data to support a particular narrative shows why it should have been externally peer-reviewed by independent health experts and scientists. Furthermore, we would expect that a report with such lofty ambitions of presenting a “new race agenda” would have at least one health expert or a biomedical scientist on the commission. It included a space scientist, a retired diplomat, a politics graduate, a TV presenter and an English literature graduate, but no one with an academic background in health inequalities.

This report is a missed opportunity. It lacks the scientific credibility and authority to be used for major policy decisions. Its methodology and language, its lack of scientific expertise, and the well-known opinions of its authors make it more suitable as a political manifesto rather than an authoritative expert report.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by jimbob » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:00 pm

monkey wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:31 pm
I decided to give the report a skim (not got to the data bit, which is the bulk of it). It seems to be full of freshly picked cherries and distortions.

I think bit neatly summarises what the whole thing does (from page 46):
Almost exactly half of ethnic minority Britons do not think their race has been an obstacle to their personal advancement. Responding to the question ‘Do you think your race has or has not directly prevented you from being able to succeed or pursue opportunities in your own personal life?’, 40% of ethnic minority people said it has and 38% said it has not.

Despite this, a majority of ethnic minority Britons agree that race relations have improved over the last 50 years and this view is held by 3 times as many people as those who believe race relations have got worse.
Step 1: Cherry pick the positive statistic and emphasise it, to give the impression everything is OK
Step 2: Acknowledge the negative.
Step 3: Dismiss the negative by saying "Things aren't as bad as they were"*

It's basically a really long Spiked article.


*We're not as bad as other places is also acceptable.
Where is the report please?

I've seen discussions and selective quotes, including the one that is the most on-brand for Spiked
There is a new story about the Caribbean experience which speaks to the slave period not only being about profit and suffering but how culturally African people transformed themselves into a re-modelled African/Britain.
I'm actually glad they put this in, because it is so obscene that it discredits the whole report
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by insignificant » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:02 pm

Little waster wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:06 am
And as further evidence of how well-received this report was No 10's Race Advisor resigns saying
tensions over race policies within No 10 had become “unbearable”
fixed link?
Last edited by insignificant on Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Gfamily » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:02 pm

jimbob wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:00 pm

Where is the report please?
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... isparities
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Little waster » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:19 pm

insignificant wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:02 pm
Little waster wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:06 am
And as further evidence of how well-received this report was No 10's Race Advisor resigns saying
tensions over race policies within No 10 had become “unbearable”
fixed link?
Looks good to me, no idea what was going on there :oops:
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Fishnut » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:31 pm

I'm having a read of the report and making comments as I go.

For bios of the Commissioners these two articles are helpful: This one from the Independent is from yesterday though only covers 4 of the commissioners, and this is from the BBC last year when the commission was first announced. As has been widely noted, the Chair has spoken of his belief that institutional racism is overstated. His piece in Prospect Magazine in 2010 states that "Much of the supposed evidence of institutional racism is flimsy."

Of course, everyone has biases and it's better to be aware of them than pretend impartiality when it doesn't exist. However, if you're asking people to write a report on whether there's still institutional racism then picking people who don't believe there is before they've even looked at the evidence isn't exactly inspiring confidence in their ability to identify ongoing institutional racism.

Forward from the Chair (p6-8)
The word mistrust was repeated often as some witnesses from the police service, mental health, education and health services felt that the system was not on their side. Once we interrogated the data we did find some evidence of biases, but often it was a perception that the wider society could not be trusted. For some groups historic experience of racism still haunts the present and there was a reluctance to acknowledge that the UK had become open and fairer.
I can't help but read this as "it's your own fault for thinking there's still racism".
The data also revealed many instances of success among minority communities. These have often been ignored or have been seen to be of little interest (to the media). But we wanted to understand the reasons for the success and whether there were any lessons to be drawn.
Successes are important, but this feels like an attempt to diminish any problems - individuals can succeed so if you don't it's because you didn't try hard enough and you're just blaming your failures on your race because you don't want to admit you didn't. I don't doubt that the media have ignored success stories in minority communities and I would be interested to know if they examine why this is. Could it be, possibly, that institutional racism makes these stories less appealing to editors and publishers?
Another revelation from our dive into the data was just how stuck some groups from the White majority are. As a result, we came to the view that recommendations should, wherever possible, be designed to remove obstacles for everyone, rather than specific groups.
I'm surprised at how surprised they are at this "revelation". Underachievement for white working class boys in particular has been a constant source of hand-wringing for years now. Here's just some of the reports I found over the last few years: Impetus (2014) - Digging Deeper: Why white working class boys underachieve and what can be done about it, The Sutton Trust (2016) - Class differences: Ethnicity and disadvantage and Kings College London (2016) - The underrepresentation of white working class boys in higher education. The government even has an inquiry that is currently running titled "Left behind white pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds". The inclusion of this observation seems reminiscent to me of the "What About the Menz!?" comments that are so popular whenever people try to talk about issues facing women. It is a distraction and a way of diminishing the importance of the topics under discussion. To see this so early on in the report really doesn't bode well.
As our investigations proceeded, we increasingly felt that an unexplored approach to closing disparity gaps was to examine the extent individuals and their communities could help themselves through their own agency, rather than wait for invisible external forces to assemble to do the job.
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!!
this report speaks to a new period, which we have described as the era of ‘participation’. We can only speak of ‘participation’ if we acknowledge that the UK has fundamentally shifted since those periods in the past and has become a more open society. We have spoken in this report about how the UK is open to all its communities. But we are acutely aware that the door may be only half open to some, including the White working class.
Another explicit reference to the white working class.
Participation, however, is not just about opening the doors, we also speak to the need for communities to run through that open space and grasp those opportunities. We have found that some ethnic minorities have been able to ‘participate’ better than others.
Another attempt at blaming individuals for failing to succeed.
The new challenge of ‘participation’ is best illustrated in the policies that face police recruitment. The police need to demonstrate that they are truly a more welcoming organisation and Black communities need to overcome the legacy of mistrust.
Black communities need to overcome the legacy of mistrust??? When the police have been beating up protestors and vigil attendees all over the country I'm not sure that asking people of any race or ethnicity to stop mistrusting their police is a great look.
In health, we need more Black and Asian people to participate in health trials so that medical research will be based on data that comes from the whole population.
This is a fair comment, but I'll be curious to see whether they examine the reasons for racial disparities in participation. Are there barriers to entry that make it harder for Black and Asian people to take part compared to white people?
The ‘Making of Modern Britain’ teaching resource is our response to negative calls for ‘decolonising’ the curriculum. Neither the banning of White authors or token expressions of Black achievement will help to broaden young minds. We have argued against bringing down statues, instead, we want all children to reclaim their British heritage. We want to create a teaching resource that looks at the influence of the UK, particularly during the Empire period. We want to see how Britishness influenced the Commonwealth and local communities, and how the Commonwealth and local communities influenced what we now know as modern Britain. One great example would be a dictionary or lexicon of well known British words which are Indian in origin. There is a new story about the Caribbean experience which speaks to the slave period not only being about profit and suffering but how culturally African people transformed themselves into a re-modelled African/Britain.
Oh god. There is so much to unpick here I don't know where to start.

Right. Ok. So, calls to 'decolonise' the curriculum are not "negative" and to portray them as such betrays the Chair's bias. Decolonising the curriculum is about broadening the range of narratives that children are exposed to rather than the hagiographic version of history they are currently presented. No-one has, to my knowledge, called for a banning of white authors. No-one has, to my knowledge, asked for tokenistic additions of Black achievement. What people have asked is that we reduce the teaching the same few long-dead authors who speak of a Britain that hasn't existed for, in some cases centuries, and introduce a more diverse range of authors who are more relevant and provide a diversities of experiences not just in the stories they tell but the way they tell them. I might have found English literature a bit more interesting if it wasn't just a load of stories about women in long dresses trying to find husbands.

An examination of the impact of the empire on the lands that it colonised is a worthy endeavour, providing it is not a hagiographic "we brought them civilisation" misrepresentation of events. But where's the examination of the impact of the empire back in the UK? The wealth that it brought - so many stately homes have links to the slave trade [PDF], the new people it brought - the fact that the first Indian restaurant in the UK opened in 1810, for example, or that there was a black musician in King Henry VIII's court. We seem to think the British Empire happened 'over there' and ignore the massive impacts it had 'over here'.

The suggestion of a dictionary of British words of Indian origin is insultingly tokenistic. The suggestion of a "new story about the Caribbean experience" is just plain insulting.
Put simply we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities. The impediments and disparities do exist, they are varied, and ironically very few of them are directly to do with racism. Too often ‘racism’ is the catch-all explanation, and can be simply implicitly accepted rather than explicitly examined.
I'm curious to see the evidence that supports this claim.
The evidence shows that geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion have more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism.
I'm curious to see how they separate these factors out, given the obvious links between geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion and ethnicity/race.
That said, we take the reality of racism seriously and we do not deny that it is a real force in the UK.
We'll just spend the next 249 pages downplaying that reality. (yes, my biases are showing too).
The Commission was keen to gain a more forensic and rigorous understanding of underlying causes of disparities. However, we have argued for the use of the term ‘institutional racism’ to be applied only when deep-seated racism can be proven on a systemic level and not be used as a general catch-all phrase for any microaggression, witting or unwitting.
I am definitely curious to see how they define institutional racism.
There are still real obstacles and there are also practical ways to surmount them, but that becomes much harder if people from ethnic minority backgrounds absorb a fatalistic narrative that says the deck is permanently stacked against them.
Yet another expression of the Chair's belief that people only have themselves to blame for any sh.t they experience in their lives.

Right, I'm done. That's taken me far too long to unpick and I need to go and do real work.

I'll try and go through more of the report over the next few days but if anyone else wants to have a go then please do! It would be good if we could tag-team it.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by jimbob » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:32 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:02 pm
jimbob wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:00 pm

Where is the report please?
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... isparities
Thanks
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by jimbob » Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:10 pm

monkey wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:31 pm


It's basically a really long Spiked article.

I mentioned your description on Twitter and got this reply

https://twitter.com/FrancisMaudeAdv/sta ... 56259?s=20

Rebranding Slavery as a "Life experience that can enrich you" is so f*cking Spiked Magazine I'm amazed the report wasn't tattooed on Brendon O'Neills back and presented to the World like that.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by jimbob » Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:26 pm

https://inews.co.uk/culture/arts/race-r ... ion-938503

Another person surprised to find themselves listed as a contributor
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by monkey » Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:47 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:31 pm
I'm having a read of the report and making comments as I go.
Thanks, Fishnut. I don't have the time to do this in detail.
jimbob wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:00 pm
Where is the report please?
Apologies, should've linked.
jimbob wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:10 pm
monkey wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:31 pm


It's basically a really long Spiked article.

I mentioned your description on Twitter and got this reply

https://twitter.com/FrancisMaudeAdv/sta ... 56259?s=20

Rebranding Slavery as a "Life experience that can enrich you" is so f*cking Spiked Magazine I'm amazed the report wasn't tattooed on Brendon O'Neills back and presented to the World like that.
I actually went to Spiked to see how smug Brendan O'Neill was feeling. The answer is "very". But I think my description was wrong because I don't think the report mentioned the "liberal elite" even once. (not linking, no apologies).

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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:06 pm

Thanks for going through all that, Fishnut.

Right now, I don't really have anything coherent to say. I'm sad and pissed off. What an outrageous, dishonest and unpleasant piece of work. "Yes there is racism but most of it is indirect and maybe minorities should just stop whingeing and work harder" seems to be an apt summary.

FFS.
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Re: Good news! Britain has solved racism!

Post by cvb » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:49 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:06 pm
Thanks for going through all that, Fishnut.

Right now, I don't really have anything coherent to say. I'm sad and pissed off. What an outrageous, dishonest and unpleasant piece of work. "Yes there is racism but most of it is indirect and maybe minorities should just stop whingeing and work harder" seems to be an apt summary.

FFS.
Thanks from me as well.

They had already made up their minds and went looking for evidence to back this up.

Unsurprising that man who does not believe in institutional discrimination does not find institutional discrimination.

It is f.cking awful.

As for the quote “There is a new story about the Caribbean experience which speaks to the slave period not only being about profit and suffering but how culturally African people transformed themselves into a re-modelled African/Britain.” it is beyond f.cking disgusting.

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