The 2-page handout





The reading

A report on racism commissioned by the United Kingdom has drawn criticism from upholders of racial equality. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was established last summer in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in the USA. That death sparked protests across the world and fuelled the Black Lives Matter movement. The commission acknowledged that racism remains a "real force" in the UK. However, it said the British system is no longer "deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities". It said people use racism as a "catch-all explanation" for not getting ahead in life. It added that geography, family, socio-economic background, culture and religion have a more significant impact on success in life than race.



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Advocates of racial equality called the report, "a truly historic denial of the scale of race inequality in Britain". The day the report was released, the UK government's most senior adviser on race resigned, although he said the timing was coincidental. A leading UK politician and radio show host, David Lammy, was deeply critical of the report. He accused the government of "gaslighting" the British public. He tweeted: "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 of the endless debate about whether structural racism exists with little desire to actually address it. We are being gaslighted."

Sources:

  • https://www.npr.org/2021/04/01/983499592/u-k-government-report-draws-criticism-over-historic-denial-of-race-issues
  • https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/02/sewell-report-racial-disparity-progress-division-racism
  • https://www.thedailybeast.com/samuel-kasumu-quits-after-gaslighting-study-that-denied-institutional-racism-exists

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