Rant: Race Disparities Report not a Rude Awakening, Just Damn Rude!
Thump! The sound of a government-commissioned 258-page report on racism in the UK hitting tables yesterday. Smack! The sound of a slap landing on the poker faces of the perpetrators of this piece of pernicious propaganda. Well, the slap didn’t happen, but it should have, repeatedly. It would have been deserved, repeatedly.
As reports came in on the BBC yesterday, I was left jaw-dropped and aghast, as the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities essentially revealed that after an extensive in-depth study and analysis of the facts and data by a committee comprising of black and brown faces, and no doubt a considerable slice of Downing Street funding, there wasn’t any after all. Disparity, that is. Say what?! If this report had been released today, I’d have thought, haha, nice April’s Fool. Okay, okay, now where’s the real report?
Admittedly I haven’t actually read the report. And I don’t intend to waste time on 258 leaves of what is essentially toilet paper, when I could be doing far more useful and productive stuff like scrolling through TikTok. But I more than got the gist of it from the news reports and expert talking heads voicing either their considered support and approval for the report (peerage in waiting queue) or lambasting it with utter disgust (the closest they’re getting to an OBE is an Out of Body Experience when MI6 sends double-Os after them).
So let’s pick up on a few points in the report that struck me like the shout ‘Paki go home’ hurled from across the road. No wait… that’s a memory, not a metaphor. One that you might think was from the distant past. It is. But not exclusively.
‘The term BAME should not be used.’ Riiight, yeah. Whatever dudes. That’s all you can come up with? Why? Because it lumps all ‘non-white’ people in one group, and certain groups do better or worst or have certain unique issues. Hmm… perhaps some logic there?
No. This is a red herring, a total distraction from real issues, and rather insidious in its attempt to fall back on that old ‘divide and rule’ mantra a certain empire was so renowned for. Let’s set them against each other! I mean why can’t Black-Caribbean kids be more like the Black-er.. African kids at school? They do better apparently. Brown kids even more so.
Wow, pause just a minute there from sweeping generalisations, and dismissing entire segments of communities by singling out the communities, in accusatory tones that are entirely insensitive and blinkered to social-economic and cultural deprivations, at the root of certain communities stymied of progress.
Oh wait, the report does recognise other factors, but puts them ahead of racism as a cause of disparities, not recognising that racism itself is the not-so-subtle overarching instigator, that nourishes the numerous issues facing underprivileged ethnic societies.
Let’s move onto the report’s take on Institutional Racism. There isn’t any. It’s just a made-up catch-all phenomenon deployed by martyr-complex losers looking for something to blame for their own inabilities and lack of motivation. So convinced are the report authors that they recommend Unconscious Bias training being ditched as it’s no longer necessary.
Apparently, people no longer harbour subconscious prejudices and ignorance when it comes to skin colour, foreign originations, accents, exotic names, religions, choice of clothing and how people wear their hair. Rejoice, because now everyone has the noble ability to see beyond all that and ignore these differences completely. How has this happened? I guess they were schooled in the same institution as the Report authors, who clearly subscribe to the methodology of aping the trio of apes famed for one of the oldest memes in history – the ones covering their eyes, ears and mouths.
It’s like the world was shouting ‘racism, racism, RACISM!!’ as the committee which firmly lodged their fingers in their ears, shut their eyes and mantra-like repeatedly sang ‘pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows’ whilethe ghost of the conservative party’s past typed out the actual report for them.
‘Minority ethnic kids do better in school so therefore there can’t be any disadvantages against them’ asserts the thesis of thick-headedness. In fact it absolutely proves the opposite. If more ethnic minority kids are coming out of schools and universities with better and higher qualifications, why are they not populating the highest positions in private and public arenas? Yaar, because they HAVE to be better just to get the lowly, throwaway, unwanted jobs. Meanwhile, some get fast-tracked into senior roles they are unworthy of simply because their name is Hargreaves-Winterbottom or the like. Or just John.
Dr Samir Shah, whose own biography reveals he has been a journalist, a TV producer and working in Intelligence (hmm…) pronounces that things must be okay because 40% of the NHS is staffed by minority ethnic people, which is higher than the national proportion. We should be even prouder then, of achieving 60% – when it comes to the proportion of BAME NHS staff that have died on the frontline of the fight against COVID.
And by this reckoning, he forgot to throw in the corner shop industry, Indian Takeaways and Uber drivers. Oi Shah, we don’t all want to do those predesignated predetermined Desi roles.
Why is it, for example, that my depth and breadth of experience, skills and achievements in the world of automotive media – and this is something I’ve covered more extensively elsewhere – cannot get an appropriate position here in the UK. Could it be that before you get around to reading the resume, you see the picture, see the name, clock the religious orientation? Not you of course, but you know what I mean.
Another author, Dr Tony Sewell (what are these people all ‘Doctor’s of? Fantasy and fiction?) says we are ‘haunted by historic racism’. He goes on: “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”.
Has he ever heard of ghettoisation – and I mean that in the physical, economic and social sense. How are you to excel if you’re surrounded by impoverishment – and this is true of all societies, white or minority ethnic. But the nature of racial demarcations inherently create such ghettos, consciously or unconsciously (oh… what was that about unconscious something or other?).
This isn’t to dismiss, diminish or denigrate the issues faced by underprivileged white communities, and there is no question that the concerns, issues, and welfare of ALL citizens of a State must remain paramount to a responsible government.
But part of that responsibility is also towards creating a just, equal and fair society where true meritocracy is allowed to flourish, but opportunities are presented to all regardless of background, colour, creed, religion, beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, accents, choice of meat or not etc.
Paying big bucks to get a bunch of rainbow Yes people to nod their heads vigorously and claim racism has been defeated, is not helpful, useful and constructive at best, and downright demeaning, destructive and dismissive at worst. In the wake of reawakened overt racism as a result of Brexit and the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a huge wasted opportunity.
‘There is no racism. You’re just imagining it. So there’s no problem and you just need to man up and get on with your life. If Rishi Sunak can make it to 11 Downing Street, why can’t you?’ Easy. That’s because he’s a Vulcan.