- Slides: 13
Racial Inequality – The Big Picture • Racial discrimination is a fact of life in the UK, as it is in every other country in the world. There are widespread racial inequalities, in wealth, in employment, health and crime. In many parts of the UK , there are hardly any Black and Minority people at all. • On the other hand, cities such as Birmingham and Manchester have been transformed by immigration. Most of the UK’s ethnic minorities live in London. In 7 of London’s boroughs whites are the ethnic minority. • The UK has come a long way in a short time in terms of race relations. • The Labour Governments of the 1960 s and 1970 s began the process of ending the legal basis of racism.
Racial Groups in the UK • ‘Ethnic group’ refers to people of the same race or nationality with a shared history and distinct culture. • ‘Ethnicity’ refers to a person’s sense of belonging to a particular group • ‘Black and Minority Ethnic’(BME) is a term commonly used by Government organisations such as the Home Office or the Equality and Human Rights Commission(EHRC) • The non-white population stands at about 4. 5 million (7. 9 %)
British identity? • “Britishness” means many different things to many different people. • In the 2001 census, only 27% of Scots described themselves as ‘British’. This compares to 48% of people living in England. • Race, ethnic and national identity are neither static nor pure. • Watch Panorama – 25 August 2008 – True Brits
Racial groups • Black Caribbean (12. 2%) – large, definable communities in all England’s major cities, less noticeable in Scotland. • Black Africans (10. 5%) – mostly live in London, many are university students so university cities have a higher proportion of black Africans. • Indian (22. 7%) – mostly live in London, then East and West Midlands. • The other racial groups are much smaller.
Racism • Direct racism – where a person is treated unfairly on the basis of their ethnic origin. • Indirect racism – when a person or group is treated unfairly, but the discrimination is not as obvious • Institutional racism – when discrimination exists within institutions like the police, schools or businesses. • Islamophobia – discrimination against Islam or Muslims, gained publicity since 9/11
Economic Migrants and Asylum Seekers • Economic migrants are people who go to a country in order to earn a living. • Asylum seeker or refugee is a person who is persecuted ‘for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. • Watch Panorama – 14 January 2008 – Destination UK
Race and education • BME children make up 21% of the population of UK’s primary schools and 17% of the total number of children attending secondary school. • Children of Indian, Chinese and Irish origin have attainment levels that exceed the national average, while black children, white working-class boys, and those of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin consistently fall below the average. • Black pupils are permanently excluded over twice the rate of white pupils.
Why? • In the majority of cases BME children go to schools which, statistically occupy the lower end of the unofficial school league tables. • Some suggestion that there is a lack of positive role models in some ethnic groups. • HOWEVER the most underachieving group, is the poor, male, white, British –born.
Race and Employment • Many of Scotland’s minority ethnic community workers are employed in low level, poorly paid jobs – retail and catering main sectors, often through self employment. • BMEs in Scotland are 2 or 3 times more likely to be unemployed than white workers. • Why ? • Racism plays it part
Government action on Race inequality • Race Relations Acts 1965 and 1976 – made it unlawful to discriminate against a person on racial grounds • The Race Relations (amendment) Act 2000 and 2003 – amazingly the 1976 Act did not cover the police • The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2007 • The Equality Bill 2008 – this bill is likely to become law in 2009, it promises to be the most important anti-discrimination law since the 1970 s
How effective has race legislation been? • The UK has certainly come a long way when there was no legislation and shops were allowed to have signs which said ‘no blacks, no Irish, no dogs. ’ • The Scottish Government still records 14 racist incidents a day and these are only the crimes which are reported.
Opening the Glass Door ? • Many public and private sector organisations are changing the way their entire organisation views racial inequality. • NHS – long been recognised that the NHS’s workforce does not wholly reflect the diversity of the UK. In 2002 NHS set up Breaking Through Programme which sought to offer members of minority groups chance to enhance career development.
Police • There have been four occasions in the UK when the police have come under public scrutiny for allegedly tolerating racial discrimination. • 1 – Policing of the Brixton riots in 1981 • 2 – Aftermath of the murder of Stephen Lawrence • 3 – Panorama investigation of 2003, ‘The Secret Policeman’ • 4 – Resignation of Sir Ian Blair, Chief Constable of the Met and the UK’s most senior police officer in 2008 • BUT some progress has been made with numbers of BME police increasing • WATCH – Panorama ‘The Secret Policeman Returns’ 6 October 2008