Following the UK Government Commission on Race and Ethnic disparities, we are disappointed (but not surprised) at the findings of the report.
We find the report serves to divide and alienate large swathes of the population and offers little substantive power in understanding, challenging, or reducing the disparities caused by race in our society.
In particular, we object to and wholeheartedly refute the following assertions;
- Institutional racism is not present in the UK;
- The UK stands as a model to other countries;
- This report stands as a credible source for policy guidance
Worryingly the report draws conclusions inconsistent with;
- Evidence through our work, reports, and relationships;
- Further critique from numerous credible sources such as the British Medical Journal and other commissioned reports such as the McGregor-Smith review;
- Some of the presented data points and analysis within the report
We did, however, find some welcome recommendations, notably;
- To no longer use the term BAME
- To institute better guidance on algorithmic transparency
- Better-targeted education interventions and improvements to the quality of, and access to, careers advice for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
However, the credible recommendations and data analysis contained in the report is substantially undermined by;
- The revival of familiar tropes such as the idea optimism is enough to confront obstacles immigrants face or that cultural traditions hold minorities back;
- Selection of media personalities over medical experts when drawing conclusions from evidence on health inequalities;
- The idea that the slave trade was anything other than an abhorrent event in world history.
To our community, our partners, and the many who share our view that race does have a role in causing and explaining the disparities we see in society today, we look forward to continuing to work together to build an equitable and inclusive future for all.