Black information Link:

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe contact us

black information link The 1990 Trust, human rights for race equality
The 1990 Trust's independent community website for black communities

SECTIONS
2007 Bicentenary of Abolition
America at war
Armed Forces
Arts&Culture
Black Elders
Black Workers
Blink Interview
Broadband
Business
Campaigns
Children
Civil Liberties
Crime & Policing
Disability
Education
Employment
Events
Government
Health
Human Rights
IT
Immigration
International
Ireland
Jobs
Legal
Links
Linux
News Digest
Northern Ireland
People
Politics
Religion
Reparations
Reports
Rural racism
Scotland
Society & Environment
Sports
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
UK regions
WCAR
Wales
Women
Youth

UK needs a race-specific body

by Claudia Webbe
5/9/2006

BRITAIN NEEDS A specific 'race body' that is respected by the community, argues Claudia Webbe.

Claudia Webbe
Claudia Webbe
.

I am not making a case for segregation after all in March 2006, the government published a report entitled 'State of English Cities Report', which was described as the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of England's cities and towns, the report stated '…the vast majority of cities have become more integrated during the past decade……segregation by ethnicity has fallen between 1991-2001 in 48 out of 56 cities….”.

Thus if we are to believe this report then whilst racism is rife in Britain it certainly is not being expressed through rising levels of neighbourhood segregation, a fact which had already been stated by Professor Danny Dorling and others.

Strategically a specific race enforcement body is required so as to ensure that the statutory public and private bodies do not reduce their priority with regards race equality.

In my view there has already been slow and limited progress with regards adhering to the requirements of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 not least because there have been limited resources, including expertise available to ensure and enforce compliance.

ingredients

Listening to the current debate on race one cannot help feeling that there is an increasing and unhealthy desire to focus the blame on Black and minority ethnic communities and on tools like multiculturalism.

cap
Anti-multicultural CEHR chief Trevor Phillips

Equally problematic is the promotion of multiculturalism without its key ingredient and main focus on tackling racism and discrimination, after all we are not here to simply celebrate 'Samosas and Steel Bands'.

A lack of focus and specific attention by public and private bodies and failure of any organisation to keep them in check will result in Black and minority ethnic communities' continuing to face deep inequalities with regards poverty, wealth and opportunity and poor treatment at the hands of health establishments, educationalist and the criminal justice system. Racism and racial inequality in the workplace will continue to increase at an exponential rate.

resistant

I have headed up two frontline Race Equality Councils both of which were funded and supported by the Commission for Racial Equality; the Chairman at the time was Sir Herman Ouseley. I dealt with some severe cases of racial inequality and discrimination, real horror stories; I represented individuals at Employment Tribunals and County Court and at school appeal hearings and prepared representation for immigration appeals.

I took on the might of Westminster City Council towards the end of its Lady Porter reign and other public bodies resistant to change. Whilst we had many successes, even with my team giving up all of our weekends we couldn't handle the sheer volume of casework.

The demands and needs were high and yet the resources were limited. As they shared their experiences and told their stories, many individuals simply broke down under the pressure of the racism, victimisation and discrimination that they were facing, for them my organisation was their last resort.

These are individuals who worked in some 'well respected' private, public and even voluntary organisations, children who had been unfairly excluded from school, traumatised by bullying and racism in the playground and/or individuals who were refused a service or received poor treatment in a shop or other public place.

For some, they had even begun to believe those that had victimised them, that they had some how precipitated their own discrimination.

Black and minority ethnic communities have achieved a significant amount against all the odds and there is a lot to celebrate and Britain has benefited hugely from their contribution.

After all the British way of life would simply collapse without its Black and minority ethnic communities and new immigrants, yet racism is rampant and rife and all the evidence suggests that not much has changed in over three decades.

Thus it seems to me that more, not less, dedicated resources, energy and time including enforcement power needs to be given to tackling racial inequality and discrimination.

Somebody once told me that there is not enough available work on tackling racism to justify my continued employment – this was at best a lack of understanding, vision and foresight and at worst a desire by that public body to victimise and/or rid itself of anybody that challenges them on race.

Across the public sector when it comes to cutting back on funding in the name of efficiency and effectiveness, it always seems to be race and the services to build racial equality and cohesion that are the first to go.

The work that I and others like me did was important in clarifying and extending the scope of the Race Relations Act, equally important was the much needed and dedicated work to support victims.

My organisations were well connected and ultimately respected, even amongst those whom we publicly and without compromise challenged.

claudia.webbe@gmail.com

Send to a friend
Send to a friend
print document
Print document
Search

Government
London
Reports
Policing
Contact Government
Politics
Monarchy
CRE
Civil Service
Lords
Commons
Prisons
Single Equalities Commission
Citizenship & Integration

Related Stories

CRE turkeys vote for early Christmas Trevor's Rotten Empire UK needs a race-specific body Is this the man who destroyed the CRE? Trevor Phillips appointment as CEHR chairman condemned Trevor Phillips “to join the BNP soon” says mayor Ken Why we're rooting for Shami Batting both ways Fat cat Trevor won't fight for us Rights groups attack Blair's favourite for equality chair Phillips used me, says school experiment boy Equalities body will be a “discriminators charter” Trevor, do you qualify? CEHR chair “must have a record of fighting discrimination” PRESS RELEASE – Black communities reject Trevor Phillips for top equalities job Trevor Phillips would be “final nail in CEHR coffin” The 1990 Trust Response to The Equalities Review Interim Report Six days to influence review into government race policies Anti-racist organisations campaign for 'race committee' and Black representation on the CEHR Local race councils in revolt over merger United we stand Black groups abandon equalities super-body Trevor lobbies MPs for race committee Why we oppose the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights The moment of betrayal Let battle commence Vaz the way to do it Regions unite to demand race recognition in equalities body Sir Bill Morris blasts “one size fits all” agenda Lammy supports race committee for equalities super-body British Democracy failing Black Britain Charles Kennedy considering support for race committee MPs support for race committee grows Last chance to get race on single equalities agenda Jasper unleashed his wrath Lib Dems hold key but which way will they turn? Pump up the volume CEHR “a step backwards” says Diane Abbott Knowing is not believing Lobby MPs over absence of race in single equalities body proposals Upside down politics over single equality body Government shrug off concerns over all-white equality body A funny kind of equality Some more equal than others Time to sound alarm for equality Give us a piece of the pie Equalities merger body radically improved One Big Equality Mush Single equalities body still a dogs dinner Single equalities fudge fails to sweeten sceptics Single equalities body a 'dead duck' as disabilities group say no to merger Black community rejects single equalities merger CRE could survive single equalities merger CRE vote to kill off single equalities plans Trevor Phillips under pressure to oppose single equalities body Another former minister hits out at single equalities body Disappointment over White Paper on the single equalities body – no new powers or cash Government to impose single equalites body even if consultation opposes it Livingstone says single equalities body would be an ‘inaccessible monolith’ ‘Whitewash’ for single equalities body The Eagle has panned it – ex-race relations minister attacks single equalities body Single equalities body may not happen, says CRE chief Enforcement of equality law ‘off the agenda’ in single equalities Stitch-up claims over new single equalities body Squad to design new equalities commission lacks black grassroots credibility War of the equalities Big-guns blast single equalities body Opposition to single equalities body grows

Resources:

Teeth and their use

Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: One year On

The Zahid Mubarek Inquiry

pdf Dept. for Communities & Local Government Citizenship Survey

Responses to the Equalities Review Interim Report

The 1990 Trust Response to The Equalities Review Interim Report

Equalities Review Interim Report Briefing – Addressing Race Equality

pdf Our Rights, Our Future

pdf Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: The Government's race strategy

CRE response to DTI Statement on Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Equality and Diversity Forum welcomes the progress on a Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Summary of Changes to the CEHR

The 1990 Trust’s response to the CEHR White Paper

pdf Delivering equality and human rights for black and minority ethnic communities

Flush the academic racism in Blunkett’s office down the pan

Jacqui Smith answers questions on the Single Equalities Body

How to Contact your MP

Links:

Race and Faith and Communities

Election Memory

Catalyst Magazine

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

Published by The 1990 Trust

This website is subject to a disclaimer: Please read


Black Information Link. All rights reserved.

Suite 12 Winchester House 
9 Cranmer Road
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 020  7582 1990
Fax: 020 7793 8269
Email: blink1990@blink.org.uk

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux