Race in the UK Is there racial equality?
Multicultural UK Black, Caribbean Of all British people of black ethnic origin, those with roots in the Caribbean are by far the most numerous and the most widespread. London is the largest with over 53.7% of ethnic black Caribbeans living in the capital. Black, African Estimates from 2000 suggest that 78% of black Africans live in London. Indian People defining themselves as Indian are the largest single ethnic minority group in Britain. Again, London is home to most ethnic-Indian people in Britain, with estimates suggesting that 42% of the population lived there. Pakistani The Pakistani community in Britain is much more evenly spread than many other ethnic communities. 23% of Pakistanis live in London. When compared with the Indian and Bangladeshi communities, those defining themselves as Pakistani have a greater geographical spread, with communities in the north east of England, Scotland and Wales. Bangladeshi The Bangladeshi community is the smallest of the three main south Asian populations in the UK.
Race is not just defined by colour White people can be racist towards each other! There is a long history of anti-Irish racism in the UK. More recently there have been cases of anti-English racism in Scotland and racist attacks against eastern European immigrants. Under the Equality Act (2010), racial discrimination arises when a person or group is treated less favourably than another in similar circumstances 'on racial grounds'. These are defined as colour, race nationality (including citizenship), or ethnic or national origins. Discrimination might be on the grounds that a person was black (colour), Chinese (ethnic or national origins rather than nationality if the person came from Malaysia), or Pakistani (nationality), and it includes discrimination against white people (grounds of colour), or against Europeans of particular nationalities (for example, Irish, English, Polish).
Multicultural Scotland Above L-R; Aamer Anwar solicitor, The Glasgow Girls, anti deportation campaigners; Agnesa Murselaj, Amal Azzudin and Roza Salih Bashir, Ahmad, former MSP (died 2009). Scotland has a smaller proportion of BME residents than England; Scotland’s BME population stood at around 2.2 per cent in the 2001 census. The greatest concentration of the Scottish BME population is in Glasgow and to some extent its suburbs. In recent years East Renfrewshire has seen the largest percentage growth in BME population as residents move to the outer southern Glasgow suburbs. The Glasgow Girls
Islamophobia Racial tensions have increased since the 9/11 attacks on America. The 7/7 bombings in London and the Glasgow airport attack have heightened tensions. Islamophobia
Glasgow airport attack Aftermath of the Glasgow airport attack Racial tensions increased after the attacks on Glasgow airport in July 2007. Strathclyde Police reported that between 1 and 27 July, there were 258 reported racial attacks, 31 of which were airport-related. Previously, the force had been dealing with around 200 such incidents a month.
Changing times: Merit, not Race Halifax ad Howard Sheldon became the face of HBOS after he won an in-house audition. "It's perhaps the best example of positive black advertising we've seen," says Sam Walker of HBOS. "He's there because he's a good salesman of financial products - no other reason." Raman Bhardwaj presents sports news on Scotland Today. Left, Navdeep Poonia is one of the Scotland Saltire’s top cricketers.
2010 Record Number of BME MPs 2010 Record Number of BME MPs There are now 27 minority ethnic MPs, an increase of 13 from 2005. Helen Grant becomes the first woman of African descent to represent the Conservatives at Westminster. Shabana Mahmood (LAB), above Left, became the first ever female Muslim MP. Priti Patel, above Right, became the first Conservative Asian female MP.
Government in Scotland There are no MSPs of a BME background. There are only a few BME councillors; 9 out of 1,222 councillors, or just below 1 per cent. All are men of Asian heritage. Irfan RabbaniLabour, Glasgow Shaukat Butt, Labour, Glasgow Khalil Malik, SNP, Glasgow Jahangir Hanif, SNP, Glasgow
Overt Racism In June 2009, around 20 families of Roma people from Romania were forced to flee their homes in Belfast after coming under sustained attack for a number of nights. A crowd gathered outside their homes shouting racist slogans, smashing windows and kicking in doors. They were forced to seek refuge in a nearby church before leaving the country. Northern Ireland, which is 99% white, holds the UK's “record” for the highest rate of racist attacks. Attacks on Roma, Northern Ireland
Institutional Racism: The Met Institutional racism remains a problem. The term came into the public domain after the botched investigation by the Metropolitan Police into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The force accepted it was institutionally racist. “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racial stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people”. McPherson report
Institutional Racism: BA? "What is common among white flying crew in BA is the use of mildly derogatory, sometimes jokey, language about other races, mainly aimed at black and Asian groups. Because it's so common, it's hard to tackle: it's ... the norm and rarely even noticed." Doug Maughan, airline pilot
Government Action: Race Relations Acts Overt racial discrimination (i.e. name calling, bullying, refusal of jobs) has been illegal since the Race Relations Act of 1976. This law makes it illegal to discriminate in jobs, housing and public services, on the basis of a person’s ethnic background, although amazingly the police service was, at the time, omitted from this Act. The Race Relations Act was incorporated into the new Equalities Act (October 2010) The Scottish Government has also launched a variety of anti-racist campaigns and supported the Show Racism the Red Card initiative.
The Equality Act 2010 The Equality Act incorporates all previous Equalities legislation. Rights and Responsibilities have either: Stayed the same. Direct discrimination still occurs when "someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic". Changed – for example, employees will now be able to complain of harassment even if it is not directed at them, if they can demonstrate that it creates an offensive environment for them. Been extended. associative discrimination (direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic) will cover age, disability, gender reassignment and sex as well as race, religion and belief and sexual orientation. Be introduced for the first time. The legislation will enable employers to favour under-represented groups during the recruitment process – provided the candidates are of equal suitability – to increase the diversity of their workforces. This is comparable to the affirmative action programmes of the USA.
Government Action: the EHRC The EHRC replaced the old Commission for Racial Equality in 2008. It’s job is to support the implementation of the Equality Act. It seeks to promote good race relations and offer legal advice to organisations and individuals. Trevor Phillips, chair of EHRC EHRC Young Brits at Art
Continued Inequality: The Glass Door There is anecdotal evidence from research in England that employers say “my workforce wouldn’t be happy about working for a boss with a hijab” Rowena Arshad, Director, Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland Many of Scotland’s minority ethnic community workers are employed in low level, poorly paid jobs. Retail and catering are two of the main sectors, often through self employment, (newsagent or grocery store) or being employed by other minority ethnic employers, e.g. working in restaurants. Some people speak, not of a glass ceiling (gender discrimination) but a “glass door” for minority ethnic men and women. If you don’t see people like you in top level jobs it may become a self fulfilling prophecy. There are also racial stereotypes, fuelled by Islamophobia which make employers less likely to employ or promote minority ethnic candidates.
Aspiration and Frustration A 2010 survey by the charity Business in the Community, “Aspiration and Frustration”, found that despite years of Government legislation, equality of opportunity remained a long way off. It concluded that : Some of the best-paid professions such as banking, law, politics and the media were not seen as a realistic option for BMEs. Those with an historic reputation for racism, such as the police and armed forces, are still seen as unwelcoming to minorities. The ‘caring’ professions, education and medicine, which have a positive history of BAME recruitment are seen as good options but are seen as less well-paid and offering less career progression, particularly education. The 2009 Race for Opportunity Report showed that BME workers make up 10.3% of the population but only 8.5% of the workforce and just 6.3% of those in management positions.
Racial Harassment: The BNP At the European Elections of June 2009, the racist British National Party (BNP) managed to have two MEPs elected. Many who voted BNP may not have been aware of the party’s history of racial violence and intolerance. The BNP benefitted from a low turn-out and widespread public displeasure of the major parties in the aftermath of the MPs expenses scandals. Recession, unemployment and insecurity are the classic breeding grounds for the Far Right. The BNP are not a major force in Scotland. But, the BNP have several local Councillors in England and is becoming increasingly sophisticated in portraying itself as a “normal” political party. Not in My Name