‘No. The prime minister would not agree that this is a racist country,” said Boris Johnson’s spokesperson on Monday.
But every statistic about policing, poverty, and prisons shows that it is.
Black men are stopped and searched at nine times the rate of white men.
Black people make up 3 percent of the population of England and Wales but account for 12 percent of the prison population.
It’s not just a matter of individual attitudes—racism is structured into the system.
A YouGov poll last week showed 52 percent of people think Britain is a very racist or fairly racist society.
Just 6 percent of those polled said Britain wasn’t racist at all.
The movement on the streets is showing we can combat this. As well as a history of racism, Britain also has a proud anti-racist tradition.
It’s hypocritical for Boris Johnson to tell anti-racists, “I hear you” while also condemning the actions that make people listen.
It’s great to see the confidence and organisation of Black Lives Matter protesters across Britain.
To see tens of thousands of people march through cities and “taking the knee” shows that this is a reinvigorated movement.
The huge protests, led by young, black, working class people, is a tonic to the racism pushed from those at the top of the system.