Socialist Worker

Damning report finds black people face systematic racism

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2763

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in London last summer put tackling systematic racism onto the agenda

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in London last summer put fighting systematic racism onto the agenda (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Racism in England is systemic, a report by the race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust has found.

It said black and minority ethnic people are consistently more likely to live in poverty, to be in low-paid precarious work and to die of Covid.

It blamed much of this on the law and practices by institutions.

It found that black and minority ethnic people are four times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people. And it pointed out that the use of stop and search in the year 2019-2020 had increased for the second time in a row since 2017-2018.

Three quarters of stop and searches ended in no further action from the cops. At the same time, black people are 12 times more likely than white people to be prosecuted for cannabis possession in England and Wales.

The report also said that black people are 18 times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched for weapons under “Section 60 laws.” Only three percent of Section 60 searches found a weapon.

Other findings included that black or minority ethnic children make up over half of the child population in prison. This is an increase of 15 percent over the past decade.

The report also contains damning figures on Britain’s immigration system.

Benefits 

Black and minority ethnic people are at greater risk of being detained, and of being held for long periods. They are also more likely to have “no recourse to public funds” which bars migrants from accessing state benefits.

Meanwhile, Muslims are eight times more likely to be referred to the government’s “anti-extremism” Prevent programme.

It found that in the year ending March 2020, 351 Muslim children under the age of 15 had been referred to Prevent.

Sewell report denies institutional racism to obscure how the system works
Sewell report denies institutional racism to obscure how the system works
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“Each will have had their personal details entered on police databases accessible by the police and other state agencies for the next six years,” it said.

It said that guidance in Prevent led people enforcing the duty—such as public sector workers, teachers, university workers—to refer Muslims to Prevent for normal religious practices.

Other findings included that black and minority ethnic people with learning disabilities die younger than their white counterparts. There is a 26-year difference between white and black and minority ethnic people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Had the white population experienced the same risk of death from Covid-19 as black people, there would have been an estimated 58,000 additional deaths between March and May 2020.


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