Dismantling Structural Racism & The Proverbial Glass Ceiling
Britain has changed immensely over the last 50 years. Overt racism markedly declined until Brexit, with violent attacks such as those by the teddy boys of the 50-70s no longer prevalent. Openly racist rhetoric like that espoused by Nick Griffin (former leader of the BNP) no longer have mass appeal. What’s more legislation and anti discrimination laws such as the Race Relations Act prohibiting landlords from restricting tenancies along the infamous lines of “no blacks, no dogs, no Irish,” have given a perception that the war against racism has largely been won. That Britain has successfully forged a multicultural post racial society. However, on closer inspection the melting pot continually bubbles with racial tensions and inequalities of a more subtle or structural kind. Despite biological sciences successfully moving us clear from genocidal racism and hierarchical racial theories (Freeman, 2015), in every aspect the African is deemed as, if not is at, the base of society.
Just look at the statistics, being just 3.4% of the general population “Black Caribbeans or Africans form 10% of the national prison population” (Prison Reform Trust, 2015). Black people are 9 -17 times more likely to be admitted or diagnosed with a mental health condition. In housing, Black Africans have the lowest rate of home ownership in the UK (Higher Education Statistics, 2014). In employment “Black African and Caribbean women experienced a 15-20% fall in full-time employment rates over the past decade,” (B.Harries, 2013). In other words, the social progression of black people is alarmingly low.
So the question is, now the biological justifications for these failings been have quashed, how do these inequalities persist? Join us, and our esteemed panel to tackle this question head on. Perhaps you believe Britain is fully post racial, and African’s blame the system for their own laziness. Whatever your perspective, be sure to have your say and cast your vote in a night of networking and intellectual debate.
Former investment banker and barrister now multi award winning senior business, leadership and diversity executive. Founder of the Miranda Brawn Leadership & Diversity Foundation.
Director of Britain’s leading independent race equality think tank Runnymede Trust. Chair of the Ethnicity Strand Advisory Group and the advisory group to the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity.
Dr Omar Khan
Award winning trade union, community and human rights campaigner. Co-founder of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, and founder of The Roots, Culture and Identity arts collective.
Community activist and Spiritual Leader of Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement. Co-Chair of National Afrikan People’s Parliament. Author of MOSIAH Daily Affirmations and Education.
Author and Professor of Politics at Birkbeck University, particularly covering issues around cultural politics, ethnicity, national identity and religion.