THE Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report published last week has been described by Hackney Labour Mayor Philip Glanville and Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member with responsibilities for Equalities as ‘a reprehensible attack on antiracism work, setting it back decades’.
They say that the 264-page report published by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, deliberately down plays the problem of race and racism in Britain today.
They go on: “Commissioned in the wake of the Black Lives Matter last summer, this report reads more like a Government grasping to find a reason to undermine the work of local authorities like Hackney, that have listened to local residents’ experiences of systemic racism, prejudice, assumptions, ignorance, thoughtlessness and stereotyping.
Cllr Carole Williams
“Telling them that structural racism doesn’t exist, willfully rejects or ignores compelling research published here in the UK that shows negative attitudes flow from ‘whiteness’ being treated as the norm, the objective, the universal and the superior and every other identity is “other.”
“The Commission’s flawed analysis overlooks the role that race and racism plays in poor outcomes, given geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion more significant. Individual racism is not enough to explain the inequalities in education, health, income, housing and the findings will do little to change the unjust treatment of many Black Britons or improve their outcomes.
“By focusing on the deficits in individuals or communities, the report dismisses and invalidates the everyday experience of racialised and minoritised communities across the country.
“This spring we launched the council’s Anti Racism Plan in which we set out our commitment to being an antiracist borough. The plan, which includes a clear definition between structural and systemic racism, is based on five key pillars: institutional change, community engagement, culture and leadership, accountability and influence.
“We will not allow the Commission’s report to derail or delay us leading the way to an anti-racist Hackney.”
Hackney’s Anti Racism Plan: Same journey, new map
Cllr Carole Williams lead for employment, skills, HR and equalities reveals Hackney’s Anti Racism Plan.
This spring Hackney Council is launching its Anti Racism Plan. It will underpin everything we do in Hackney in our commitment to being an anti racist borough. It will see us lead from the inside out by investigating how inclusive we are within the Council, to how we tackle all forms of racism in our community.
Now is not the time for more reviews. We need action now and this plan will be our guide. By design, our journey will be collaborative and we will work with communities, individuals and organisations who understand the complexities of racism and the many barriers to equality.
We are already on our way. In July 2020 we passed our Black Lives Matter motion that commits us to being an anti-racist organisation – one that doesn’t just tackle inequality, but actively fights racism. The motion follows decades of work Hackney has done to be an inclusive borough and brings us up to date with the issues and language of today. We now face the journey of what more we can do and our new Anti Racism Plan gives us a map.
Five pillars of focus
The plan covers five main areas: Institutional change, Community engagement, Culture and leadership, Accountability and Influence. Within these pillars are principles of community collaboration, engagement and empowerment with a cross-generational and intersectional approach. This is because this work is for everyone and needs to involve us all – not just the victims of racism, but those who can help dismantle it. Our journey will have ever-shifting destinations, yet these pillars will keep us grounded.
5 April 2021