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Britain’s race problem

So here we have it, Britain has finally beaten the US at something. The latter is well known for its biased criminal justice system that disproportionately discriminates against ethnic and racial minorities. Which makes it all the more alarming the news that, in some cases, those who fall under the banner of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority face even greater prejudice in the United Kingdom. David Lammy, a black British Labour MP, is the man behind the report published last week. It was commissioned by then PM David Cameron, before he went off to be a full-time pig farmer. Theresa May then threw her weight behind it, whilst an overwhelming majority of the British public wished she, too, would pull a Dave and retreat to the countryside.
To paraphrase the report: black people make up just 3 percent of Britain’s population and 12 percent its prison population; as compared to 13 percent and 35 percent in the US, respectively. Additionally, young black people are nine times more likely to be locked up in England and Wales than their white peers, according to the Ministry of Justice. The BAME proportion of youth prisoners rose from 25 percent in 2006 to 41 percent last year.
We hope that this is a long overdue rude awakening for Britain. For too long has it been complacent, scoffing quietly behind the US back, at this gauche nouveau riche upstart. Waiting quietly in the wings until the world becomes well and truly fed up and into the spotlight once more can it go, ready to step in as the world’s elder statesman.
And why not? After all, good ol’ Blighty has ruled much of the world. Indeed, it still gives itself endless pats on the back for having civilised much of the barbarian world that, today, has gone through the painful process of decolonisation conveniently forgetting how endless resources were plundered long ago at Her Majesty’s Service. And herein lies the rub. Britain has never apologised for colonialism, not really and not seriously. Which may or may not go some way to explaining the prevailing racism in state institutions, including the police force. We hope that some good comes of the report and it proves to be a blessing in disguise. Meaning that Britain now has the opportunity to set a good example of race relations in the West. For far too long has this conversation, this resistance, this activism been dominated by the US. Which in itself speaks imperialism by another name: neo-colonial race appropriation.
Let us hope that Britain doesn’t fall into this trap. We didn’t enjoy colonialism the first time around.



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