Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 11, April 3, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report

Joint Statement in Response to the Sewell Report

In response to the Report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, a joint statement has been released by the Educational Institute of Scotland, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NUS and UCU. It reads:

The findings of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, chaired by Dr Tony Sewell, are an insult to all those in Britain who experience racism every day of their lives.

The report's attempts to diminish the impact of structural and institutional racism on the lives of Black* people in the UK are all the more galling in the midst of a pandemic where minority ethnic communities have borne a hugely disproportionate cost. It demonstrates an astonishing complacency and ignores the fact that any progress made in improving the lives of Black people across the UK has been won by decades of determined campaigning against the odds.

The report's suggestion that the UK should be a "model" for other countries in their response to racism also ignores the wealth of evidence which points to deeply unequal experiences faced by Black communities in the UK today. This includes the fact that:

We are in no doubt about the purpose of this report. By attacking the well-evidenced existence of structural and institutional racism, the government hopes to dismantle any accountability for its own discriminatory actions.

Instead, the report blames black and brown communities themselves for inequalities because they are "haunted" by historic, systemic racism. We reject this assertion wholeheartedly, and reaffirm our determination to work together in the fight to dismantle systemic racism in all its manifestations.

Signed -

Educational Institute of Scotland, GMB union, NASUWT the Teachers' Union, NAHT (the head-teachers' union), National Education Union (NEU), NUS national union of students, UCU University and College Union

Note in the Joint Statement
*The term Black in this statement is used in a political sense to refer to all those who are descended, through one or both parents, from Africa, the Caribbean, Asia (the middle-East to China) and Latin America. Where third party sources are referenced in this statement we have used the terminology which was used in those reports.


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