The government have called an ethnic disparity public consultation! PART 1

Written by on 29/11/2020

Wait, did you know that the government called a public consultation to support them in a new review into ethnic and racial disparity? Well.. they did. It launched on the 26th October and guess what it ends on the 30th November. Yep 1 month. They have given us 1 month to answer 10 questions that will contribute to their review, potential recommendations and policies. Personally we at The Black Card Talks think the lack of publicity and time given to this is disgraceful, but at the same time the recent Black people, racism and human rights report shows that this is simply not a focus for this government. So we are The Black Card Talks propose that we make it one. 

There are 10 questions and they want our thoughts. So we propose if you agree with ours you send them in as well with minor edits and let’s give them the community’s view to read. If you don’t agree, please do write your own because every voice is needed in this fight, every single voice!

How to respond: 

  1. Email
  2. Please include:
    1. your name
    2. your organisation (if you are responding on their behalf) and your role there
    3. details of the questions you are answering – please write the question number above each answer
  3. If you refer to any published material, please provide links where possible.
  4. The deadline for responses is Monday 30 November 2020 at 11:45pm.

Now for Our Response: 

You can find the open consultation call on the .GOV website HERE.

1. What do you consider to be the main causes of racial and ethnic disparities in the UK, and why?

Representation. In the UK at large ethnic minority groups are seen as homogeneous. Therefore whatever the story that is told of those people the loudest and most often is the all that is noted about those people. This trickles down into all our systems, relationships and encounters. It is the reason why people in the workplace can mistake a Black female barrister for a potential defendant 3 times in one day. It is the reason why the police assume suspicious behaviour when they see groups of Black people or Black children running. It is the reason why if a Black boy walks into a music studio or a football club they feel like they belong, as so their peers – because these stories are the ones that have been seen and are shouted about. Peoples are more than the success stories or the failures of people that bear the same colour skin or nationality as them and Britain does not yet understand this because we do not teach it, we do not showcase it and arguably we don’t believe it. There are plenty of normal Black, Asian Minority Ethnic people who are succeeding in their field and also just doing honest jobs. We do not hear of these stories, we do not recognise them as normal and neglect that this is in fact the norm.  

White people are not aware of their own whiteness. Understandably so this is a White country. But the problem is that White people do not understand the stories of how different ethnicities came to be their neighbours, teachers, shopkeepers and residents of this country so they are left to create the story for themselves and depending on where they grow up this will be a tainted view (based on the above point). As David Olusoga said “The stories of empire, the stories of Britain’s role around the world and it’s interactions with people from Africa and Asia, they are the stories that explain why Britain looks the way it does. It is important for those Black and Brown people in school to learn how their family stories got caught up in the story of Britain. How they became Black Britons and Asian British but it is just as important for their White school mates to understand how people from Jamaica, Nigeria, India and Pakistan, came to be their schoolmates and how their families came to be part of their city and community. 

2. What could be done to improve representation, retention and progression opportunities for people of different ethnic backgrounds in public sector workforces (for example, in education, healthcare or policing)?

The government needs to take positive action seriously. There should be a defined strategy, process of execution and the enforcement of it should start inside the house and across Whitehall. They should form the example for the rest of the country to follow. Too often the recommendations of reports consist of things businesses and individuals should begin to do, with no reference to whether this is happening within the house itself. It should be present in the civil service stream, the success of it should be measured after 5 years and it should be reviewed and edited to be made relevant to the current levels of disparity seen at that time.

Get it? Agree? Share it!

We’ll be back with the answers to the rest of the questions over the course of this week. Make sure you look out for us!

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