Thursday, 18 August 2016

Racism is dividing Britain and denial is not just a river in Egypt.

The recent publication of a detailed review: Race Report: Healing a divided Britain that asses race inequality in the UK by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, highlights the extent and breadth of systematic, entrenched racial discrimination that the reports states is deeply embedded within all aspects of British society.

The report cites the huge rise in hate crimes, racist abuse and violent attacks against migrants, Muslims and black people in the aftermath of the EU referendum result as very worrying.

This was a substantive review undertaken by the Commission, focusing on the areas of education, employment, housing and living standards, health, criminal justice and civic participation. The report follows a similar report published way back in 2010 How Fair is Britain ?  

It too came to similar conclusions as the recent review and back then, just like today, we saw no effective response from Government.  Since the publication of that report yet another generations has grown up facing stark racism.

As a long-standing activist this report is most welcome, clearly identifying, as it does the gross reality of racism as it impinges on the daily lives of black and ethnic minority people throughout the country. I am particularly pleased with the Commission's review given the consistent criticism of the Commission in relation to its past failures to highlight the growing problem of racism within Britain under the disastrous chairmanship of Sir Trevor Phillips and the current lack of credible black representation on the Commission itself.

The new Commission chair David Isaacs has returned the Commission to its most essential mission and has refused to be politically intimidated by government to remaining silent on the issue of race. Both he and the Commissioners are to be commended for providing us with the detailed information that gives concrete evidence and credence to the repeated claims that consistently point out the deterioration and toxic nature of increased and widening levels of racism and racial inequality.

The real test of the Commission’s commitment to race equality is whether or not it will take legal action against the government for its repeated and consistent failures in tackling racial inequality and discrimination across major areas of British society. Otherwise whilst this may be an interesting debate it will fade as quickly as its resonates simply adding to the litany of failure that constitutes 'success; in this area, After all wasn't much the same said ben the Comission in 2010 ? 

The review highlights our ugly and brutal reality, a reality that denigrates and destroys the lives of millions of black ethnic minority peoples who face systemic racism on a daily basis. This real reality in Britain represents the destruction of hope and opportunity of millions of black Britons whose only crime is the colour of their skin and being a British citizen.

No doubt we will now hear much in response labelling black communities as 'morally, intellectually, culturally deficient' by way off explanation of their evident lack of success. The voices they will send to deliver such messages will be black. Take this exchange between Mishal Hussien on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme broadcast Thursday morning18th August, including David Issac EHRC Chair and Black Conservative, Shaun Bailey to get a full appreciation of the extent to which some black people will go to seek assimilation. Both Misha and Shaun are abysmal. The only voice of sanity is that of Birmingham's black community activist Desmond Jadoo.
Britain: The most ‘tolerant’ country in the world.

We are repeatedly told Britain is a post-racist country and the most ‘tolerant country in the world” where the scourge of crude racism has largely been removed from society. In reality, the truth is today; we are witnessing the worst racism we’ve faced in a generation.

A tolerant country 
Personally, I’ve never been comfortable with that phrase. You tolerate a virus, a foreign invading body or an abhorrent sickness. You do to not tolerate your fellow citizens. I don't want to be tolerated. I don't see it is a virtue, I see it as vice.

I’ve had all the British tolerance I can handle. The very notion that I as a black man should be tolerated in the country of my birth and be thankful is frankly reprehensible and a fundamental insult to my birthright.

I along with others have written many articles seeking to highlight the reality of worsening racial inequality for black and ethnic minority communities in the UK. I have sought to issue warnings to government, local authorities and institutions about the real and present dangers of leaving festering racial injustice, sweltering in the fetid heat of massive and disproportionate discrimination, poverty and police violence.

Condemned as a ‘professional race baiter’ by white and black liberals alike, I like many others have maintained my position under constant fire, whilst being routinely attacked and cast as an extremist comparable with the odious former British National Party fascist, Nick Griffin. That's how absurd and perverted debate about racism has become. Those that raise issues of racism are now the new racists in post Brexit Britain.

When accused of racism deny, deny, deny.

We should be worried. Racism is routinely denied in this country. Let me ask you this real quick, just take a moment to think back to any major allegation of serious racism to which the response has been serious acknowledgement, apology and remedy? I’ll wait…..

In Britain claims of racism are routinely denied and that runs deep. So embedded has racism become within the cultural fabric of the nation that racism has now become ‘normalised’ and almost routine. 

So endemic is this racism, that some black people now echo these sentiments or worse. A minority becoming violent bigots themselves, attacking Muslims and migrants. Such is the power of racism that none ( neither Muslims, migrants or Blacks) can escape its insidious effects to the extent that even its victims can become infected in misguided attempts to seek white approval and acceptance. These are that people quite literally out of their minds.

This is not just the denial of racism or political spin it’s much more insidious than that, its a form of white supremacy madness, a profound cognitive dissonance that defies any logic and is designed as  psychological destabilisation to deny black reality in favour of maintaining white privilege and destroy black resistence and resilience. 

Racism and riots. The fire next time.

I’m on record having predicted 2011 disturbances following killing of Mark Duggan by Metropolitan Police Service as early as January of that year and in the immediate aftermath of the killing of  first legendary reggae MC star Smiley Culture and then again in April in relation to the death of Kingsley Burrell in Birmingham. 

In the aftermath of those widespread disturbances in 2011 I made my views clear on Sky TV much of what I said is now echoed in the Commissions review.

In response to this hugely important report I issue a new stark warning and one that is repeated in the report by the Chair of the Commission citing ‘ increasing racial tensions’.

I’d put it much more strongly than that, I say there will be widespread and ferocious urban uprisings in reaction to the constant political failure of successive Governments and that of British societies to recognise racism and adopt policies and strong ant discriminatory legislation to ensure its eradication. 

Black communities are under no illusion that they are discounted and discarded as equal citizens within this disunited kingdom. We have made the political calculation that Government will only offer cosmetic and tokenistic solutions and will consistently refute the disturbing reality identified in this report, that  racial inequality is widespread, growing and systemic.

Findings of the report conclusively prove that black people in United Kingdom are living their lives, as third class citizens in a supposedly first-class democracy.

The report condemns government policy and legislative responses to racism as patchy and inconsistent, yet another consistent criticism levelled at government by black communities and one that has been consistently denied.

It is remarkable that the vast majority of such criticisms and claims have been flatly rejected and those that have been accepted as genuine cause for complaint by government are highlighted but for a fleeting moment, subject to a token policy response and then routinely ignored. 

That‘s the stone cold black reality we face. I can already hear the banshee wails of reactionary white discontent reading this, so let me make this crystal clear.

 Can’t we all just get along?

Racism evolves, its changes shape and focus to fit the circumstances of the day that why its survived the last 5oo years. Contemporary British racism is not the brutal legal apartheid of South Africa. Britain’s pre Brexit racism was much more nuanced, usually polite and smiling in its countenance, almost pleasant in its demeanour, whilst wrecking havoc, tragedy and misery and all with a smile, an apology and warm reassurance using words such as ‘ deep regret, isolated incident, learning the lessons and moving on’.

Despite this wonderfully polite appearance, racism in Britain is no less deadly, no less a destroyer of people lives, for all its apparent lack of offence. Post Brexit the mood music for black people, migrants and Muslims in Britain has become distinctly hostile. Gone are the polite pretences of an inclusive Britain, the newest racial epithet/insult directed toward us is “ You’re next”.   The racism we face destroys talent, eviscerates hope and aspiration, rejects meritocracy and replaces it with a pigmentocracy, a society, where colour and ethnicity, race and religion all determine your life chances, not industry and talent

Racism is systemic.

This report is not alone in identifying such gross racial inequality. The Runnymede Trust and independent race equality think tank published its second annual report entitled "Ethnic Inequalities In London: A Capital For All” captured racial inequality right across the capital.

Its findings were equally conclusive that "ethnic inequalities are persistent and widespread, particularly in employment and housing."  The report also found, as did the Commissions review, that black and ethnic minority pupils were out performing their white counterparts, and yet suffered huge discrimination within British labour market.

Black young people qualified, ambitious and ready to work are finding themselves unemployed, on the streets unable to get a home, unable to get a job and racially profiled and harassed by the police.

The combination of widespread systemic poverty, racism and discrimination means our communities are both contained and under pressure, with no obvious routes out of this incredibly hostile environment.


As a result we are not simply denied opportunity as a consequence of these circumstances, our communities, particularly our young people also live in fear of crime, facing an epidemic of violence that comes in the wake of acute poverty one that has seen the explosion of open drug markets, controlled many instances by violent young men who, given the opportunity would take a job in the city any day, over a life plagued with stress and violence.

Too many of our young people have nowhere else to go, nothing else to, see no incentive to achieve because of the relentless racism they face on a daily basis.

A recent report by the UK newest social movement Blaksox has eloquently and succinctly highlighted this problem of poverty, racism, drugs and rampant violence in Black communities.  The Commissions report captures our vulnerability as victims of crime, poverty and racism.

In short we we’re under policed as victims of crime and over policed as law-abiding citizens,

Add to this hellish context the reality of police brutality, deaths in police custody such as those of Sean Rigg, Sarah Reed and Dalian Atkinson, stop and search harassment and the constant Metropolitan Police Service covert campaign to undermine and close down black cultural events like Brixton Splash  , Notting Hill Carnival and black-owned night clubs then you have an inflamable cocktail of toxic issues simply awaiting a spark to ignite.

Final Call. It’s Justice or Else.

The Commission concludes if the government is to heal a divided nation then they need to take these issues seriously publish a robust and comprehensive race equality strategy and put race back onto the agenda.

This is a call that has been echoed by many over the last eight years and has been consistently ignored and rejected by government even in the aftermath of August 2011. There can be no escape from the conclusions of this report that will, if ignored lead to white widespread civil urban uprisings in response to the constant denial of both justice and opportunity. I foresee no other outcome if things remain the same. There is no other possibility other than this stark inevitability. Left unattended these issues will erupt making 2011 seem like a walk in the park. 

Britain has to decide whether it's rhetorical paper-thin policy commitments to race equality are sufficient to meet this crisis or whether it is intent on ignoring racism and is happy paying the exorbitant costs such malign ignorance will incur.

Racial profiling by the police of black communities within the context of an increasingly privatised prison system has lead to huge increases in the number of black people arrested, charged and jailed for offences for which white Britons receive cautions, suspended sentences or community orders.  

This reality was highlighted by the recent research conducted by the Young Review and Release: The Drugs Charity.  Though not touched in by the review its important to state that there is a growing perception that black youth are seen as nothing more than commodities, low hanging fruit for a rapacious criminal justice system driven by profit, a trend identified by African American academic Michelle Alexandra in her seminal work exploring this issue in the U.S. entitled; The New Jim Crow.

The challenge we now face is how do we collectively respond to this devastating review?  It is incumbent upon us all as fully awoke, sentient human beings to secure the future for our children.

What has been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt, is that our children's future as black citizens in Britain, is one that will inevitably require a gargantuan effort akin to the Civil Rights struggle in 1960’s America, in a determined effort to secure real sustainable equality and justice through community protest, pressure politics and civil disobedience.

This cannot be simply a repetition of the failed tactics of the past.

The politics of state sponsored grant aid. Divide, silence and rule.

The black voluntary sector decimated as a consequence austerity, intimidated silenced by grant aid organisations and local authorities willing to pay a quick buck to anyone prepared to collude with their pernicious and systematic racism. Grant aid funding from state institutions to organisations that claim to be fighting racism has resulted in the context that we see today where racism has thrived and succeeded despite millions of pounds being given to these organisations. In turn these organisations lost site of their essential mission that is to mobilise communities in a mass campaign exposing discrimination rather than being than being a funded fig leaf for institutionalised racism and casual racism.

This important sector, once a radical mouthpiece for equality  black aspiration is now become silent witness to our tragedy. Content publish reports nobody reads, sit on a range of government taskforce’s, conduct academic research no one ever reads, mouthing mild critique of Government scared of biting the hand that feeds it and refusing to lead the fight against racism.

The reality is in my view we have far too many disparate organisations. Black organisation serving the same clientele in different towns less than 10 miles apart don’t have a clue what each is doing, hell sometimes even in the same town.  How the Asian elders organisations fairing? Unless we are Asian we have no clue.  Surely if were all facing a common problem we should agree a common solution?  If we’re all facing austerity cuts maybe we should merge these organisations, consolidate our strengths and fight together?

Racism in the workplace. Trade Union Congress absent without leave.

Trade Unions (TU) are also falling to tackle racism in the workplace. When is the last time you heard of a Trade Union taking legal action against Government or an employer, challenging work place racism?  The fact is like Government itself Trade Unions are strong on rhetoric and weak on action. Black members groups are cowed and intimidated refusing to challenge the lack of black representation at all levels of the TU movement and incapable of being able to challenge the institutional racism of their own TU much less that of Government.

The charge is that the TU's much prefer the issue of gender to that of race. Race is just too difficult, in their eyes, for them to deal with. We should also note that the TUC representation on the Equality Commission had consistently supported Sir Trevor Phillips's (Its only a matter of time, grease and pole) deprioritisation of race equality as an issue and had colluded with the disproportionate sacking of black workers at the Commission without so much as a whisper. While the TUC highlights terrible effects of austerity on countries like Greece, they seem to ignore the fact that UK black youth suffer the highest youth unemployment rate in Europe.  Meanwhile post Brexit racism in the workplace is going through the roof and with each separate race employment tribunal case costing £1,200 to submit the number of workplace racism cases brought by black workers has collapsed by around 85%

When al; said and done, the conclusion  I draw from both the Commissions and Runnymede Trust research is that austerity economics amplified racism and inequality and the Brexit vote has put racism on blast.  Right now were moving towards approaching peak racism. This has been BARAC’s main campaign priority since 2010 that austerity promotes racism as public sector cuts if they’re to be accepted by Britons have to readily identifiable scapegoats. The sentiment that targets Migrants, Muslims and Blacks is the new No Dogs, No Irish, No Blacks. 

Where do we go from here?

With black communities facing such an uncertain future, a post referendum racism a possible economic recession and Government intransigence on race it is time for community, the voluntary sector, progressive trade unions and campaigning organisations to agree to back a campaign that targets the elimination of all areas of substantive race disproportionality and racial inequality by the year 2025. This gives us a pragmatic strategy that can be achieved in a realistic timeline that can dramatically reduce racism provide a level playing field all sections of British society for all Black and ethnic minority citizens.

I'm suggesting a national race equality summit in UK is convened to in order to develop and agree a comprehensive race equality strategy that can be the focused priority campaign of all black and minority community organisations, trade union's and wider civic society. In order to achieve its goals such a campaign would need to significantly resources.
We need a nationwide campaign that may take 2 to 3 years to emerge as a substantive issue on the political agenda. The very future of our children and the social fabric of Britain is now entirely dependent on the extent to which we, this generation can come together in a unified attempt to secure a future free of racism, a future all British citizens deserve regardless of their race or religion.

Britain is a multicultural democracy, however not all citizens are equal. If we Britain it is to avoid the tragic history of major black cities in the United States then the country must prioritise the elimination of racism, race inequality and injustice.

These goals will not be achieved easily. As the great African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglas in a speech entitled ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress’ given on the August 3rd 1857 where he stated,

Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.’

If you’re interested in being involved in organising or would like to register an interest this summit email us on barac.info@gmail.com using Race Summit in the title.

Lee Jasper Co Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC)





Here is a quick summary of the reviews key findings:

Black Unemployment

·      Unemployment rates were significantly higher for ethnic minorities at 12.9% compared with 6.3 % for White people.
·      Black workers with degrees earn 23.1% less on average than White workers.
·      In Britain, significantly lower percentages of ethnic minorities (8.8%) worked as managers, directors and senior officials, compared with White people (10.7%). This was particularly true for African/Caribbean/Black people (5.7%) and those of Mixed ethnicity (7.2%).
·      Black people who leave school with A-levels typically get paid 14.3% less than their White peers.

Black Education

·      Just 6% of Black school leavers attended a Russell Group university, compared with 12% of Mixed and Asian school leavers and 11% of White school leavers.

·      Black Caribbean and Mixed White/Black Caribbean children have rates of permanent exclusion about three times that of the pupil population as a whole. 
Black Crime
·      Rates of prosecution and sentencing for Black people were three times higher than for White people –18 per thousand population compared with six per thousand population for White people. For sentencing it was 13 per thousand population for Black people and five per thousand population for White people. 

·      In England and Wales ethnic minority children and adults are more likely to be a victim of homicide. The homicide rate for Black people was 30.5 per million population, 14.1 for Asian people and 8.9 for White people.

·      White women are more at risk of domestic abuse than ethnic minority women.  7.4 % reported being victims of abuse compared with 4.4 % of ethnic minority women.

·      Race hate crimes on Britain’s railway networks have risen by 37 %.

·      In England, 37.4% of Black people and 44.8% of Asian people felt unsafe being at home or around their local area, compared with 29.2% of White people.

Black Living standards

·      Pakistani/Bangladeshi and Black adults are more likely to live in substandard accommodation than White people. 30.9 % of Pakistani/Bangladeshi people live in overcrowded accommodation, while for Black people the figure is 26.8% and for White people it is 8.3%.

·      If you are an ethnic minority person, you are still more likely to live in poverty.  Our evidence shows that 35.7% of ethnic minorities were more likely to live in poverty compared with 17.2% of White people.

·      In Scotland, ethnic minority households are more likely to experience overcrowding. This was 11.8% for ethnic minority households compared with 2.9% for White households.

Black Health and care

o   Black African women had a mortality rate four times higher than White women in the UK.

o   There is a significant disproportionate number of ethnic minorities detained under mental health legislation in hospitals in England and Wales – Black African women were seven times more likely to be detained than White British women.

o   Gypsies, Travellers and Roma were found to suffer poorer mental health than the rest of the population in Britain. They were also more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

End.










Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Its going to be a long hot summer.



Dear Mayor of London, 

27th July 2016. 

This is an open letter to you. I'm not sure you'll even see or even read it, but it's a genuine attempt to avoid the continuing deterioration of Met Police/Black community relationships over this summer. 

In my experience in dealing with thousands off demonstrations over the last 30 years, I find the police, when faced with an information vacuum, have a tendency to let their worst fears haunt them, and as a result, can adopt aggressive policing tactics. I've seen the wrong tactical options and decisions, chosen by inexperienced, sometimes racist, senior Police officers cause mayhem on more than one occasion. 

As you may know, I've been Head Steward for some of the largest and most militant demo's in the UK and again in my opinion, and backed up with formal confidence surveys, the level of distrust between the Metropolitan Police Service and black youth has now become almost endemic. Public trust and satisfaction surveys show a year on year decline in the extent to which black people have trust and confidence in the Met. 

Currently, those figures in the major London boroughs of Brent, Lambeth, Hackney, Newham, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Greenwich, Croydon, Southall, Westminster RBKC are London's most multicultural boroughs are the lowest on record. Ask them if you don't believe me. 
Now, I know that the Met Commissioner, you Mayor of London and your Deputy Mayor for Policing Sophie Linden are all concerned and an emergency meeting has been conveyed. 
The Met believes, as a result of their lack of community engagement and the race prejudice, that the Black Lives Matter Movement US has become ' terrorist' in nature as a direct result of the recent shootings of police officers. 

Of course, they're wrong, but sharing intelligence with the Pentagon has reinforced their view that Black Lives Matter UK, or elements within its ranks or close to it are planning major attacks on police. The recent Hyde Park fiasco reinforced that view. It appears when they saw the size of the crowd, they overreacted and they had no-one on the ground to talk to, nor did they have anyone they could call. 
In the ensuing panic, chaos broke out and fight broke out where two youths were unfortunately stabbed. 
As a result, all Met Police leave has been cancelled and they are in danger of allowing their uninformed fears dictate their operational tactics. 

Good advice is in short supply and as a result of their decision to dismantle the McPherson Inquiry policy and monitoring forums, they are now operating in an information vacuum. As a result, they are making huge contingency plans for serious disorder focussing on the events below. 
Reparations March, Mark Duggan March, and Notting Hill Carnival. 
The other day the Daily Mail, ran an article from out of nowhere, citing me as an 'anti-police rabble rouser' citing my critique of policing tactics at Hyde Park and my comment that its look like a ' long hot the summer'

I was referring to the fact that if the wrong policing tactics, aggressive rude, violent policing predominates, then this summer will be long. In the context of the on going racially profiling and criminalisation of black youth, you can not expect black young people to face racist policing Mon to Friday and make exceptions for Sat and Sunday. 

Upping the ante at these demonstrations is a classic Police mistake that results from the Met refusing to engage with hard core activists with credibility, on the ground in their communities and instead surrounding themselves with complaint black people with little to no experience of demonstrations or the history of tactical policing options used over the years. 

The Mayor seems to have no one of credibility giving him this advice so here it is for free. 
I would advise that you too stand down the TSG and abandon the offensive policing tactics currently being put into place at New Scotland Yard. I would advise that ensure that you are personally engaged with this issue and that any move by the Met to move towards offensive policing is authorised buy you after proper consolation. 

I would convene a number of black credible representatives (not me I know I am persona non grata ) who can be called upon at these events, to respond to any escalation of tensions or critical incidents. I would insist that these people are deployed to assist and inform your community liaison on the ground at each of these events. 
I would avoid having those with out expertise, credibility and community authority, they cant help you. These are fig leaves for Met Police indiscretions, for which they are usually paid very well. Choose wisely on this. 

Given the global rising tensions around police/black communities in the US, the targeting of EU capitals for terror-related attacks, the general, historic. but now acute distrust of London's black communities in the Met, alongside the perceptible rise in racism and hate crime in the UK and the recent death in police custody of Mzee Mohammad, my strong advice Mr. Mayor is avoid taking as sacrosanct alone. the operational advice and intelligence offered by the Met.
I say you should triangulate the information. 

Under the current Met Police Commissioner, the institution has abandoned its commitment to race equality and declared itself a 'post racist institution' in July 2009. 

As a result of this catastrophic error the Met has now lost both its corporate memory, best practices and as a consequence of age, some of its most experienced senior officers. 

The other worrying fact Mr Mayor, is that we have the lowest number of experienced 'street craft' officers and the highest number of probationer officers than at any other time in Met history. You may recall that Lord Scarman quoted the information vacuum and the high number of Probationers Constables on the streets unaccompanied by experienced officers as key reasons why Brixton 86 occurred. 

The Met, left to their own devices, will always police according to their fears. That's the danger, compounded by the failure to maintain effective communication with black communities and its most ardent critics. 

This, in addition to a retreat from local real police accountability and the ethos of policing by consent, set against the closure of the borough based Consultative Groups, has all resulted in a total breakdown in communication. which is why local Police Consultative Groups were initially recommended by Lord Scarman after the 1986 Brixton uprisings . 

Your predecessor Boris abolished them, largely I suspect because of people like me, consistency challenging and holding senior officers feet to the fire. 

I once predicted disturbances in January 2011 after the death n police custody of Smiley Culture. I was ignored, ridiculed and summarily dismissed by your predecessor, Boris Johnson and in August 2011 the country exploded after the police shooting of Mark Duggan. 




Boris was on his summer holidays in the Algarve at the time. I did a Sky TV interview on the evening of the protest amid the anarchy and demanded to know where the Mayor was while London was burning. 

He was forced to return to London immediately. 

Take note and enjoy your summer holidays Mr.Mayor 


Mayor. 

Warm regards 

Lee.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Racism has returned to Britain with a vengeance that proves it never really went away

The UK’s black and ethnic minorities  and immigrant communities will be waking up to the profound reality of an explosion of racism in Britain. In shock and blinking, staring into the strong glare of undiluted racism, Islamophobia and xenophobic mainstream sentiment. We are living in climate of fear in Britain.

I never thought I'd say those words. For over 30 years I have campaigned, alongside many individuals and organisations, to ensure the toxic legacy of racism was not passed onto to the next generation. 

That we halted gross racism on our streets is an undoubted fact, but to our disappointment and horror, we now have to come to terms with the bitter fact that  white working class communities have chosen hate over hope. The often heard, counter-intuitive defence to this accusation "It's not you, it's them' simply serves  to further reinforce our perspective.

We know, when the swivelled spivs have finished pointing over there, they'll turn their attention to us.  All over the country racists have become emboldened and vicious. "Your next" is the Bracist favorite new racist invective.

Racism, the very thing that underpinned the imperial expansion and growth of the British colonial empire saw the rape of African, Indian and Latin American, countries, this evil produced vast unimaginable profits that funded the British Industrial Revolution, the growth of British technology, industry, and infrastructure.

Today, that crude, ugly white supremacist racism  has violently re-emerged, resurrected by austerity from the dustbin of history.

In post-war Britain, immigration was an absolutely necessary for the rebuilding a nation, shattered and broken after the devastation of the Second World War. The defeat of racism and fascism and the coming together of European nations was a moment of great optimism and hope throughout the world. Since that day, to this, the British birth rate have continuously fallen, leaving huge job vacancies rates in the labour market.  It's the economy that determines immigration rates, not some notional politically driven 'immigration quota' Whatever the sentiment of the British that reality will never change.

The fact that the Leave campaign leading lights have begun to abandon their position on immigrations is a scandal. They have left the country divided to further their own political ambitions.  

Today, we see the legacy of British ' tolerance' smashed under the jack-heeled boots of British ignorance, prejudice, and a resurgent racism and the unique promise of peace in Europe now lies dead and an uncertain future faces our young people. 

Let me be clear here, I certainly don't think all Brexiters are racist. However, I have never met a racist who wasn't Brexit supporter. 

The broader Leave campaign did nothing to effectively distance themselves from the obvious racists in their camp or the vicious xenophobia apparent in some Leave campaigns . The legacy of that campaign can be seen in the assumed triumph of racist sentiment in Britain.  Micheal Gove said ' He shuddered" when he saw the recreation of Nazi propaganda in UKIP form.



I found his statement a day late and a dollar short. I can tell him the blood of ethnic minorities ran cold when we saw that poster with its deep Nazi resonance . The message that poster sent was well understood by us. 

Racist Britain, for that is our new name, will now doubt  be known as the sick, racist and the entirely insane man of Europe



The demographic split in the EU referendum vote has resulted in an older generation, that has quite literally eviscerated the futures of our young people. This spiteful decision made with a large degree of malice, saw our children futures sacrificed, on the deeply regressive alter of little Englander nationalism. 

For that, you the young deserve a profound apology. Pre Brexit you had passports, resident rights to live, work in 28 countries, today you are entitled to live in one.

The reality today is we're suffering is the biggest political hangover of the post-war generation. The crisis is profound, its strikes at the heart of the question of whether we as Black people, Asian's, ethnic minorities and immigrants can ever really be considered British by huge numbers of British people 

We simply can't escape the fact, that  a significant number of British people decided that immigrants were the primary cause of the countries economic misfortunes, the reasons why their libraries were closed, why they couldn't get their child into their preferred school and their failure to get a doctor or dentists.

They eagerly concluded, after being indoctrinated by spineless politicians and a deeply racist press,  that all these cuts and economic chaos, was all the fault of those immigrants.

Why? Well, notwithstanding the press and scurrilous politicians, there is another reason.

I believe that many British white men of a certain age, are having a collective 'nervous breakdown' as a result of a 'mid-life crisis' that is a result of a loss of esteem, status, and their white privileged place in the world and is in response to the economic rise of the former European colonial nations of the world.

This loss of assumed privilege has lead to a crisis of confidence the remedy for which is not looking forward but looking back to the glory day of Empire when the Great Britain bestrode the earth and ruled the Commonwealth.

It's a form of postcolonial, mid-life crisis of the British nation, a deep colonial melancholia, a suicidal longing for the day when white Britain ruled the world.

The fact that large parts of the British working class were so easily convinced that immigrants were the cause of their woes, not the bankers, is a result of the reservoir of latent racism in Britain, left unaddressed and  festering under the poisonous weight of austerity.

It is also in part the result of the failure of the Brtish white left and labour movements to connect, educate and decolonise, white working class communities. This is the stark, uncomfortable reality that is exemplified by the fact that Brexit sentiment was stronger in those areas of the country that have very few Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities or immigrants among them.

This failure of the white left, labour movement, trade unions, and anti-racist groups was as a result of the domination of a left class perspective that saw prominent members of the anti-racist left, seeking to minimise the extent of racism in poor communities and rather resulted inexplicably in many arguing for Brexit.

This serious error, consequences of the failure to engage with black communities and organisations in establishing the poriorties of the anti-racist movement. Ant racist needs black organisational leadership, not token black leadership. We needed to ensure that poor communities were educated to the fact that immigration had built this country and made it what it is today.

Confronting the British National party, chasing the English Defence League organising opposition to Pediga,  pro-migrant demonstrations, are all necessary, but not sufficient responses to tackling,  systemic institutionalised racism and a deeply ingrained culture of racism among the poor.

In examining this issue we can't fail to mention the institutional practices of the Labour movement and trade unions that inform's their deep reluctance to allow black leadership in the Trade Union movement and the marginalisation of their Black Trade unions structures. As Chair of Black Activist Against the Cuts (BARAC UK) I can tell you that we spend inordinate amounts of time seeking to convince Trade Unions to represent black workers facing racism.



We find, in general, they are ill-equipped to do so and they're understanding the reality of racism is so crude as to undermine black workers fight against racism.

Overwhelmingly, our work demonstrates clearly that black workers struggle to secure representation from Trade Unions when facing racism in the workplace.


Further, we have evidence that Black public sector workers, trade unionists, enduring terrible racism at work and employed by Labour local authorities find  their Trade Union representatives in deep conclusion with their Labour local authority colleagues leaving Black workers to the mercy of their racist managers and employers.

Black perspectives on racism are largely ignored by many on the white left. The  simple fact is this is not a real priority for Trade Unions. We are being critically failed by Trade Unions in representing black workers who face racism in the workplace. White shop stewards and local branch secretaries  are unable, unwilling and sometimes openly hostile to race grievances and sometimes black workers, often siding with management agreeing with management that such incidents 'do not constitute racism'.

The fact that BARAC UK, then picks these cases up, fights these cases and wins demonstrates our point. We are overwhelmed with such cases'

The broader and strategic point I am making is Labour movements approaches to tackling racism are largely cosmetic, white liberal approaches dominate this agenda. These priorities don't reflect black organisations/communities priorities in tackling racism

So whether it's the Trade Union movement or left anti-racist campaigns, the reality is we're losing the war on racism. Real anti-racism has to be led by black organisations, not individuals, it has to be done consistently in white majority areas and white people have to take responsibility for their own racism.

One has to ask the serious questions why has the left failed to get its message across that identifies the bankers as the real reason the country is now bankrupt and in an economic mess?

Given the backdrop of a failure by the white left to accept black organisational leadership preferring their own lightweight version of anti-racism, some elements of the left Lexit tendency gave credence to those views that targeted immigrants as the problem.

Having failed to secure its own core constituency, the left has virtually abandoned white working class communities, leaving UKIP to fill the vacuum.

No doubt there will be those today, who will say the labour movement should have been "tougher on immigration" in an effort to secure more votes. It is this left concession to racism has seen hatred consume the body politic.even those who disagree with this analysis are not robust anti-racists working in partnership and under the leadership of  black community organisations or black trade unions structures.  

Left anti-racism in the UK is nothing more that a white liberal anti-racism and tokenistic black representation of left anti-racist movements doesn't change that.  Let's be clear, anti-racism in the UK is dominated by the Socialist Worker Party through Stand Up To Racism, Unite Against Fascism or the deeply problematic Hope Not Hate that pathologise's Black communities an organisation with no credibility, traction or support from Black organisations or communities.

Other anti-racist movements, such as Show The Racism The Red Card (SRTC) are equally out of touch and  have determined their own anti-racist priorities in the absence of organised black communities. Their campaigning priorities are not informed by strong black perspectives. SRTC for example bizarrely believes "Black people can be racist too" a fundamental error of analysis. 




Hope Not Hate is even worse. It has no real credibility, accountability or traction in most black communities and whose political orientation is one that identifies Muslim communities as problematic demonstrating again that white perspectives on racism almost always come to the wrong conclusion on race.

This white left failure of political analysis in large part explains why we are, where we are today. 

Over the last 20 or so years, elements of the Labour Party have played footsie with racist sentiments for electoral gain and in doing so, legitimised such sentiment. Since 2010 racism became hugely amplified by Tory austerity.

The country gave the Bankers a free pass and began blaming the migrants. They conceded to racism and some  believe that anti-immigrant rhetoric is their route to power despite the huge Black support for Labour.   

The result of these fundamental errors of understanding, political analysis and campaigning tactics has seen British racism become both rampant and resurgent. During the next period of Brexit self-inflicted recession, its black communities already suffering 55% black youth unemployment will be disproportionately affected.

The silence of the Trade Union and the Labour Party on this scandal and the hugely disproportionately redundancies faced by black women in the public sector illustrates the deep reticence of the some on the left, to challenge anything other than most obvious and crudest form of racism.

We can support the Greek left facing austerity and rightly so, but the fact that black youth suffers comparable rates of unemployment to those of Greek, Spanish, Italian and even Palestinian youths in Gazza, seems to have passed the labour movement by.  Poverty is killing us and the rise in Black community violence and the tragic costs for our communities feature now where on the labour movement and left agendas. 

There are trade unions who are exceptions to this analysis, PCS being just one worthy of mention, but the large Unions are where the real problem lies. In the broader labour movement let me ask how many all white anti-austerity platforms have you seen over the last 6 years? Far too many, even in majority Black or Asian areas.

Whilst there have been commendable moves to ensure women's representations, with left activists refusing to take part in all male debates. These same activists will jump on an all white platforms, majority white platforms, at majority white meetings, in strong multicultural areas and won't even bat an eyelid and certainly have consistently refused to raise the issue. 

Yet when we organise we win together. Look at the work of the National Union Students Black Students Campaign that has totally transformed the NUS work on anti-racism. Further, we must back progressive black leadership. The recent election of Malia Bouattia of the NUS, is a fabulous victory but we all know what happens to progressive black leaders, don't we ? Look at the genuine partnership between the black communities, the  Stephen Lawrence campaign, the trade union and labour movements.

Malia is  not even in office and already the vicious racist attacks have begun It is vital that Black and Muslim organisations support Malia I will be writing more about this shortly. 

Back to the issue of Bracist Britain and societal racism. What is now under real threat post the vote, is the entire human rights, race equality legislative framework, which decoupled from the European Convention on Human Rights and Strasberg, will now require new interpretation within a solely British context.

We will have to fight or we see the end of Britain’s adherence to the EU’s Social Chapter leading to a fundamental weakening of workers rights and the rights of black and ethnic minority peoples to be protected from unlawful discrimination.

The very same people, who fought for an exit from Europe, are the very same people who called for an end to "political correctness" and will be the very same people who will now demand an end to, or a weakening off race specific legal protection from discrimination. Let's recall, leading Brexiters, Boris Johnson’s utter ambivalence and failure to deliver race equality during his time as Mayor of London and Nigel Farage’s public comments that he thought “ the British Race Relations Act should be abolished in a post racist Britain”

Having worked for 30 years to ensure that our children and access to strong laws protecting them from the worst excesses of British racism and its effects, we are now facing the prospect of seeing all that legislation being wiped away in Bracist Britain on the bonfire of "political correctness".

The on going collapse of the British economy has already seen the pound fall in value against international trading currencies. In short, we will see millions of pounds being wiped off British economy and many of our parents retired to the Caribbean, Africa, Asia awoke to see the value of their pensions slashed as a result. I expect these economic consequences will disproportionally affect poor white and Black and ethnic communities. 

Ironically those significant few Black and ethnic minorities who voted to leave the EU will now be sending home much more of their hard earned money to support their elderly parents in their retirement. They will be few in number however as Lord Ashcroft voting analysis shows the vast majority of British non-whites voted for remain. 

I can also see those with racist sentiments, now buoyant after this vote, whether in the police force, private public sectors, local regional central government being unrestrained in the extent to which they are happy to articulate and practice their racism utterly unrestrained.

The slogan "We want our country back" is not just aimed at Eastern European migrants, it is also a message directed to black and ethnic minority communities, I think for many the subtext was “We want our white Christian country back”

At difficult times such as these, race hate crimes can and do rise.  The streets are unsafe for us. Black, Asian and ethnic minority organisations need to come together and demand that the Home secretary and the police ensure that they protect communities. However such is the pervasiveness of racism today we will need to ensure that they don't send us UKIP members in blue uniforms to tackle racist attack and hate crimes. 

I would strongly advise Black Asian and ethnic minority communities, particularly those in isolated areas, to begin to take precautions against the potential rise in racist or religious abuse, offensive graffiti and racist attack. Again we should be collective demanding urgent action on the explosion of racist abuse on our streets. Self-defence should be an option that we may have to seriously consider given the police enjoy little credibility and lack the confidence of our communities.

We are fully aware, and history teaches us, that when the rhetoric of racism bleeds into the mainstream society, our people are attacked on British streets. That's what's happening right now. For years I have  pointed out that racism is getting worse and have been consistently shouted down by the right and left wingers. I have been accused of being a ' race card scaremongering racist' of  'splitting the working class struggle' for pointing our working class racism'  Today I stand vindicated.

I would hope the Home Secretary and the police service would urgently meet with Black.Asian and ethnic minority organisations and faith groups to reassure communities and hear our concerns.  This EU referendum has produced the most profound crisis in British race relations ever seen since the civil disturbances of the 1980's.

Black, Asian and minority leadership in the United Kingdom must abandon the softly, softly, accommodationist, servile approach to confronting racism in wider society, the white left and trade union movements, because when they fail to focus on racism the cost to us all is enormous .  Post-austerity anti-racism in the UK is a failed project.  

We, black organisations, faith groups and communities must now meet to determine a new course of action focused on doing whatever it takes to secure rights to protection against racism and discrimination. in Bracist Britain There is no way we can allow racism to win.

That's why a number of national blacks and minority organisations and networks will be calling a meeting to discuss these grave and urgent matters in an effort to begin the complex process of analysis examining and exploring where black self-organisation, anti-racism and race equality are now.
This is absolutely vital if we are to prevent the mistakes of the past and ensure that the broad labour movement, here in Britain does not simply concede on the issue of racism for electoral gain, the maintenance of white privilege and economic advantage and resist capitulating in the face of racism and xenophobia.

Neither can we  continue to afford the ‘cosmetic anti-racism’ of the recent past.

Black, Asian and ethnic minority organisations must determine the new radical priorities for action. 
We will need to agree our own radical agenda for change and ensure that is adopted by the  white left movements as a priority for action and they are held to fierce account for their actions in defending us.
We need greater solidarity amongst our organisations, we need to liberate young people and allow them to lead our movements, we need to promote black women into leadership positions and we need to discard the poisonous competitiveness that has seen black organisations vie for resources and political influence.

This is more serious and critical challenge based in our lifetime. This article is the ringing alarm. Our children's future is in dire jeopardy. We must unite now in order to avoid our children suffering the type of racism and fascism that we thought we'd consign to the dustbin of history. To do that we must reassert black leadership of the ant-racist struggle and force the left to go do the real work ints own communities. 

There is simply no more important a priority.