More scepticism about Government race commission

24th Jul 2020
More scepticism about Government race commission

(Credit: Pixabay/CC)

When someone like Munira Mirza, who questions the very concept of structural racism and who even likened the use of the “N-word” with calling someone “fat”, is appointed to oversee the setting up of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, it hardly seems surprising that someone like Tony Sewell, a man with a long record of downplaying race disparities is selected to chair it.

Sewell criticised a previous Government race disparity audit in 2017, claiming that stats were “misused in a way which casts minorities as victims of racism and white privilege.”

In a column for the Sun, he downplayed its racism findings. “For government ministers to use emotive terms like ‘racial injustice’ without acknowledging the many underlying factors creates a false perception of victim status.”

He also argued that “much of the supposed evidence of institutional racism is flimsy.”

Justifying the appointment and views of Sewell, the PM’s spokesman said, “ the PM knows very well his work” and said that Sewell has the “commitment to maximising opportunity for all.”

There was already much cynicism about Johnson’s call for yet another inquiry following the Black Lives Matter movement surge.

The latest appointment only casts further doubts about its sincerity especially with the PM he wanted to “change the narrative” and “stop a sense of victimisation and discrimination.”

The publication of the terms of reference also cast further doubts about its limitations, suggesting that the purpose was to move on to a positive agenda “balancing the needs of individuals, communities and society, maximising opportunities and ensuring fairness for all.”

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