Category: RACE DIVERSITY

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SORRY MESS OF THE ALI DIZAEI CASE

While corruption exposed is a cause for celebration, the Met’s minority officers can see themselves suffering collateral damage… Clink, clink. Pop. That’s the sound of corks being pulled and toasts being proposed by those who said they would do just that when Ali Dizaei finally got his comeuppance. They are likely to be triumphant – more so than they would ever have expected. Not only is the former Metropolitan police commander disgraced, having been convicted of perverting the course of justice, he got four years. Four years! Two in jail, two on licence. The language has been harsh and justified,...

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POOR RESEARCH OR AN ATTACK ON BLACK PEOPLE?

Letter from mental health campaigners on the alleged ‘epidemic’ of schizophrenia among British African Caribbean groups… “A report of a high rate of ‘schizophrenia’ being diagnosed among British African Caribbeans is nothing new, but conclusions about an ‘epidemic’ (Causes for controversy, SocietyGuardian, 9 December 2009) are worrying. First, ‘research’ such as the Aesop study is fundamentally flawed because it uses narrow interpretations of what diagnostic categories represent. Second, the word ‘epidemic’, implying that black people’s ‘schizophrenia’ may adversely affect others, is indicative of a racist undertone in what the researchers are saying. Figures such as those quoted have been around...

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SCOTLAND YARD ADMITS RACE DISCRIMINATION IN DEAL TO END RECRUITMENT BOYCOTT

Black Police Association ends recruitment protest as Metropolitan police deputy commissioner pledges reform Scotland Yard bosses have admitted discrimination still exists among its officers as part of a deal to end a race row that plagued Britain’s biggest force for 16 months, the Guardian has learned. A boycott of the force by the Black Police Association, which began in October 2008, will be ended as a result. It follows months of secret talks and as part of the settlement Scotland Yard deputy commissioner Tim Godwin has vowed to “address issues of race and discrimination in the organisation” and in how...

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CALL FOR ANONYMOUS CVS TO STOP JOB INTERVIEW SEXISM AND RACISM DISCRIMINATION

Government’s ethnic minority taskforce due to report in 2010 on research that uncovered widespread discrimination… Race advisers and equality campaigners have called on the government to make “anonymous” CVs and job applications compulsory to overcome discrimination against women and people with African or Asian surnames. Some British companies have already begun stripping out personal details so those deciding who to invite for interview are only told about their qualifications and experience, and not their ethnicity, gender or age. The government’s ethnic minority taskforce is due to report early in 2010 on the findings of research commissioned by the Department for...

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RACIAL OR RELIGIOUS GROUPS COULD BE PICKED OUT FOR HI-TECH AIRPORT CHECKS

Whitehall says passenger profiling ‘in the mix’ New body scanners would pose space problem The government could allow hi-tech security searches at British airports that focus on people who fit a particular profile, prompting fears that particular racial and religious groups will face increased scrutiny, it emerged today . A Whitehall source told the Guardian passenger profiling was “in the mix” of the review into airport security ordered this week by Gordon Brown after the failed attempt to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day. The development came as airline industry chiefs warned it would be impossible to screen...

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PHILIP DAVIES MP BOMBARDED WATCHDOG IN ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’ CAMPAIGN

A Tory MP has bombarded the government’s equalities watchdog with a series of extraordinary letters about race and sex discrimination, in a one-man campaign against “political correctness”. In the latest of 19 letters sent since April 2008, and likely to dismay equal rights campaigners, Philip Davies asks Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission: “Is it offensive to black up or not, particularly if you are impersonating a black person?” In a postscript to the letter, he asks “why it is so offensive to black up your face, as I have never understood this”. Davies, MP for...

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LIVERPOOL’S BME TEACHER NUMBERS UNCHANGED IN 20 YEARS

A study of teachers in Liverpool has found the proportion of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff has remained unchanged in 20 years despite the city’s history of racial unrest. In 1989, an inquiry set up by the city council and headed by Lord Gifford into policing and social conditions in the Toxteth area found widespread inbuilt racist attitudes, even though the city had a long-established black community. It described the situation as “uniquely horrific”. The new study comes after landmark research commissioned by teaching union the NASUWT published earlier this month discovered an “endemic culture of institutional racism” was...

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WHY ARE BLACK PEOPLE TURNING TO ISLAM?

Some are following their heroes, others looking for meaning in their lives. One thing’s for sure – the numbers are growing… Black conversion or “reversion” to Islam is not new; it has been taking place in the African diaspora since time immemorial. However, I looked deeper into the phenomenon to find out why a growing number of Black Britons, especially younger ones, are embracing Islam. Although I am not a Muslim, I have always been interested in Islam – three of my all-time heroes, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Jamaican singer Prince Buster were Muslim converts, and I was intrigued...

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ASSIMILATION IS NOT A DIRTY WORD

We should distrust those who use scare tactics that warn of loss of ethnic identity. Minorities today need not fear cultural oblivion… Let’s say you’re very unhappy that a high proportion of the members of your minority group are losing their identity and assimilating into British society. Would you describe that as a Holocaust? Granted you’re deeply concerned about ensuring the continuity of your group’s culture and values. The lure of the host culture is such that you look into the future and see empty prayer houses and community centres, the collapse of family traditions, the end of practices that...

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MICROSOFT REMOVES BLACK FACE FROM ADVERT

In the first picture, he is a smiling, grandfatherly black man, with salt and pepper hair and a smart grey suit. In the second, the suit remains, but the black man has become white, and a decade younger, with slicked-back hair. Yet not all is different: he still has a black hand. “Empower your people with the IT tools they need,” reads the caption. But the use of tools to change the image – used in its original form to promote Microsoft’s business productivity software on its American website – has caused outrage. In the original picture, the black man...