Race report has ‘extinguished any hope’ in addressing inequalities, says Unite

15 April 2021

The government’s report on race and ethnic disparities has ‘extinguished any hope in addressing rife and deep-seated inequalities’, Unite has said.

Unite was commenting on Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities: The Report. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was set up after Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests across the country last summer, following the tragic death of George Floyd in the US.

Among the report’s findings were that the UK is not yet ‘a post-racial society’ but that ‘the country has come a long way in 50 years’, and that  ‘the success of much of the ethnic minority population in education and, to a lesser extent, the economy, should be regarded as a model for other White-majority countries’.

The report also stated the evidence showed ‘geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion have more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism.’

‘That said, we take the reality of racism seriously and we do not deny that it is a real force in the UK,’ read the report’s foreword written by its chair. 

Reacting to the report, Unite national officer for equalities Harish Patel said: ‘The report is a huge disappointment and failed to delve deeper into the inequalities that affect those from ethnic minorities in the UK which have been further highlighted by the impact of the pandemic over the last year.

‘There will be real anger in these communities that, once again, the government has failed to tackle these ingrained inequalities’. 

He said the publication ‘looks at these issues of inequality through rose-tinted glasses and attempts to paper over the cracks in a society where disparities and disadvantage are rife.’

He continued: ‘It is those from black and Asian backgrounds that have suffered disproportionately from Covid-19 whether they were NHS staff who succumbed to coronavirus or, more widely, in the community.

In conclusion he said that the report ‘has totally failed and no way has reached its destination which should have been a concrete set of recommendations to address the inequalities in the workplace and, in society, which those from ethnic minorities experience on a daily basis’.

Image Credit | iStock