28 March 2012
The Institute of Race Relations has published a wide-ranging report exposing racism in government policy, institutions and popular culture. The report, entitled 'The three faces of British racism', shows how racism has worsened under a government which claims to be leading the fight against it. The report focuses on asylum policy and reform of the criminal justice system as the main areas in which the promise held out by the Macpherson Report has been squandered. Rather than tackle institutional racism, government asylum policy has fuelled a new variant of racism directed at the world's displaced and dispossessed, while Labour's new crime plan will tend to reinforce existing patterns of racial discrimination. The report also highlights the ways in which black over-representation in the criminal justice system will be exacerbated by current 'reforms' of the right to trial by jury and stop and search powers, and examines ongoing problems in the legal provisions to tackle racial violence.
The report argues that the current asylum legislation, which has deterrence instead of human rights as its guiding principle, should be scrapped, and that government ministers should be required to make 'racial impact statements' in which criminal justice reforms are tested against their anticipated effect on black communities.
Report contributors: Professor Lee Bridges (Director of the Legal Research Institute and Chair of the School of Law, University of Warwick), Gareth Peirce (leading civil rights lawyer), Frances Webber (leading immigration barrister and writer on immigration law), Dr. A. Sivanandan (Director, Institute of Race Relations), Harmit Athwal, Jenny Bourne, Liz Fekete, Arun Kundnani (researchers, Institute of Race Relations)
The three faces of British racism is available from the Institute of Race Relations, 2-6 Leeke Street, London WC1X 9HS, UK. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7837 0041. Price 6 pounds.
More information, including short extracts and a summary of the key points, are available online at: http://www.irr.org.uk
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