Thursday, 14 January 2010

Race and colour are no longer a disadvantage in Britain, according to UK Communities Secretary

In a speech to be given later today to mark a decade of the Race Relations Amendment Act, Communities Secretary John Denham will say that the government has made significant progress in tackling racism, and that poverty and class are now more likely to be the causes of disadvantage rather than skin colour.
That does not mean that we should reduce our efforts to tackle racism and promote race equality, but we must avoid a one-dimensional debate that assumes all minority-ethnic people are disadvantaged.
Debating the issue with Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick it Out, on the Radio 4 Today programme, Denham disagreed with the suggestion that it appears that you are more likely to be at a disadvantage if you are white and working class than if you are black, but reaffirmed the government’s commitment to deal with inequality regardless of where it comes from.

Displaying remarkable unity with the Communities Secretary, Lord Ouseley added that all forms of potential forms of inequality, including race, poverty, class and sexual identity, need to be addressed as a coherent whole, without singling out race as one discrete issue that affects poverty or inequality.

Denham concluded:
We need to make people feel that they don’t think that people are being singled out for special treatment just because of the race that they are from. If people get support and help it needs to be because of the needs they have. We’re committed to tackling inequality and disadvantage whoever you are and wherever you are.
BBC News: Ethnic minorities "no longer always disadvantaged"

BBC Have Your Say: Are ethnic minorities still disadvantaged?

  • What tangible evidence can you provide demonstrating that progress has been made in tackling the issue of race discrimination in the workplace?
  • Do you agree with the suggestion that it's wrong to single out individual minority groups for special treatment, and that inequality needs to be addressed as a coherent whole?

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