UN rights experts condemn UK government’s review on race inequality
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UN rights experts condemn UK government’s review on race inequality

UN human rights experts responded on Monday to a review by the British government into race inequality by “categorically reject[ing] and condemn[ing] the analysis and findings.”

The review culminated in a report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities that was released last Wednesday. The report was ordered by the government following the Black Lives Matter protests last summer that came in response to the death of George Floyd by the hands of police.

The report, which claims that Britain should be considered a “model for other white-majority countries,” begins with a foreword that states:

Put simply we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities. The impediments and disparities do exist, they are varied, and ironically very few of them are directly to do with racism. Too often “racism” is the catch-all explanation, and can be simply implicitly accepted rather than explicitly examined.

The Commission received fairly immediate condemnation for the report by a number of sources, and the Commission responded to the criticisms by calling them at times “fair and robust” and at other times “misrepresentations” of the report.

The experts at the UN, who are part of the Working Group of experts on people of African descent, called the report “tone-deaf” and “reprehensible”:

Among other things, the Report blames single parents for poor outcomes, ignoring the racial disparities and the racialized nature of poor outcomes that exist despite an increased prevalence of single-parent families in every demographic. The Report’s conclusion that racism is either a product of the imagination of people of African descent or of discrete, individualized incidents ignores the pervasive role that the social construction of race was designed to play in society, particularly in normalizing atrocity, in which the British state and institutions played a significant role.

In response to the report, the UN experts called for the Commission to be disbanded or reconstituted and for the British government to reject its findings.