UN experts condemn UK government's 'reprehensible' race report
A group of UN experts have slammed the government's widely criticised race report, saying it contains falsehoods and risks making racism worse in the UK
UN experts pulled no punches today, describing the report as citing "dubious evidence to make claims that rationalise white supremacy by using the familiar arguments that have always justified racial hierarchy."
The experts criticised the aspects of the report that attempt to explain disparities between different ethnicities, particularly those of African descent, as "cultural" rather than an institutional issue within British society.
“The report’s conclusion that racism is either a product of the imagination of people of African descent or of discrete, individualised incidents ignores the pervasive role that the social construction of race was designed to play in society, particularly in normalising atrocity, in which the British state and institutions played a significant role.”
The experts also lambasted parts of the report in which its author seem to attempt to sanitise colonialism, in which it said the "Caribbean experience" should be explored and it should be celebrated how African slaves persevered during slavery and became British/African.
“This is a reprehensible, although not unfamiliar tactic, employed by many whose wealth came directly from the enslavement of others, ever since slavery was outlawed.
"Seeking to silence the brutal role of enslavers, the mind-numbing generational wealth they accrued, and the social capital and political influence they gained from exploiting Black bodies is a deliberate attempt at historical misrepresentation."
The experts added: "The distortion and falsification of these historic facts may license further racism, the promotion of negative racial stereotypes, and racial discrimination."
This comes after the government's race report received widespread condemnation from charities and organisations working in the sector already.
Shadow equalities minister Marsha de Cordova earlier this month lambasted the report, saying "to downplay institutional racism in a pandemic where black, Asian and ethnic minority people have died disproportionately and are now twice as likely to be unemployed is an insult.”
The report has also received condemnation from NHS Providers, trade unions, race equalities think-tank the Runnymede Trust, and the Institute of Race Relations.
When asked about the UN's comments, a government spokesman said: "Our view is that this report misrepresents the findings, we remain proud of the UK's long history as a human rights champion and we encourage everyone to read the original report in full."
Adding: "This report in no way contains racist behaviour, and in fact it highlights that racism and inequality are still problems for our country."