Isabelle Parasram - Liberal Democrats Vice President
The Government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has missed the opportunity to make a clear, bold statement on the state of race equality in this country, to expose the real issues and to make recommendations that would address them in a decisive and comprehensive manner.
The evidence and impact of racism in the UK is overwhelming - ethnic minority communities are at a disadvantage in almost all sectors of society, most notably in education, healthcare, criminal justice, housing and employment.
The global pandemic has only served to highlight this inequality.
It is therefore astonishing that the Commission should take the approach that it has done in painting the state of race equality in the UK in such a positive light.
In suggesting that the UK has become open and fairer than it was in the past, in pointing to instances of success amongst minority communities and in suggesting that individuals and communities seeking to close the disparity gaps should not ‘...wait for invisible external forces to assemble to do the job,’ the Commission seems to be ignoring both the data and the lived experiences of ethnic minority people that tells a different narrative.
Whilst some of recommendations made in the report are helpful, they fall far short of what could have been achieved.
On a day when I was both reading this report and watching the trial of Derek Chauvin, I could not fail to note the irony.