'Racism is everywhere': Chesterfield and North Derbyshire anti-racism group slam Government's report

Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Stand Up To Racism group have slammed a race report by No. 10 for ignoring the lives experiences of black and asian people, after it found “UK organisations are not institutionally racist”.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 6:04 pm

The national anti-racism organisation labelled the findings of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED) as a “whitewash and a cover-up for the government” arguing the review was “undermined from the outset” preventing “any serous and meaningful” impact on racism in Britain.

It comes after Britain was found to not be institutionally racist according to the 264 page government report which was set up in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.

The CRED report was headed up by chairman Tony Sewell and included 24 recommendations, such as ending the use of the term BAME and advising organisations to stop funding unconscious bias training.

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Alfred Graham from Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Stand Up To Racism.

Secretary Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Stand Up To Racism, Jeannie Robinson said: "I was shocked and angered really after a year on from the murder of George Floyd that people are still trying to claim that there is no institutional racism and no structural racism exists which is really what the report is trying to do.

"It doesn't correspond to what people tell us.

"An article the Derbyshire Times ran last week had an interview with three local people from the Black and Asian community.

"Lud who you interviewed was a firefighter is actually making a film about institutional racism in the fire service – it's the lived experience still of many minority communities.”

Jeannie Robinson and Steve Jackson with their new Stand Up To Racism banner.

Jeannie added that some people in Chesterfield still said they ‘did not want an asian taxi driver’.

"Racism is everywhere,” she said.

Rehana Azam, who works for the GMB union, is visiting the town to speak at Chesterfield May Day this year on May 3.

She commented: “Institutional racism exists, it’s the lived experience of millions of black and ethnic minority workers.

Jeannie Robinson at Chesterfield band stand in Queen's Park.

"We’re paid less, we’re more likely to be in high-risk jobs during the pandemic, we’re more likely to die from Covid, we’re more likely to be stopped and searched, to be arrested and to go to prison.”

The Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Stand Up To Racism group secretary previously worked as a union representative at a large workplace in Nottingham, where she said black people, particularly women, were discriminated against.

Jeannie added: "It just seems like this report has ignored all of this.

"I think it's interesting because in the report [Tony Sewell] talks about the difference between reality and perception as if black people are perceiving it and it isn't really there.

"That is an attitude I came across with the employers that there's been perceived racism and they weren't willing to recognise that it was real discrimination.

"That was really demeaning and it made me angry and it made the members angry.”

The anti-racism group are calling on institutions to review their processes and employment practices to ensure there is no discrimination against its Black and Asian workers, contrary to the recommendations of the CRED review.

While Jeannie urged more to be done to tackle the ‘deep-rooted’ problem of racism, arguing that having a limited number of Black and Asian faces in high profile jobs was ‘not the answer’.

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