The #SewellReport and its conclusions hit particularly hard today. I can imagine that a lot of British people from minoritised communities are feeling particularly gaslit by having our lived experience dismissed in such a public and patronising way. I have some thoughts:
The report has actually presented quite a bit of evidence of systemic disadvantage, despite significant cherry-picking of data. However, they have dismissed a lot of things as being due to SES, as if accepting that POC are more likely to be poor isn't, itself, systemic racism.
There is also an assumption that a finding that shows any minority group having positive outcomes (or even an improvement in poor outcomes) indicates that racism doesn't exist. I don't think that that assumption would have passed peer review.
In particular, the report decries the term 'BAME' as being too general, but then uses any data that shows any ethnic group doing better or as well as White British people as an indicator that ethnic inequalities are non-existent for all groups.
There is almost no discussion of the experience of racism, or involvement of key stakeholders. Despite this, the authors draw conclusions about why minoritised communities feel discriminated against, using zero evidence.
What's particularly egregious is the way that they have picked a seemingly random set of outcomes (and left some glaring gaps) without explaining their choices. It feels as though their aim was to find data that justified their pre-drawn conclusions (which, of course, it was).
Overall, being told that large swathes of the population are imagining widespread injustice due to historical racism that also didn't happen and should never be discussed is... exhausting. I think we're all just exhausted.

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