This is Samir Shah on what the Race Commission was trying to say about institutional racism (that it can exist/does exist). And Tony Sewell, the Chair, on what he thinks of the Commission's findings (that it is defined too loosely/they didn't find it)
Here is Maggie Aderin-Pocock saying there is racism, and terrible experiences of racism, but not systemic racism (now/anymore) and that they "didn't find" institutional racism. Though it may exist.
The Commission also says (collectively) "we have never said that racism does not exist in society or in institutions. We say the contrary: racism is real and we must do more to tackle it"
The Commission report is a collective view - and probably a compromise between different views on the Commission. It clearly does endorse the Macpherson definition & it is clearly concerned that it is used more loosely (ie, should check if a disparity is discrimination)
They propose these distinctions.
Explained/unexplained racial disparities

Institutional racism
(Applicable to an institution)

Systemic racism
(Wider society/interconnected institutions)

Structural racism
(They see this term as inextricably linked to a critique of capitalism)
It seems to me they may forget or conflate or muddle up these distinctions in their report - esp between systemic and institutional racism - in their comms and interviews

This Times page 1 is most nuanced description of content. Mail & Indy headlines closer to Sewell interview
Matthew Parris says it was a mistake on tone to enter a 'sterile debate'. Having set out their distinctions, the Commissioners seem to me to conflate them
"Put simply", Tony Sewell foreword that v clear verdict that there is not *systemic racism* ("we no longer see a Britain where the system is *deliberately* rigged against ethnic minorities. The impediments and disparities do exist ... very few of them are *directly racism*)
This foreword moves the goalposts, compared to the definitions box because "deliberately rigged" and "direct" racism have been introduced.

"Rigged" is now an *intentional* matter.
Systemic racism exists if there is a clear and sustained bias, by accident not design, by ethnicity
This (from the report) is evidence of a systemic ethnic disparity. Because unconscious bias.

The sentence at the bottom does not make sense (the study methodologies are applications for real jobs) and indicates an optimism/benefit of the doubt bias in the report.
"Unemployment rates for the 16 to 24 group are high even for those from Indian and Chinese ethnic groups who comfortably outperform the White average in education"

This clearly meets the systemic (society-wide) bar among the young adult cohort who closed the aggregate educ gap
Foreword then says use "institutional racism" when "deep-seated racism can be proven on a systemic level" (what about unconscious bias/affinity bias being systemic causes of disparities)

"Not as a general catch-all phrase for every microaggression" is rhetorical
Report looks for systemic disparities (it finds some, in employment and health). Its accurate argument would be "closing disparities ... widening opportunities ... fairer chances than ever before ... lets build on progress & work too to close the remaining gaps too" [proposals]
After call for a clearer definition, not finding "institutional racism" = red herring. They do not produce a model of how to test for it *in institutions* as they are looking society-wide for systemic racism.

Reasonable: they would need two dozen 250 page reports to assess this
They do look a little at police recruitment, at NHS pay/progression, at civil service. (They don't look at most institutions: home office, the courts, business, sport, civic society, arts and culture). They just dont have much basis to make declarations about institutional racism
When a Commisioner says there was *potentially* even systemic racism in the 1960s (1m 20s), this seems one small indication that the burden of proof is set somewhat beyond beyond reasonable doubt
My own view (on reflection) is we should use a cooler word than the R-word when we want to focus on *institutionalised* discrimination & disparities

Because R word understood to be about intent.We discuss intent, but this was trying to shift to systems

It is also perhaps too binary an on/off term, if interested in driving sustained changes over time. It is clearly harder to adopt by institutions than a cooler synonym.

Incisive example of taking metaphors seriously
"Anecdotal" was an unhelpful (unproven) word to introduce on evidence of racism. (Eg, prosecution data for racist violence are facts; as are tribunal verdicts, etc).
* no doubt about existence of racism.
* good evidence of closing gaps
* clear evidence of systemic disparities
This (from the report) on the persistence of racism and the corrosive toxicity of anonymous online racist abuse against many prominent ethnic minority people is much clearer & better in content and tone (than saying "anecdotal examples of racism" on the Today programme).
At core of Macpherson definition is that institutional discrimination does *not* depend on the intent (versus "deliberately rigged"): a point which Wendy Williams puts clearly too. (However, our intuitions re the word "Racism" seem largely intent-based)

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More from @sundersays

6 Apr
Calvin Robinson who likes the report says that he disagrees with the idea in the report that more representative police forces would be useful to race relations or policing.
He didn't actually make any argument about policing at all. He simply spoke about being opposed in general to noticing immutable characteristics, conflating not caring about the make-up of police forces with being fine with all male panels (making a slightly contradictory case)
On a purely meritocratic view, clear logic as to why make-up of a police force is a pretty useful indicator of meritocracy (if one takes any interest in whether slogan of equal opps is realised in practice). Calvin ignored that: spoke as if the only approach here could be quotas
Read 13 tweets
6 Apr
This is an inaccurate, misleading and *entirely un-nuanced* claim about Keir Starmer's response to the Race Commission report. Disappointed to see @GoodwinMJ so over-simplify his nuanced response to the "nuanced report"
This is Starmer. "On the one hand there is an acknowledgement of the problems ... on the other hand, there is a reluctance to accept that that's structural". This is misdescribed by @GoodwinMJ as calling the British people racist. That is very *un-nuanced*
Here is Samir Shah of the Race Commission, saying that it does recognise institutional racism. (In the terms of the Matt Goodwin piece, we could now say the Race Commission is calling the British people racist by accepting the Macpherson definition)
Read 11 tweets
5 Apr
Lots of people pointing out the Mayor does not have powers to act in this area.

Few people seemed to notice what Race Commission proposed about Class B drugs (partly as proposals were not part of media briefing; partly as may appeal more to report's critics than supporters)
Race Commission.
Recommendation 12. (Page 185)

A Commission recommending to Prime Minister that many Class B drugs possession cases should routinely come out of criminal justice system into public health would normally generate a headline or two?
A handful of think-tankers did notice this
Read 7 tweets
5 Apr
RIP Cheryl Gillan MP. She came into parliament in 1992, succeeding Ian Gilmour in Chesham and Amersham. She was part of what was then a record intake of 60 female MPs in 1992 out of 651 (and was one of 20 women among the 336 Conservative MPs elected)
That 1992 intake is, at the time, a moderate speeding up of incremental progress, to 9% of MPs being women having been < 5% before 1987. Image
From a 2021 perspective, 9% of MPs being women and 5% of Conservative MPs into the mid-1990s is strikingly low, while 1 in 3 is progress towards equal opportunities but still some way short. Image
Read 4 tweets
5 Apr
An "anti-woke" campaign generates national news coverage since it has the support of 300 rank and file members of the National Trust.(With 5.6 million National Trust members, 300,000 would be 5% of the membership. 300 is 0.005%) ImageImage
One good answer would be proper structured engagement with the membership (and good to do it too with potential members, eg from less represented groups). They could try do it with/on the BBC and let the Telegraph, with its inexhaustible appetite for this, be there too.
Read 5 tweets
5 Apr
Gammons v Fox ... the quite incredible, in every sense, UKIP candidate does have the early edge, based on his 2% to * lead in early polls. But the actor's higher profile means we should not rule out the underdog (underfox?!) in this eagerly anticipated battle
As the insurgent challenger here, the political campaigns textbook would suggest that the Fox should be challenging Gammons/Lord Wennington to a head to head debate?
I might put £1 on Fox > Gammons at 7/4
Read 7 tweets

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