In Brixton this morning, Nick Clegg spoke about institutional racism and the economic opportunities of people of BAME backgrounds.
Show Racism the Red Card welcomes Nick Clegg’s speech at the annual Scarman Lecture in Brixton this morning. Racism is not just about far-right marches and violent attacks, but is complex, constantly changing and part of mainstream society. Racism can occur when the policies and practices of an organisation unfairly discriminate against people from black, Asian or other minority ethnic backgrounds or groups. This can occur without conscious intention and even well intentioned acts could be considered racist if they have racist consequences. It’s important that there is reflection, training and an exploration of why inequalities exist.
Recent legislation such as the Single Equality Act has made some positive steps in the public sector, ensuring that organisations take proactive steps to promote equality and tackle prejudice and not just respond to overt incidents when they occur. It’s vital that the private sector takes similar steps to explore the reasons why, for example why firms owned by people of black African origin are four times more likely to be denied loans than white-owned companies, while those owned by people from Bangladeshi, Pakistani and African-Caribbean backgrounds have been subject to higher interest rates.
It is very positive that the government is recognising that there are structural inequalities in the UK today and we hope that this recognition is turned into positive action, creating a more equal society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.