IRR News (25 November – 7 December 2016)
Institute of Race Relations weekly digest - Against Racism, for Social Justice
Dear IRR News subscriber,
Earlier this week, Dame Louise Casey published the findings of her 18-month, government-appointed review, into boosting ‘opportunity and integration in our most isolated and deprived communities’. And much media fanfare has ensured debates over integration are at the centre of political discussion.
Today, IRR News publishes a series of short responses to the review from a cross-section of anti-racist activists and experts on race equality. Lord Herman Ouseley laments how, as is so often the case, the report ends up at a position which ‘blames the victims’. Professor Gus John says that the report ‘is oxygen for the far Right’. Educationalist Robin Richardson describes it as ‘shockingly superficial, a mish-mash of prejudices, rumours and hearsay’. Dr Waqas Tufail discusses how its findings range from the ‘bizarre’ to the ‘outright offensive’. And Ratna Lachman and Nadeem Murtuja, from JUST West Yorkshire, fear that it ‘unfairly stigmatises ethnic minority communities for the so-called failure of integration’. (See JUST West Yorkshire’s full response here.)
The dangers of this myopic focus on integration – ultimately posing ‘diversity’ as a problem – are made clear in the IRR’s briefing paper Racial violence and the Brexit state, published last week. Analysing 134 racist ‘incidents’ in the month after the EU referendum this summer, it shows how close the link is between the language and behaviour of perpetrators of these incidents and the rhetoric and policy pronouncement of politicians and media narratives that preceded them. As A. Sivanandan states in a foreword to the report, ‘racism and xenophobia have [post-Brexit] become tied into the state itself, making nativism the state ideology and “take back control” its political culture’.
In the first of a two-part investigation, Frances Webber examines the EU’s response to the refugee crisis which involves not only the construction of walls and fences and equipping military patrols to keep refugees from its borders, but also returning people to war zones and embracing dictators and war criminals. This article focuses on the EU’s deals with Afghanistan and Turkey. A second will examine deals with African states.
Our regular calendar of racism and resistance is a fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns.
And finally, the IRR is looking to appoint a dynamic person to help in the day-to-day running of its office and the promotion of its research and educational materials. Academic qualifications are not as important to us as initiative, organisational skills, administrative know-how, and a collective approach to working. Details of this job description, and how to apply, are here. The deadline for applications is 5 January 2017.
IRR News team