AFRICANGLOBE – Fighting to eradicate racism is pointless and the Black community should instead focus their energy on rising above it, said a British community leaders at a conference in Westminster.
The Look How Far We’ve Come forum was organised by music industry and history consultant Kwaku to assess progress made since the first wave of African and Caribbean mass migration to Britain.
It brought together barristers, activists, trade unionists, local councillors and members of the community to examine whether we live in a post-racial age and to discuss strategies to tackle racism and inequality.
The conference comes amidst a media storm around the issue, following controversial statements by UKIP politicians and high-profile BBC presenter Jeremy Clarkson, which raised concerns about the state of race relations in Britain.
Mr. Kwaku said he was hoping to spark a meaningful and open debate. He explained: “Over and over again in community meetings we are asking the question, has race fallen off the agenda? Those who believe we’re in a post-racial age, particularly Africans who because of some level of ‘success’ have either become blind or silent on race for fear of being accused of having a chip on their shoulder, might be interested to note that Communities and Local Government Minister Stephen Williams, who has oversight for race equality, admits racism and racist behaviour still exists in modern British society.”
Harrow Mayor Nana Asante declared there was a need for “political literacy” in order “to have an understanding of how the system works, and what levers to pull to bring about change.”
Workshop groups also discussed inequalities in the workplace, proposing self-organisation and solidarity to challenge racism and put race back on the agenda. One suggestion raised was for the creation of a resource directory to support individuals who were willing to take up the fight against racism.
But the general consensus was that the fight should be focused on finding ways to progress despite racism, instead of focusing on strategies to eliminate it.
Bishop and broadcaster, Dr Joe Aldred, said: “When it comes to prejudice and racism I am not an ‘elimination-ist’, but a ‘structuralist’. That is, I regard racism as part of the human condition, something to be overcome, not necessarily eliminated.”
By: Natricia Duncan
Dr. Claude Anderson – Powernomics