Tories gaslighting BAME people – 8/04/21

Just in time for April fools day, the Government published their racism report by their pals Sewell et al, finding (conveniently) that Britain is a model example of how a majority white county must behave. We BAME people (who the UK Government says mustn’t call ourselves BAME anymore, because, if anything needs to change, it’s mainly the terminology) are getting it wrong by focusing on the negatives of slavery in the ‘Caribbean experience’.
Sigh. The murder of George Floyd in the USA resonated here in the UK and sparked protest because we in the UK have many unexplained deaths of BAME in police custody and a criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates us. Anti-racism campaigners were told that the Westminster Tories were fixing racism, by doing a report, rather than implementing the recommendations of so many previous reports, eg the Lammy Report of 2017. As a BAME women, I want action from our Government – Black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth, and the educational curriculum excludes people with Black and brown skin by ignoring our place in British history. For example everyone in the UK should learn about the (British Elizabethan) Royal African Company’s monopoly on the triangular slave trade, and the East India Company’s (British) state sponsored subjugation of India – these profitable murderous activities took my ancestors’ Black and brown bodies and used them as commodities for unpaid labour, and took mineral wealth, sugar and cultural artefacts from India and Africa (including Benin art works from their magnificent palaces in what is now Nigeria), and cotton produced by slaves in the USA. All of these items (including slaves) were taken for the financial benefit of the Empire – as glorified by statues. When slavery was stopped, the slave owners got financial compensation for the loss of their ‘property’, but we, many of us descendants of slaves, got nothing, not even an apology. These are examples of facts being swept under the carpet.
The new ‘report’ shows the UK Government lacks the will to engage with anti-racism, preferring to gaslight BAME people. ‘Gaslighting’ is a term from a film about an abusive relationship, where power was used to oppress in order to retain wealth (money). In this case, the UK Government is gaslighting BAME people.
BAME people are discriminated against in employment, and that is why we are concentrated in low paid key worker jobs, along with other exploited groups, including working class people. These key workers kept Britain functioning in the pandemic. One moment people were clapping at the doorstep, but the next the UK tells the NHS to take a 1% pay rise, or some other measly amount. This is hypocrisy. Tories are paying their consultant pals an average of £1000 per day, and in some cases I’ve heard they get paid £6000 per day.
I don’t believe in this Tory UK Government. Their racist ‘racism report’ is irrelevant to the lives of BAME people, and has nothing to say to BAME people that is worth hearing. Likewise the Tory treatment of the NHS should be a signal to voters: don’t vote for hypocrites.
Samantha Naik
8/04/21