MP David Lammy has commented on a new report into Stop and Search by the Stopwatch Coalition which found that black people in England and Wales are now nearly nine times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched for drugs. He described Stop and search as an “ineffectual” practice and an “integral cog in a racially disproportionate” criminal justice system, citing his own memories of being stopped and searched as a 12 year old. “Many years later, the fear and embarrassment of the first time I was stopped and searched for a crime I did not commit remains with me. We must stop stigmatising black men, and search for more intelligent, long-term solutions to the problems that foster criminal activity in the first place.” Read the full article.
An article by Dr Lawrence Brown claims the origins and spread of HIV can be seen as a legacy of Belgian colonisation in the Congo. "We now know that HIV-1 emerged from Leopoldville in the 1920s and spread first among African people. The colonization of the Congolese by King Leopold II and the Belgians helps explain how the virus became a global pandemic".
It also comments how the disproportionate effects of HIV on sub-Saharan African people is "... precisely because European colonization exacted tremendous violence, extracted critical resources, disrupted social structures, and weakened the health of indigenous populations. European nations broke their promise to protect and promote the welfare of the indigenous African people. Instead the Belgians dehumanized and debased African societies producing the social determinants of death that gave rise to deadly infectious diseases. HIV-1 was ignited in Leopoldville, but the resulting HIV global pandemic is also the apparition of a grotesque and horrific legacy—the European infection of mass historical trauma and the devastation of Congolese health wrought by King Leopold II, the Force Publique, and Belgian colonisation."
Read the full article here.
The Government’s Race Disparity Audit, published yesterday along with an Ethnicity Facts and Figures website has revealed significant differences in the life outcomes of British ethnic minority and white people. The report reveals that Black, Asian and minority ethnic people are twice as likely to be unemployed than white British adults and that white British pupils on free school meals perform worse in school than any other group. The Equality and Human Rights Commission welcomed the report saying that "focused action" was now needed. Others have pointed out that many of these statistics were already common knowledge – see for example MJR's research into educational attainment – and "decades of reports" and talking needed to become action. Kimberley Macintosh of the Runnymede Trust commented: "With the Race Disparity Audit bringing injustice and inequality out of obscurity and into the mainstream – raw and exposed – it’s time to act." The Runnymede Trust have also just published a report showing that austerity is hitting Black and Asian women the hardest.
Read more from the Guardian and Independent. Download the Race Disparity Audit and visit the website.
A new study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank claims that Government figures for the number of children permanently excluded from school are “the tip of the iceberg”, with five times more children being educated in schools for excluded pupils than official data suggests. The official figure is 6,685 – itself a 40% rise in three years –, but PPR estimate the true hidden figure is closer to 48,000, with boys outnumbering girls by 3 to 1. A report in the Guardian on the study notes that: "Black pupils from Caribbean backgrounds are still significantly overrepresented in pupil referral units, though most pupils (70%) are white British." The correlation to poorer white pupils (as measured by free school meals) is also clear. This research echoes findings shared by MJR at our Proving Legacy event last year. Read the IPPR report here.
On Monday September 11 MJR held its second gathering to present research into aspects of the legacy of slavery. Called 'Talking Legacy', presentations were made by Nigel Peacock ('The Legacy of Slavery: Towards an Aetiology of African-Caribbean Mental Health') and Alton Bell ('Physical Health Research: The outcome of African Chattel Enslavement circa 1500-1800. A presentation of the suggested link between the legacy of the enslavement of Africans in the Caribbean and the propensity of their descendants to develop debilitating diseases'). These can now also be downloaded from our Resources page. A lively discussion followed with a number of interesting comments and questions that might suggest future research (such as: What about the other side of the legacy of enslavement i.e. that left on the white population?)
The day also included the MJR AGM with reports on activities over the last year and some exciting plans taking shape for the future, which we hope to be able to go fully public on soon.
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The Right Honourable David Lammy MP has today (8 September 2017) published his final report into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system. As well as a number of other concerning statistics. the study found that BAME disproportionality in the criminal justice system costs the taxpayer at least £309 million each year. A response from MJR is being prepared. Download the report here.
An article by David Lammy about his report - The racial bias in our justice system is creating a social timebomb - can be found here.
On Monday 11th September, 2 to 4:30pm, the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation will be holding a seminar to present research on the mental and physical health legacy of transatlantic slavery. TALKING LEGACY will be a further development of research we presented in 2016.
Venue: 27 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HH.
The afternoon will also include the MJR AGM.
There is no charge but pre-booking is essential as places are limited. To reserve yours please email Jenny Cooper. Download a poster for more information
On 7 November MJR presented 3 pieces of research into the legacy of slavery at the Open University, Camden Town in London. The event also included MJR's first Annual Meeting.
The research areas were Educational Attainment, presented by Jenny Cooper, Mental Health, presented by Nigel Pocock, and Physical Health, presented by Alton Bell. Dr Clifford Hill made concluding remarks and recommendations. Responses were made by Dr John Wolffe, Professor of Religious History at the OU and Richard Reddie, author and Community Development Officer, and were followed by a lively Q&A. The 'Proving Legacy' report can be downloaded here.
Thanks all who attended and in particular to John Wolffe for hosting the event. All further responses to and comments on 'Proving Legacy' are welcome, as well as suggestions for how we follow up this research and develop new areas.
Three architects have created a comprehensive online map of properties in Edinburgh connected with the Atlantic slave trade in an effort to connect the horror of the voyage to the prosperity of Scotland's development. They designed it as an attempt to record Scotland's physical legacy of slave ownership, mapping all the addresses of slave owners, as well as records of compensation claims, following the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. More...
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