Britain: a post-racial society?

Protest for Trayvon Martin outside the US embassy in London: 31st March 2012

Trayvon Martin was just a child when he was brutally murdered in what was a racially motivated attack. What is even more distressing is the inability of the legal system to provide his family with the justice they deserve. Thus this case is making it apparent to the International community that institutional racism is still prevalent throughout America. As we mustn’t forget that Trayvon Martin is just one of the countless black people who have been killed by both police and “upstanding” members of society, from Oscar Grant to Sean Bell, the list is endless. Though we cannot sit from a third party perspective and assume the extremities in America do not exist in England, as it does, and I fear it is on the rise.

The Stop and Search was introduced in 1984 and allows police to stop individuals based on “suspicious” behaviour. According to new analysis racial profiling has dramatically increased, black people are now 30 times more likely to be stopped and searched than a white person. When we allow the people who are meant to protect us terrorise a certain section of society based on their racist ideas, we are not only alienating, disenfranchising and increasing resentment we are failing them.  Being a young black female myself to think that myself or my siblings are targeted based on the colour of our skin sickens me, to be quite frank. To add, frequent reports of treatment during stop and searches are “intrusive”, “inconsiderate” and “disrespectful” to put it politely, indicate that police brutality has gone too far.

Mark Duggan’s murder made him the fourth black male to die in suspicious circumstances last year and now one of hundreds over the years. Despite the disproportionate amount of black people “dying” in police custody under suspicious circumstances and the continual cries of injustice from the black community, it is not on the political agenda.  No police officers have been charged with any responsibility over the countless deaths, how long can we go on with justice being continually denied to the black community.

The backlash against Dianne Abbotts comments demonstrate that the media, public and government simply want to ignore the racism embedded deep within our society and institutions. The idea that Britain is a “post racial society” is laughable; the first step to solving this disease is acceptance. Politicians constantly talk about airing “sensitive” issues, therefore there needs to be serious conversation concerning the everyday racism myself and many others encounter, as we will not stand for it anymore.

Ladan Dirie

*All views expressed in this article are the author’s. IARS accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any views expressed in these articles and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or any losses or damages arising from its display or use.

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome article! It’s high time political figures faced up to the issues at hand and the police force did something about it!



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