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Ed Davey: We have a duty to fight and extinguish racism

June 2, 2020 8:49 AM
By Caron Lindsay
Originally published by Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield Liberal Democrats
Ed Davey MP πŸ”ΆπŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί #StayHomeSaveLives #ProtectNHS βœ”@EdwardJDavey

As we look in horror at the murder of George Floyd and its aftermath, we must reflect on the structural racism that made it possible.

We shouldn't think such racism is confined to the US. Too many suffer injustice in this country too. We have a duty to fight & extinguish it

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Ed Davey has spoken out on the horrific events in the US. He argues that the sort of structural racism we see in the US is prevalent here too.

The Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality has tweeted this powerful poster which shows that white people have to stand up against racism wherever we find it:

Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality@LDCRE1

.@ldcre1 Exec member @Kobebibbon has drawn attention to this very powerful poster. Very Sad, we can all do something about this. πŸ‘‡πŸΎπŸ‘‡πŸ½@LibDems @LibDemLords @LGBTLD @ukblackpride @OpBlackVote @LibDemWomen @YoungLiberalsUK @GreenLibDems https://twitter.com/Kobebibbon/status/1266388634409807872 …


Just saw this. Very powerful. Speak up for people of colour. #BlackLivesMatter

View image on Twitter
See Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality's other Tweets

It is worth joining them to learn about how you can support and contribute to their work.

Lib Dem Councillor and race equality adviser Rabina Khan has written an article for the Huffington Post in which she warns that the stress of lockdown could exacerbate similar tensions here.

In George Floyd's case, it was evident the behaviour of the police was appalling but as the lockdown gradually eases, the UK's focus must be on what challenges community policing will inevitably face in a post-lockdown era.

This is a difficult situation as the police also fear for their own lives, particularly when we look to the epidemic of knife crime that continues to plague the UK's biggest cities. The police are already fearing an explosion of violent crime as rival drug gangs try to re-establish their dominance across London following the lockdown.

There needs to be a meaningful discussion ahead of time about the positive measures that could be taken to reduce the risk of this happening in the future - both in terms of police training and guidelines, and helping and supporting those often black and minority ethnic communities who are most at risk from this type of crime, and being lured into carrying out this type of crime.

A London based friend described to me the other day their experience of being in a park. There were lots of people appearing to gather in groups, but the only people approached by the Police were the two black people there. Rabina highlights a higher incidence of fines for breach of lockdown amongst black people.

New figures show that Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in England are 54% more likely to be fined than white people under the coronavirus laws, figures reveal. However, interestingly there have been reports that certain groups are struggling to adhere to government guidelines surrounding social distancing, which would therefore be one explanation for the figures. Unsurprising when you look at the correlation between overcrowding and poverty.

The unique cocktail of emotions that this pandemic has stirred up risks tipping us into a more volatile version of normal. How, therefore, can we deal with this without investment into treating violence on both sides of the law?

We all need to listen to our BAME friends and colleagues, who will be dealing with racism on a daily basis. It is vital that we learn from them and make sure that we are aware of and stand up to racism wherever we see it.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings