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Truth, Lies and Racism: The Story Behind "The Sewell Report"

Truth, Lies and Racism: The Story Behind 'The Sewell Report'
1 min read

Today remembered as the report that said institutional racism doesn’t exist, insiders tell Seun Matiluko what critics and defenders got right and wrong about the 2021 report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

On 25 May 2020 a Black man was killed by a white police officer in the United States. While there had been a number of Black deaths at the hands of the police in preceding years, the nine minute and 29 second video of George Perry Floyd Jr’s life ending – recorded by a teenage girl called Darnella Frazier – travelled across the world, and soon millions were marching in protest, including thousands in the United Kingdom.

As British protestors talked about the disparities of treatment and outcome Black people encountered in criminal justice, immigration, education, and healthcare many felt obliged to show they were doing something to combat racism.

Some posted black squares on Instagram. The British Museum said it would “continue to research” the provenance of its colonial artefacts. And, on 14 June, then-prime minister Boris Johnson announced in the seventh paragraph of an article defending Winston Churchill for The Telegraph that it was “time for a cross governmental commission to look at all aspects of inequality” in Britain.

Read more at The House: Longreads.

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