The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, sent shockwaves around the world, sparking a global movement against racial injustice and police brutality. While the tragic event prompted significant changes and introspection in many countries, examining the UK’s progress—or lack thereof—in addressing anti-racism practices three years since Floyd’s death is essential. In this blog, we shed light on the areas where change has been slow, emphasising the urgent need for progress and a renewed commitment to combat racism in the UK.
Systemic Racism and Discrimination:
Despite the heightened awareness and increased public discourse surrounding racial inequality following George Floyd’s murder, systemic racism remains deeply entrenched in the UK. Marginalised communities, particularly Black and minority ethnic groups, continue to face discrimination across various domains of life, including education, employment, healthcare, and criminal justice. In addition, disproportionate police stops, racial profiling, and the overrepresentation of minority groups in the criminal justice system persist, highlighting the urgent need for systemic change.
Police Reform and Accountability:
While the murder of George Floyd led to calls for police reform globally, the UK has struggled to address longstanding issues within its own police forces. Concerns regarding police brutality, excessive use of force, and lack of accountability persist, with incidents like the deaths of Rashan Charles, Mark Duggan, and Shukri Abdi further exacerbating these concerns. Calls for independent oversight bodies, improved training on unconscious bias and de-escalation tactics, and stronger disciplinary measures for officers involved in misconduct remain largely unaddressed.
Educational Curriculum and Diversity:
The UK education system continues to grapple with the need for comprehensive and inclusive curricula that accurately represent the country’s diverse history and promote anti-racism. While efforts have been made to incorporate more diverse perspectives, the pace of change has been slow. The teaching of Black British history, colonialism, and the contributions of ethnic minorities remains limited. Furthermore, issues of institutional racism within educational institutions and the persistent attainment gap between white and minority ethnic students demand urgent attention.
Institutional and Corporate Reckoning:
The George Floyd murder spurred a global reckoning within institutions and corporations, but the UK has seen limited progress in this area. Many organisations have yet to address the underlying structural inequalities and lack of diversity within their ranks. Leadership positions continue to be dominated by white individuals, and the representation of ethnic minorities, particularly at senior levels, remains significantly low. Meaningful steps, such as robust diversity and inclusion policies, equitable hiring practices, and genuine efforts to dismantle systemic barriers, are necessary for progress.
Media Representation and Stereotyping:
The media plays a pivotal role in shaping public opinion and narratives surrounding race and ethnicity. Unfortunately, the UK media landscape continues to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and biased portrayals of ethnic minorities. From biased reporting to lack of diverse representation in newsrooms, the media industry must address its own inherent biases and actively promote fair and accurate representation of all communities.
Three years since the murder of George Floyd, the UK’s anti-racism practices still face significant challenges.
Systemic racism persists across institutions, police reform remains a pressing issue, educational curricula lack comprehensive anti-racist teachings, institutions and corporations lag in creating inclusive spaces, and the media continues to perpetuate stereotypes.
It is essential for individuals, communities, organisations, and policymakers to renew their commitment to combating racism, address these persistent issues, and work collectively to create a more equitable and inclusive society.
The path to progress requires sustained effort, introspection, and a willingness to dismantle systemic barriers in all areas of society. Only through these collective actions can actually happen.
For the past 3 years HOPE has been working around systems change with providing safe training and webinar spaces for staff to attend and reflect on Anti Racist practice within VAWG so how much change have we seen? I would honestly like to end this blog with we are nearly there but we simply are not because attending a training session doesn’t make it bettering your systems are still the same.
In 3 years time I HOPE my blog on this will be slightly different but for now I ask you what is your call for progress?
Meena Kumari (PGcert)
HOPE Training & Consultancy (Helping Other People Everyday)