Racial inequality adviser appointed by government doesn't believe in structural racism

Racial inequality adviser appointed by government doesn't believe in structural racism

After weeks of protests across the UK drawing attention to structural racism, the government finally seems to have acquiesced to demands to some extent.

Black Lives Matter protests were not only demonstrating in solidarity with those in the US, but also to highlight the structural racism that exists in the UK and has been made more evident than ever since it was revealed that BAME people are dying from Coronavirus at a vastly disproportionate rate.

In response, Boris Johnson announced in a Daily Telegraph column yesterday that a new government commission on racial inequalities was being set up by a No. 10 adviser.

So far, so standard.

But yesterday evening, The Guardian reported that said adviser had made some seriously problematic statements which cast doubt on her ability to properly conduct this review.

Munira Mirza has in the past stated that she doesn't believe in structural racism – which is literally what the review is supposed to be addressing – and said previous enquiries have fostered a "culture of grievance" and that anti-racism was being "weaponised"

She is also apparently hoping to recruit Trevor Phillips, the controversial Labour adviser and former chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

Phillips claimed that Muslims in the UK live as "a nation within a nation", he called for the government to reject multiculturalism, advocating instead for "separateness" (read: segregation), saying the government should "asser a core Britishness". He also wrote in 2016 that he "can smell the smouldering whilst we hum to the music of liberal self-delusion" by ignoring the effects of mass immigration, referencing Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech.

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone accused Phillips of being so willing to pander to the right that he "would soon join the BNP".

What a pair to lead an enquiry into racism in the UK.

People wasted no time before making it clear they were unimpressed.

Labour MP David Lammy, who conducted a review into racial inequality which was heavily criticised by Mirza, tweeted that her appointment "undermines Boris Johnson's race commission".

Fellow Labour MP Diane Abbott reportedly said that any inquiry led by Mirza is "dead on arrival" because she "has never believed in institutional racism.

Over on Twitter, people seemed genuinely shocked and dismayed by her appointment, calling it "laughable" and a "slap in the face" for Black Lives Matter.

Mirza's views seem to align with those recently expressed by Home Secretary Priti Patel and former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, both of whom have recently been criticised for downplaying the inequality faced by BAME people in the UK.

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