BBC's 'Sitting in Limbo' reminded the country of the Windrush Scandal, and that Britain is far from innocent when it comes to racism

In a period of intense social upheaval and once-again widespread public recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement after George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police, concise portrayals of this political struggle may be useful, and even considered a mandatory watch for the wider public.

Sitting in Limbo — released on Monday evening — is a BBC television portrayal of the story of just one of the victims of the government’s “hostile environment policy” related to the Windrush Scandal, which saw hundreds of Caribbean immigrants living and working in the UK wrongly targeted by immigration enforcement.

The show follows the life of Anthony Bryan, who was wrongfully detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation after 50 years in the UK.

It has been said that Britain’s issues with race aren’t as "bad" as those in America, and recent discussions around this have continued to debunk this idea.

Consider the demonstrations pulling down a statue of a slave trader in Bristol.

Social media users across the country have been horrified and engrossed in equal measure by the show, saying it is an important cultural touchstone with particularly good timing.

"I’m still reeling from watching #SittingInLimbo and it’s only made more angry. Couldn’t have been aired at a better time," Sonia Allam tweeted on Monday.

In reference to embedded forms of racism in Britain, another used said, "Imagine you’ve convinced yourself the UK isn’t racist only for the BBC to air a program saying otherwise. The timing of #SittingInLimbo is spectacular."

Even so, it is important to consider that while the show is a strong and harrowing portrayal of the life of Anthony Bryan, Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman pointed out that

The worst thing about 'Sitting In Limbo' is that this isn’t even a particularly extreme example of how the hostile environment ruined lives.

While is it a good first step to watch the show, we should all keep examining into not-so-subtle engrained historical racism throughout the country – no matter what Boris Johnson says.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)