BME progression and the TUC – and our survey said – “not known”…

Legal Eagle 

Image © Mehmet Karatay

The Middlesex University Study into Irish Teachers is a unique opportunity to gauge the professional progress of a large ethnic minority group in Britain. If the study is to be a success, it must access as many Irish Teachers as possible. In order to reach this cohort it will need the help of the teaching unions, a fact seemingly recognised by Professor Louise Ryan last week. The Irish have been identified as a racial category since the 2001 British Census and trade unions appear to be ideally placed to locate UK Black Minority Ethnic teachers. But how much do UK unions know about their BME membership? In a study conducted by the Labour Research Department last year, twenty-nine unions were surveyed in an effort to map the leadership progress of BME trade union members. The survey, was then written up by the LRD but it`s the data provided without commentary, that offers the most illuminating insight into the relationship between BME membership and UK unions. Read more of this post

Institutional Racism In The Academy by Andrew Pilkington

LeftCentral Book Review 

Wall of Books

Copright Mr.T in DC

On April 22nd 1993, Stephen Lawrence was murdered, “Stephen was stabbed to death because he was black” this highly disturbing and incontrovertible finding emanates from a judicial inquiry, the Macpherson Report (1999), set up in 1997 to examine the flawed Police investigation into Stephen Lawrence`s murder. An investigation marred by a combination of factors most notably, “institutional racism” within the Police. As Professor Pilkington outlines the inquiry went further admitting that “institutional racism was rife in British Society”. Andrew Pilkington utilises institutional racism as a conceptual tool to investigate Midshire Police and Midshire University, an ambitious endeavour producing a stimulating book.

Pilkington unravels the thorny concept of institutional racism a term initially associated with Stokely Carmichael a Black Power critic of USA racial policy. There has been significant resistance in applying this concept to the UK, for example the Scarman Report (1981) rejected the notion. This reticence may be valid given the racial landscape that Carmichael/Hamilton surveyed in 1967, with its heritage of de facto and de jure racism, making direct comparison with the UK difficult. However, Pilkington quoting Carmichael illustrates that, “Institutional racism also has another name: colonialism” a concept in which British institutions are clearly not immune.  Read more of this post

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