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

Racist but not entirely wrong

Frederick Cowell

Image © Alkan de Beaumont Chaglar

The first reaction to Diane Abbott’s twitterati missive should be, as several commentators have already and wisely said; why are we getting so angry? The desire for mass outrage as the only appropriate response to every supposed outrage committed by a public figure is positively North Korean; whereas they prostrate themselves with grief, we are expected to coalesce our anger. Abbott’s statement was profoundly stupid but has also been taken profoundly out of context and the reason to keep talking about it is that the shadow of race over politics is lengthening. The London riots were racialised pre-emptively by the political classes, a phenomenon exacerbated by the crass remarks of David Starkey projecting a distinctly racial dimension onto the riots.

The tweet should be split in three to achieve an adequate response. Firstly ‘white people love.’ This is foolish and what Abbott should apologise for. The idea that pigmentation can involuntarily form political identity is as dangerous as it is disgusting. The crude picaninny plantation working blacks, loyal Indian servants, and placidly ferocious oriental warriors: all racist caricatures are based on politically collectivising individuals on the basis of immutable characteristics. All of her anti- Racism activism should have taught her this and for the sake of those she has fought for, and not the imaginary ruffled feathers of the unnamed offended, she should apologise. Read more of this post


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