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David Cameron just discovered institutional racism

31 Jan 2016

So, despite the numerous reports which have been published and statistics available on the world wide web, Mr Cameron has just commissioned another report on equality as part of his ‘anti-discrimination drive’. Well done Mr. Cameron, you are only 5445343198 years too late.


Cameron has found that, unsurprisingly, black people are more likely to go to prison than to get into a top university. Apparently David Cameron wants to know why, he wants to dig deeper, he’s committed to protecting the most marginalised groups within society.

“It’s not enough to simply say you are open to all. Ask yourselves: are you going that extra mile to really show people that yours can be a place for everyone, regardless of background?” DC

Could Cameron have looked to reports which emerged after the 1999 Stephen Lawrence case, which revealed institutional racism at the hands of the police? Could he have examined the Scarman report, following the 1981 Brixton riots against socio-economic and political factors? Could Mr Cameron examine the effects of benefit sanctions, the bedroom tax, lack of support for refugees and other policies which contribute to the further marginalisation of disadvantaged groups? Have people been screaming and shouting at Mr Cameron and the government more broadly that institutional racism exists, and that they are the ones strengthening it with every poorly thought out political decision they make?

Cameron isn’t the first white person to discover that racism exists, last week Sam Smith also spoke up against it. The difference between Sam Smith and Mr Cameron is that while one is merely a singer-songwriter, the other is the leader of our country – a frightening thought. Cameron has asked why there aren’t as many people from marginalised groups getting into university, and yet cut maintenance grants altogether a few weeks ago. Grants which were put in place for individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Cameron is the leader of a system which feeds into the prison industrial complex, a system which profits from the misery and disadvantage of those from marginalised groups. A system which provides below-par services for inmates, as seen in the BBC’s recent Panorama programme on a G4S run service for vulnerable young people. Does racism for David Cameron only exist when he’s the one commissioning the report which affords him the opportunity to look like a hero despite evidence to the contrary? Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Of course reviews are important, but David Cameron’s actions as leader of the Conservatives suggest that this report is somewhat of a façade. It would serve as logical to produce such a report before going about making cuts to services which directly effect those who he claims to have an interest in protecting. What Mr Cameron fails to admit is that the system of government he perpetuates, a neoliberal state, cannot exist without the inequality he suddenly wants to remove. Our political and economic climate is not conducive to meritocracy, this report and the subsequent superficial changes to ensue will no doubt be used to claim that equality of opportunity has in fact been achieved.

Cameron – if you want to bring about real change to racial and other forms of discrimination, you only need to look at reports provided by those advocating for the affected and those who are affected. The evidence has been here for a long time, and not much has changed.