Anorak News | Police racism in Britain : the individual saves the institution

Police racism in Britain : the individual saves the institution

by | 18th, June 2020

The BBC has a story on racism in the British police. I’ve seen police racism myself. The police seems to attract more than its fair share of bigots. Stood at a bus stop in north-west London with friends in the 1980s, police pulled up and decided to question us over nothing. Only one us was black. They hit him. At the football, hundreds of jubilant fans ran onto the pitch after Arsenal had won the title – remember those days? A black teenager next to me was smiling broadly. One copper punched punched him square in the head. Why him?

Things are better than they were. In 1981, Manchester police drove riot vans through Moss Side, banging their armour shouting “Nigger, nigger, nigger, oi, oi, oi’ and chasing the kids all over.”

Lewis* is Asian and currently working as a police officer.

“One of my first experiences was when I overheard a senior ranking white officer tell new recruits that if they see a well-dressed black man – it’s ‘game on’.

Is it as bad now as it was? Has nothing changed? The Macpherson Report into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence redefined racism as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”. You can be an “unwitting” racist. We were directed to look at the individual rather than the deliberate wielding of power by a racist state apparatus. Is that about to change again? What drives racism? And how do we crush it?

Posted: 18th, June 2020 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink