Tuesday 24 August 2004

Unintended consequences.

Further to my post about racism in South London, in which I wondered why once genuinely mixed populations seem to have become racially polarised, I've come across this piece on Spiked, which explains why.

A raft of new legal and policy measures was initiated to eradicate institutional racism - the most significant of which was the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000. This places a duty on over 43,000 public authorities to 'promote…good relations between persons of different racial groups' - effectively requiring bodies to prevent acts of racial discrimination before they occur. Social institutions such as the police force, education system, and health service are now legally obliged to monitor people's interaction with each other in order to tackle racism.

But the more public authorities talk about racism and devise anti-racist policies, the more they racialise people's everyday experience. It seems that everyone today is seen as a potential racist who needs to be monitored and every member of an ethnic minority as a potential victim of racism.

It's sad, is what it is.

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