It seems that racial narrow-mindedness is not confined to the more dubious of the Sunday papers. I really took issue with Minette Marrin’s article in Sunday’s paper. She said that BME officers in the police (that she condescendingly labels “the fashionable abbreviation for black and minority ethnic”), shouldn’t be allowed a Black Police Association. She writes:
“It would, after all, be illegal for white men and women to set up a White Police Association, and I cannot help feeling that it is or ought to be illegal for other ethnic groups too. Yet such is the guilt-ridden bad faith within public services that such organisations have been encouraged.”
I agree that that it is problematic when internal groups undermine the overall objectives of the organisation, but surely that goes to show how very bad things have got. The Guardian reported last week that:
“Mike Fuller, of Kent police, Britain’s only black chief constable, says ethnic minority officers often have to work twice as hard to compete with their white peers.
The programme also surveyed BPA members and found that 72% claim to have experienced racism at work, 60% felt their career had been hindered by their race and 61% said things had stayed the same or got worse in recent years. One officer said: “I’ve been treated worse than my parents in the 1960s. It’s all very well hidden, no racist words – you’re just never good enough for promotion.”
Marrin’s article really doesn’t explain the situation the Met police are in right now. Nor the complexity that surrounds the Dizaei case. That she can write piece like this, with such a provocative headline, in such an influential and prominent place goes to show what a very long, long way we have to go to achieve anything approaching racial equality in this country. Interestingly, when I googled to find out more views on this, it seems her view is almost mirrored by that on the BNP website, which I won’t link here.