The Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory Pushback | Dr. Rakib Ehsan
Following the police homicide of George Floyd in the US state of Minnesota, the UK has witnessed a wave of Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations. The importation of divisive US culture-war politics threatens to set back race relations in the UK, undoing the social progress which has gradually taken place over decades. BLM UK, which is committed to the dismantling of market capitalism and eventual abolition of the police, is in my view a neo-Marxist organisation which refuses to get to the root of social problems within Britain’s black communities. If it was genuinely interested in doing so, it would talk more about the negative effects of family breakdown and how absent fathers have contributed to a rising anti-responsibility culture.
This week in British politics has been an utterly fascinating one in terms of race. On Tuesday, the Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch, provided a stunning critique of the BLM movement and Critical Race Theory (CRT). Predictably, Mrs. Badenoch’s speech was greeted with a wave of insults from the tribal identitarian Left. Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu labelled the Equalities Minister as a “racial gatekeeper” – a “denier of racism” who is enabling “white supremacy”. Cambridge University’s Professor Priyamvada Gopal, who has firmly established herself as one of the most toxic voices in the race relations debate in Britain, crassly sought to strike parallels between Badenoch and “brown and black collaborators” who enabled colonial endeavours in South Asia and Africa.
The accelerated spread of CRT, facilitated by a host of BLM-sympathisers in various spheres of British life, has been responsible for the aggressive racialisation of social outcomes which are underpinned by a myriad of factors which have little to do with racism.
Being a traditional-minded trade unionist, it pains me to say that tribal identitarianism is now rife within the Labour Party. A fine example of this is over Covid-19 ethnic and racial disparities. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, no stranger to peddling racial identity politics, described the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on “BAME” people as an “injustice”. Even worse, former Labour shadow secretary Diane Abbott referred to the effects of Covid-19 on ethnic-minority communities as “a form of violence”. A quite egregious case of victimhood politics.
Having personally challenged such divisive and simplistic narratives surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic for some time, I was pleased to see Dr Raghib Ali reject such dubious claims. Appointed as a government expert advisor on the relationship between ethnicity and Covid-19 outcomes, Dr Ali states that “structural racism is not a reasonable explanation” for Black and South Asian people’s greater risk of illness and death in the UK.
Whether it is in the spheres of economics, education, or public health, is time to well and truly shatter the identitarian myth that every single racial disparity is the direct product of structural racism. The identitarian Left must not be given the space to seize control of narratives surrounding racial and ethnic disparities.
They are simply incapable of operation in the broader collective interests of British society.
Dr Rakib Ehsan is a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. Follow him on Twitter: @rakibehsan.