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British are institutionally racist (Read 171 times)


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British are institutionally racist
Jun 24th, 2002 at 7:31am
British are institutionally racist, says public prosecutor
AP The Sydney Morning Herald

British society is institutionally racist, according to the country's leading criminal prosecutor.
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. to be screened later this week, director of public prosecutions Sir David Calvert-Smith said Britons made "stereotypical assumptions" based on a person's colour or race.

"A great deal has got to be done across the whole spectrum of British society, so I come to this with the idea that the whole of society has a problem," Calvert-Smith said, according to details of the BBC interview trailed in The Sunday Times newspaper.

Calvert-Smith, who has been head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) since 1998, said prosecutors and police had become scapegoats for the problem of racism in Britain.

"It is painful for us and the police to be the only organisations in public life that have actually had the courage to admit we have a problem," he was quoted as saying.

"It has been very convenient for everyone else to say, 'Oh yes, the CPS are a racist organisation, the police are all racist, but nobody else is,' which, I'm afraid, is far from the truth," he said.

London's Metropolitan Police was branded institutionally racist in an official report on their bungled investigation of the 1993 killing of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

That report defined institutional racism as including "unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping" and "the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin."

Calvert-Smith said it was his "firm belief" that British society was institutionally racist, according to that definition.

When asked by the BBC whether Britons were racist, Calvert-Smith said: "Yes" and added: "Whether we are talking about asylum, whether we are talking about sport even, there are various stereotypical assumptions made."

An ICM survey commissioned by the BBC earlier this year found that 51 per cent of the respondents thought Britain was a racist society.

The interview will be broadcast on Tuesday.

From: AP @
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