IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

We must look at our own failure to tackle racial inequality

05 June, 2020

Nuno Cardoso

THE racial divisions exposed by the protests in America are also problematic in this country.

Those who refute this are living in a bubble of denial.

The outrage of the mother of Nuno Cardoso, the young Kentish Town man who died in the first year of a law degree, tells the story.

Scarred from the London riots when her door in the Peckwater estate was wrongly bashed-in by officers, her son went on to have his life cruelly cut short in his first year of a law degree at university.

The actions of police in that case remain in question, despite what was publicly recorded at the time.

There is little evidence, also, to sustain claims by the Met of a culture of openness or accountability when it comes to the deaths of black people in custody. Time and time again they have closed ranks, leaving families hurt, disrespected and crying out for justice.

For years, there has been an outcry over stop and search figures and harsher jail sentences for black people.

There are chasms in living conditions, bias in work and education. Our so-called civilised society falls short on so many of these markers.

So much of these factors are the poisoned root of the knife crime violence that has taken so many lives in Camden in recent years.

And these faultiness have been further exposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

A disproportionate number of black and ethnic minority people have been stopped for breaking lockdown regulations.

At UCLH, all of the seven members of staff who died, were BAME. This cannot be a coincidence.

The flare-up this week on Hampstead Heath may not, on the face of it, be connected to the race riots in America.

But it may be evidence that something is bubbling beneath the surface.

A changing climate has been brought about by the heightened anxiety in the pandemic. The lockdown has forced people to behave in different ways, to show more independent thinking. At times, to not always to obey the law.

There’s has been a shift in the political culture that will make its mark in the months to come.

First steps…

HIGH street businesses will be feeling a sense of uncertainty as they begin this week to haul themselves out of the lockdown quagmire. Long-standing traders will have lived through many economic ups and downs. But this is new territory and there is no guarantee that things will flourish again.

If parents are scared to send their children to school, how will they feel about going to eat out, or to dance at a music venue? Now more than ever neighbourhood shops need your help.

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