Day in, time out, we’re informed that Brexit Britain is a racist hellscape. We hear that systemic racism is corrupting all our establishments. That xenophobia is spreading unchecked, leaving ethnic-minority Britons in a continuing state of worry. However a brand new report reveals the UK to be – shock, horror! – a tolerant, welcoming nation, which many ethnic minorities are blissful to name their residence.

Revealed by think-tank British Future to mark the seventy fifth anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush, the examine exhibits that just about 70 per cent of ethnic-minority Brits consider that the UK has made ‘important progress’ on racial equality over the previous quarter of a century. Moreover, 80 per cent consider that the UK is a greater place to dwell as a member of an ethnic minority than international locations just like the US, Germany or France.

These figures shouldn’t come as a shock. For many who have cared to look, Britain has lengthy outperformed most main EU member-states, from Germany to Spain, with regards to offering anti-discrimination protections on the grounds of race, ethnicity and non secular perception. Certainly, in keeping with the Migrant Integration Coverage Index (MIPEX), Britain’s minorities can depend on a number of the most strong equality our bodies on the planet.

Evaluate the scenario in Britain with that in France, for instance. The French state’s dedication to laïcité (a stringent type of secular universalism) has meant that even the smallest types of ethnic and religious-minority expression are frowned upon. At occasions, this has contributed in the direction of the alienation of its minority residents. Moreover, racial and ethnic segregation is a major problem in city areas particularly. Some politicians and commentators, referencing the banlieues of suburban Paris, speak of the existence in France of ‘territorial, social and ethnic apartheid’.

Ethnic minorities fare little higher in Germany. The far proper remains to be an energetic presence, and there have been a number of far-right terror assaults in recent times. Moreover, anti-Semitism continues to exert a pernicious affect on on a regular basis life in Germany. Within the remaining three months of 2022 alone, tons of of anti-Semitic crimes had been recorded.

Britain has clearly made huge strides on racial equality. However there’s nonetheless work to do. Based on the British Future report, two in three members of the general public assume that the UK must make far more progress on racial discrimination within the subsequent 25 years.

For instance, there must be enhancements within the labour market. A number of items of analysis have proven that job purposes from folks with ‘culturally distant names’ (particularly these that are Muslim-sounding) persistently fare worse than these with historically English-sounding names, regardless of all having obtained comparable {qualifications} and having comparable ranges of labor expertise. Work additionally must be performed to beat discrimination within the privately rented housing sector. And our healthcare system must turn out to be extra environment friendly and aware of the wants of an more and more numerous inhabitants.

There are different challenges going through the UK, too. Whereas ethnic segregation is at an all-time low in England and Wales, final yr’s Leicester riots confirmed that social cohesion, if uncared for, can nonetheless unravel with devastating penalties.

Furthermore, public confidence within the police in a lot of England’s inner-city areas, particularly London, is at all-time low. Because the current Baroness Casey evaluate discovered, racially discriminatory behaviours within the police persist. Plus, the British political courses are nonetheless to make amends for the Windrush scandal, which brought about untold injury to institutional belief amongst black Caribbean communities.

Nonetheless, the significant progress that Britain has remodeled the previous few many years on issues of race and equality nonetheless offers us a lot to be pleased with. It is a tolerant society, with a powerful sense of honest play. Ignoring this progress helps nobody.

Rakib Ehsan is the creator of the forthcoming e-book, Past Grievance, which is accessible to pre-order on Amazon.

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