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Race report criticism continues to grow as UN joins the condemnation

22 April 2021

A group of United Nations experts has said the “reprehensible” government-backed race report attempts to “normalise white supremacy” and could “fuel racism” in the UK.

The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent has “strongly rejected” the Government’s “stunning” and “reprehensible” report, arguing it “repackages racist tropes and stereotypes into fact, twists data and misapplies statistics”.

The group said the report: “ignores the pervasive role that the social construction of race was designed to play in society, particularly in normalising atrocity, in which the British state and institutions played a significant role”. It went on: “The report cites dubious evidence to make claims that rationalise white supremacy by using the familiar arguments that have always justified racial hierarchy… This attempt to normalise white supremacy despite considerable research and evidence of institutional racism is an unfortunate sidestepping of the opportunity to acknowledge the atrocities of the past and the contributions of all in order to move forward.”

The experts said that black people continue to experience “poor economic, social, and health outcomes at vastly disproportionate rates in the UK”.

When the report was launched at the end of March, DR UK branded it “a whitewash” and pointed out the total lack of reference to disability, despite the strong impacts of intersectional marginalisation on the lives of people from non-white British backgrounds.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson insisted this week that the race report was “based on robust evidence and data” and was focused on “how to promote racial equality” and said that the Group had “grossly misrepresented the report’s findings”.