Campaigners say, institutional racism is real and must be tackled

Wednesday 24th November 2021 07:52 EST

Anti-racist campaigners have responded to today's testimony by Azeem Rafiq at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee by demanding action on institutional racism across society, as well as in cricket and sport.
A government report this year responding to the global Black Lives Matter demonstrations claimed there was "no evidence" of institutional racism in the UK.
Campaigners argue that in order to challenge institutional racism wherever it exists in society, it's vital that those at the top of society stop denying its existence.
Sabby Dhalu, Stand Up To Racism co-convenor, said, "Azeem Rafiq's brave testimony of the abuse and discrimination he faced at Yorkshire and his description of English Cricket as 'institutionally racist' is a stark example of racism and Islamophobia that thousands face in workplaces and institutions across the country.
"When Yorkshire CCC downplay racism or describe racist slurs as 'banter', they are following the line of the government, whose own 'Sewell Report' denied institutional racism and attacked those who wish to combat it.
"All those who oppose racism must show solidarity with Azeem Rafiq and those brave enough to speak out about the racism and Islamophobia they are subject to. We must recognise the shocking levels of institutional racism that exist in our society, we must challenge it and defeat it.
Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism co-convenor, said: "Using the P-word or the N-word is not banter. It's clear, open racism. It's vital that on days like today, when discrimination and racist abuse are exposed, we turn our thoughts to what can be done to defeat institutional racism. To do that we must first recognise that it exists. We want to show solidarity and unity with Azeem Rafiq, his family and all those standing up to racism and Islamophobia. We need a real report into institutional racism and a real strategy to talk about challenging it and removing it from our society."

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