Nick wrote:I'm also a bit tired of this phrase 'institutional racism'. Certainly there have been racist officers in the past. Certainly there are still some closet racists now, just as there are in any walk of life.
"Institutional racism" may be an overused and misused expression that many find annoying but it is a term that does describe a genuine phenomenon, in my view. It is about organisations and systems, not individuals. Long ago I worked for an organisation that was institutionally sexist and institutionally classist, but that didn't mean that my co-workers and bosses were a bunch of chauvinists and snobs. What it meant was that the widely held but unexamined and often unjustified assumptions about, for example, what makes a good manager or a good leader, were reinforced by the systems within the organisations [---][/---] the training courses people were sent on, the appraisal processes and criteria for appointments and promotions [---][/---] in a way that led to discrimination on the basis of sex and class and probably various other things too. Although matters have improved hugely, these kinds of biases still exist (in fact, I think there are a few new ones now, thanks to some of the crap taught on some management courses).
After Macpherson accused the Metropolitan Police of institutional racism, they were forced to make changes, but it seems unlikely to me that after only eleven years they've got it absolutely right, especially since his findings were not universally accepted. The stop and search statistics alone suggest that they've still got a long way to go. Incidentally, I never thought I'd say this, but I recommend reading Boris Johnson on the subject [---][/---] specifically his piece about the Macpherson Report in The Spectator
Marion wrote:Since [Dizaei] rose in rank fairly quickly, the racism in the force couldn't have been all that bad. Sure it exists but if it was endemic, there's no way he would have gotten that far, imo.
Hmm. That's a bit like saying that if sexism had been endemic in the British political system in the 1970s, Maggie Thatcher would never have become prime minister.