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BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.

Social Differentiation Racism.

The Chambers dictionary definition of racism is: hatred; rivalry or bad
feeling between races; belief in the inherent superiority of some races
over others, usu with the implication of a right to be dominant;
discriminative treatment based on such a belief. !nderson et al. "###:
!bdullah'(han et al. )**$: ")", point out that the notion of +race, is a
social construction: an idea created by, and lin-ed into& the way that our
society is organised, especially in relation to its systems of power and
.uring the )
/orld /ar blac- immigrants were brought in to the
country from the commonwealth in order to be utilised ' to fight in the
0ritish !rmy or to help with the war effort. 1olomos, "##2: %$&.
!fter the war, during the late "#2*,s and "#%*,s, immigration continued
and family members arrived to be with their loved ones&: intense debate
developed about the impact of continued immigration on housing, the
/elfare 1tate, crime and other social problems.
1uch debates were not purely about +the practicalities, ' but also about
the effect of immigration on the supposed or constructed& +racial
character of the 0ritish people,, and the national identity. 3ichmond.
"#%2; and 1herwood. "#42&.
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. 1
Dr. $artin L!ther %in"&
'ivil Ri"hts in the (S& a
star) remin#er of the
effect of the ne"ative
constr!ction of racial
BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.
Social Differentiation Racism.
Race as a social construct: Ethnicity as cultural difference
The +race, situation became even more pronounced during and after the
"#%4 riots in 5otting 6ill and 5ottingham, which served to further
politicise the issue of 0lac- immigration.
The political climate in the aftermath of the riots gave rise to 7noch
8owell,s +rivers of blood, speech, !pril "#94&. 6is intention was to
popularise the +racial, message, claiming that tighter controls on
immigration would not be enough to deal with the +race problem,.

8owell created an image of white 0ritons becoming increasingly isolated:
+strangers in their own country,.
:n ;uly "#9< the 6ome =ffice issued to Chief Constables, the circular:
+The 8olice and Coloured Communities, which issued advice and
recommendations on the appointment of liaison officers, with the
intention to develop better relations with blac- communities, and to
educate the police themselves on the comple> problems of policing such
areas ?iles. "##$&.
@rom "#9<'"#<* articles began to appear in specialist Aournals discussing
the impact of policing multi'racial localities, many of which began to
highlight inappropriate behaviour by the police in blac- communities
?ason. "##%&.
!t least in part as a result of these initiatives, the police began to
recognise the need to develop an understanding of the conte>t of policing
multi'racial areas.
The impact of the 1tephen Bawrence murder and the ?c8herson report
"###& and its verdict of +institutional racism, in relation to the
?etropolitan police force also reCuire consideration:
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. *
BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.
Social Differentiation Racism.
the 1tephen Bawrence case became a potent symbol and
catalyst for change; it became a +mediatiDed public crisis,
challenging the 0ritish system of in&Austice and proved to be a
litmus test of the e>tent to which 0ritish society was prepared
to move beyond the anachronistic practices of the past,
ac-nowledge institutional racism, and embrace cultural
diversity. Cottle. )**%: %"&.
8olicing and racial diversity was brought into star- focus in the E( by
?c8herson, who also made reference bac- to the earlier findings of the
1carman report "#4*,s&:
9.< :n "#4" Bord 1carmanFs 3eport into The 0ri>ton .isorders was
presented to 8arliament. :n that seminal report Bord 1carman
responded to the suggestion that G0ritain is an institutionally
racist society,G in this way:'
G:f, by Hinstitutionally racistI it is meant that it H0ritainI is a
society which -nowingly, as a matter of policy, discriminates
against blac- people, : reAect the allegation. :f, however, the
suggestion being made is that practices may be adopted by public
bodies as well as private individuals which are unwittingly
discriminatory against blac- people, then this is an allegation which
deserves serious consideration, and, where proved, swift remedyG.
8ara ).)): "" ' 1carman 3eport&.
Clarify the differences between:
3acism J :nstitutional 3acism
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. +
BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.
Social Differentiation Racism.
Satpal Ram
/hat follows are real events K no conspiracy theories, no interpretation K
this happened:
8icture this ' a 0irmingham curry house in "#4%. 1atpal 3am a )*'year'
old !sian warehouse wor-er& was sat at a table. Clar-e 8earce, a white
man out with five friends K was sat at another.
The 3estaurant was playing :ndian music, which 1atpal li-ed and so he
as-ed the waiters if they could turn it up. 8earce protested to this, and
shouted G/e donFt want any more of this fLLLing wog musicG ' an
argument ensued.
8earce smashed a glass on the table and stabbed 3am with it twice ' in
the face and in the wrist. 6is five friends began throwing plates and
glasses. 1atpal was trapped in a corner. /hen 8earce came for him again
1atpal too- out a -nife the pen-nife he used for opening parcels at the
warehouse& and stabbed him.
0oth men were ta-en to hospital, 1atpal 3am received treatment, but
8earce, drun- and in shoc-, resisted treatment and died of blood loss.
/hen 1atpal heard that 8earce had died, he went into hiding. 6e -new
the implications of -illing a white man.
! few days later, he emerged with a lawyer and gave himself up. !fter
the trial, an all'white Aury found him guilty of murder and he was
sentenced to life. The trial ;udge =gnall& recommended ") years,
reduced by the then lord chief Austice, Bord Bane, to "*, and increased by
the home secretary to "".
3amFs supporters say his trial was a farce. 6e was given only a 2*'minute
consultation with his barrister shortly before going into the doc-. 6e was
advised to change his plea from self'defence to provocation, and not to
spea- in his own defence.
There were no interpreters provided for the 0engali'spea-ing waiters
who gave evidence. :mportant defence witnesses were not called, while
the group that attac-ed 3am gave evidence for the prosecution. The Aury
were never as-ed to consider the racist nature of the attac-.
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. ,
BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.
Social Differentiation Racism.
:n his recommendations ;udge =gnall concluded: GThe verdict was to a
degree une>pected. There was independent evidence which suggested
that the deceased may well have initiated the incident both verbally and
physically, by wounding the defendant with a bro-en glass.G
September 2000: @ifteen years on, 3am is still in prison. 6e has been
transferred from Aail to Aail 9% times, and is regarded as a troublema-er.
6e has refused to accept that he was guilty of murder, refused to do
prison wor-, and often challenged the authorities.
/hy has he been refused paroleM The prison service says it cannot
comment on a specific case, but offers a general statement: G3elease on
or after tariff e>piry is dependent on whether the prisonerFs ris- has
reduced to a level compatible with public safety.G
/hat has 3am done to offend themM 6e has made legitimate complaints
about his treatment, and they donFt li-e that. !nother possible factor is
that 8earceFs brother'in'law was an officer at /inson Nreen prison at
the time of the -illing while on trial 1atpal was held at /inson Nreen&.
January 2001: 3am has been transferred to /ellingborough, a category'
C prison. There are visible mar-s on his wrists from the last time he was
ratchet'cuffed in prison. 3am says that right from the early days the
officers abused him:
!t /inson Nreen: G! group of screws would come into my cell and call me
a 8a-i and subAect me to all forms of racial abuse. !t times they beat the
crap out of me.G 6e claims they encouraged him to -ill himself. GTheyFd
come to my door and say, FNo on, 3am, why donFt you hang yourself.F
=ver the years, 3am has read up on the law and human rights. @ellow
prisoners now visit him for advice. 6e recently challenged the prison
authorities on their monitoring of telephone calls:
G=fficers had to ma-e a log of all the phone calls, and when we were
tal-ing in, say, 8unAabi, the officers recorded their own comments, signing
and dating each entry. The log was full of stuff li-e: FThey were tal-ing
8a-i crap.F
:f they can e>press such blatant preAudices in these official documents,
can you imagine what they are saying in privateM The reality is that we
canFt get a fair hearing within this environment.G
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. -
BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.
Social Differentiation Racism.
/hy does he thin- heFs still in prison: 0ecause he,s never admitted my
guilt. /hilst accepting that a man died as a result of his actions, the
circumstances which led up to the incident were never really ta-en into
account properly.
6aving been stabbed twice with a bro-en glass, and after being subAected
to a torrent of racial abuse, he was in fear for his own safety and acted
in self'defence. There was no time to reflect because it all happened so
!n appeal to the 7uropean Court of 6uman 3ights by lawyer .ennis
1tafford was upheld regarding this case. !s a result, the 6ome
1ecretary was bound by law to free 1atpal.
The 7uropean ruling made his continued detention after the parole
boards recommendation to release him& illegal. ;udges at 1trasbourg
ruled that government e>ecutives such as the 6ome 1ecretary had no
right to overrule a decision of a parole board.
.anuel Nuedalla, lawyer of 1atpal 3am, said: G:t does not mean that the
government& accepts he is innocent, and he is still challenging his
wrongful conviction. This is a victory but not a complete vindication.G
:n other words K the 1tate has not recognised the 1atpal 3am case as a
miscarriage of ;ustice.
Clive /al-er suggests that a miscarriage occurs as follows: whenever
suspects or defendants or convicts are treated by the 1tate in breach of
their rights, whether due to:
"& deficient processes or,
)& the laws which are applied to them or,
$& because there is no factual Austification for the applied treatment or
2& whenever suspects or defendants or convicts are treated adversely by
the 1tate to a disproportionate e>tent in comparison with the need to
protect the rights of others; or,
%& whenever the rights of others are not effectively or proportionately
protected or vindicated by 1tate action against wrongdoers or,
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. .
BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.
Social Differentiation Racism.
9& by 1tate law itself.
To what e>tent using the above criteria& do you thin- that 1atpal,s
case was a ?iscarriage of ;usticeM
Consider the evidence surrounding 1atpal,s: offence, trial J prison
e>perience. /hat types& of racism was he subAected toM
Esing various aspects of the theories we have covered so far, produce a
few main pointsOideas to suggest how each theory might attempt to
e>plain the events surrounding 1atpal,s case:
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. /
BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.
Social Differentiation Racism.
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. 0