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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
privilege.
.uring the )
nd
/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
characteristics.
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
Cuic-ly.
!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
punishment;
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:
:nteractionism:
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. /
BA (Hons) Social Science. Level 1 Semester B.
Social Differentiation Racism.
?ar>ism
The East Lancs nstit!te of Hi"her E#!cation. 0