Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the Black & Asian News!

I admit that I am a bit saddened to learn that a rare post-Covid disease is affecting up to 100 children a week and especially Black, Asian and minority ethnic children.

For those of you who are not particularly interested in health issues or are trying to avoid more “Covid” news, there is, as usual plenty of other topics to explore below.

There is a new award-winning US comedy TV series called Ramy about Muslim life that begins on Channel 4 tonight. Hope it can cheer us all up!

Keep Well and Safe,

Thushari Perera


Twitter @Blackeresources

Read the blog here if this newsletter does not upload properly.

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Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Ramy: culture-clash comedy with a deeper message, The Guardian, 5 February 2021

“Its protagonist might be hapless, but Ramy Youssef’s series about Muslim-American life – now airing in the UK – offers a smart portrait of immigrant families, Islam and disability”


Young Black British Women Are Flourishing on UK Radio, Vice, 3 February 2021

“Thanks to new shows on Kiss and 1Xtra, the presence of Black women on air feels less sporadic and more an intra-diverse broadcasting space.”


Glasgow Film Festival to showcase black Scottish creators next month, The National, 3 February 2021

“GLASGOW Film Festival (GFF) will this year feature Welcome To, a programme of films and events, with a focus on black Scottish films, filmmakers and history, from March 4 to 6.”


Industry Voices, Candour, February 2021

“Industry Voices is a co-production between SIGN and Candour Productions. The series recounts the lived experiences of diverse individuals within the screen industries and explores their views on how things need to change within the film, TV and games industries. In each film, a screen industry professional tells their own story. These individuals have experienced discrimination or lack of opportunity based on prejudice towards their race, ethnicity, gender, disability, class, background, regionality, or a combination of these things.”




Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

BusinessLive launches black-owned business newsletter, Business Live, 4 February 2021

“The monthly newsletter is for anyone and everyone who wants to support the black economy… Black people make up 3.3% of the UK population but only run 0.67 per cent of UK businesses. So Solid Crew’s Swiss, who founded Black Pound Day, told BusinessLive ‘s sister site the Mirror that campaigns such as his and that of #IAMBOB are vital to close the £3.2bn UK pay gap for Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers compared to white colleagues doing the same work.”


Number of FTSE 100 top positions held by black people drops to zero, City A.M., 3 February 2021

“There is not a single black business leader at any FTSE 100 company in the UK despite businesses pledging to do more for racial inequality.”


Study shows six in 10 BAME psychiatrists faced racism, Eastern Eye, 3 February 2021

“Six in ten ethnic minority psychiatrists have faced overt or covert racism at work – but only 29 per cent of these incidents were reported, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych). More than a quarter of BAME psychiatrists said the racist incidents had affected their health.”




Image by dcpl from Pixabay 

The best start for young Londoners: Strengthening London’s early years education offer following the Covid-19 pandemic, London Councils, 4 February 2021

“London boroughs have considerable concerns about children being left behind because they have missed out on the government’s early years education entitlements during the Covid-19 pandemic… If fewer children access early years education, primary schools will have to provide more support to address any gaps in school readiness. Without the support of early years education to ensure school readiness for many future pupils, primary schools will have to bear the brunt of additional challenges for years to come, which is likely to have a considerable impact on the attainment gap in London.”


Exam board joins Lit of Colour programme to help diversify English Literature, Penguin, 4 February 2021

“Pearson has joined Lit in Colour, a programme launched by Penguin and The Runnymede Trust to explore how to increase UK students’ access to books by writers of colour and those from minority ethnic backgrounds.”




Up to 100 UK children a week hospitalised with rare post-Covid disease, The Guardian, 5 February 2021

Exclusive: 75% of children worst affected by paediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome are BAME…patients with PIMS who ended up in intensive care, 47% were of Afro-Caribbean origin and 28% of Asian background – between five and six times higher than the 14% of the UK’s population who are BAME.


London”s Neasden Temple opens new COVID-19 vaccination centre, Outlook, 4 February 2021

“London, Feb 4 (PTI) The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, one of the UK’s largest temples known as Neasden Temple, has opened a new vaccination centre to aid the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines being administered by the National Health Service (NHS).”


Hospital nurse speaks out about being racially abused by patient, Nursing Times, 4 February 2021

“Filipino staff nurse Aldarico Jr Velasco (pictured above), of University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, published a post on Twitter on 30 January outlining what had happened to him.He wrote: “A patient just shouted at me and called me a f***ing Chinese c*nt…Nurses suffering abuse and discrimination has previously been described as a worrying theme that has emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic following other incidents.”


Charity urges increase in awareness about maternal mental health among black and Asian women, Eastern Eye, 4 February 2021

“Postpartum psychosis (PP) is a severe mental health problem that affects 1400 women in the UK each year from all backgrounds…Catherine Cho, the author of Inferno, shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer Award, which recounts her experience of postpartum psychosis, said: “Maternal mental health, particularly in black and Asian communities, has an added layer of cultural pressure and shame. It’s often viewed as something that should be kept quiet and hidden away.”


Racism has a physical impact on the body – here’s how, The Conversation, 31 January 2021

“When we grasp the reality that human bodies and genes are being constantly remodelled by the physical and social environment and by life experience, the inescapable conclusion is that we must fight the origins of health disparity at their root, in the early social environment and life experiences of every person.”


‘I was living for the sake of it’ – Kidney patient reveals how transplant transformed his life, Leicester Mercury, 30 January 2021

“Leicester’s Hindu community is encouraging more people to get join the transplant register”


We must encourage conversations around clinical trials in minority groups, PMLive, 2 February 2021

“I think healthcare needs cultural competency. For example, in the South Asian community, older women do not know how to explain mental health problems. They complain about back pain, stomach pain, but they are describing anxiety or depression. But unless you know the questions to ask people, this doesn’t come out. For some cultures, psychological symptoms are alien words.”




Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Challenging racism in the use of health data, The Lancet, 3 February 2021

“Data and data-driven technologies are playing an increasingly influential role in health care, helping to detect disease earlier, move care closer to home, encourage health-promoting behaviours, and improve the efficiency of service delivery. Although data-driven technologies have potential for good, they can also exacerbate existing health inequalities, which are deep-rooted and have been laid bare during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Comment, we examine how structural inequalities, biases, and racism in society are easily encoded in datasets and in the application of data science, and how this practice can reinforce existing social injustices and health inequalities. Approaching the problem from the perspective of data scientists, we follow the stages in an analytical pipeline to consider how and where things can go wrong. We then outline the essential role of data scientists in tackling racism and discrimination.”




Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

Britain should welcome Hongkongers, but not the ‘good migrant’ narrative, The Guardian, 3 February 2021

“The idea that Hong Kong migration will give the UK an entrepreneurial rocket boost is based on imperial stereotypes”


New Report: Highly Skilled Migrants: Indefinite Leave to Remain Refusals & Covid-19 Realities, Migrant Rights Network, 1 February 2021

“The Home Office’s inhuman policies towards these Highly Skilled Commonwealth Migrants of colour, who were brought in to help boost the UK economy, have not achieved the policy objectives sought: to reduce net numbers of migrants in the UK. Pushed into destitution, homelessness and with serious stress-relate illnesses, local authorities and the taxpayer are picking up the bill while nearly all HSMs stay in the UK resolute to fight their cases. With serious debt restricting them from pursuing their cases in the UK or leaving the country, even if they wanted to, they remain in a state of paralysis.”


New Resource: Know Your Rights Guide 2020, Migrant Rights Network, December 2020

We have written this guide for all migrants living in the UK, including those without documents and those trying to regularise their immigration status, including asylum seekers.




Image by mmi9 from Pixabay 

Only 3.3% of new officers recruited by Metropolitan Police are black, figures show, The Evening Standard, 4 February 2021

“Just 57 out of 1,713 police officers recruited by the Met since last April are black, according to figures. The number of black recruits is only 3.3 per cent, compared with London’s black population of 13.3 per cent. Meanwhile, researchers found a further 107 new recruits were Asian — 6.2 per cent of the intake. People of Asian background make up 18.5 per cent of the capital’s population.”


More than 1,000 young black Londoners removed from controversial Met gangs database, ITV, 3 February 2021

“The moves comes after London mayor Sadiq Khan ordered a review of the Metropolitan Police’s gang violence matrix that critics said was “racially discriminatory”. Eighty per cent of people on the database are black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME). Figures released on Wednesday show the number of names on the list has dropped to 2,305, a 40% drop from a peak of 3,811 in August 2017 and the lowest in seven years.”




Image by prabha karan from Pixabay 

Racism: ‘Being Welsh means more than your skin colour’, BBC News, 4 February 2021

“Following her experience Nikita Jones is keen to emphasise the need to understand the difference between someone’s race and their nationality.”


Let’s commit to ending the historical misuse of the term ‘Mongol’ – Uuganaa Ramsay, The Scotsman, 2 February 2021

“If you hear someone described as a ‘mongol’, what is your first reaction? Do you assume that the person is from Mongolia? Or that the speaker is talking in derogatory terms about someone with Down’s Syndrome? Or that it’s an insult hurled at someone who has done something stupid?”


After pledging disclosure, many UK banks still silent on race diversity data, Yahoo Sport, 3 February 2021

“In HSBC’s UK workforce, 2.4% of staff have self-identified as Black, but among senior leaders this falls to 0.9%. At UBS, 2.9% of its total UK workforce have self-identified as Black compared with 1.9% at senior levels. At Lloyds, 1.5% of UK staff are Black, but among senior management this falls to 0.6%. Black people make up 3.4% of Britain’s working-age population, according to the Office for National Statistics.”




Image by Brigitte is always pleased to get a coffee from Pixabay 

Fossil fashion: the hidden reliance of fast fashion on fossil fuels, Changing Markets Foundation,

February 2021

“This report reveals the hidden reliance of the fast fashion industry on fossil fuels. It demonstrates how the historical and projected growth of synthetic fibres, such as polyester, has become the backbone of the prevailing unsustainable fast fashion business model, which is driving runaway consumption and presents a major obstacle to a circular economy. It also uncovers how, in light of the fashion industry’s growing dependence on fossil fuels, the oil and gas industry are betting on production of plastic, including plastic-fibres, as a growing share of their revenue.”

Environmental racism and the quest for justice, European Interest, 18 January 2021

“The issue of environmental injustice and even environmental racism have been with us for a long time. We see underprivileged communities mobilising against industrial or government decisions and practices that cause very serious environmental and health damage.”



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Image by PDPics from Pixabay 

Football supporter groups put club rivalries aside in support of Indian farmers, SkySports, 4 February 2021

“Eleven supporter groups from across the leagues unite in support of Indian farmers; Fans to unveil banner to show unity with farmers who are protesting against agricultural reform; One group has raised more than £10,000 for a charity providing assistance”


Sport England Appoints First Director Of Equality, Diversity And Inclusion, Sports Industry, 1 February 2021

“The body says the new role will be dedicated to ensuring everyone is able to enjoy the benefits of being physically active regardless of their background, while Taylor  -who has worked with Sport England since August 2018, will be tasked with making sure those who lead and deliver sport and physical activity in England reflect the nation they serve.”




Image by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay 

Europe: How to combat counter-terror discrimination, Amnesty, 4 February 2021

“Discrimination against Muslims in European counter-terrorism efforts has helped to create an environment in which Muslims are more likely to be the subject of hate speech and attacks, Amnesty International and Open Society Foundations said in a guide published today.”


Neo-Nazi Rapper Known As A ‘Far-Right Weird Al’ Arrested, Vice, 3 February 2021

“Weapons and Third Reich memorabilia were found when police raided the home of the 36-year-old, who has a neo-Nazi fanbase in the US.”


French parliament votes to make religious separatism an offence, RFI, 5 February 2021

“A new offence of ‘separatism’ was supported unanimously in the French lower house on Thursday with 130 votes in favour and 4 abstentions. The bill is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s bid to stamp out any behaviour considered contrary to ‘Republican values’.”


Germany pushes to replace the term ‘race’ in constitution, The Local Germany, 3 February 2021

“Germany’s Justice Ministry said Wednesday it has put forward a proposal to replace the term “race” in the country’s constitution after a row broke out over its links with Nazi ideology.…The new proposal suggests scrapping the word “race” from the list, instead adding “or for racist reasons”. “In this way, we will further distance the Basic Law from racial ideologies… while also maintaining protection against discrimination,” the Justice Ministry said.”

Germany records new spike in far-right crime in 2020, The Local Germany, 4 February 2021

“Police recorded 23,080 crimes of a far-right nature last year – around 700 more than the previous year — the figures published by left-wing lawmaker Petra Pau show. The number is already the highest since 2016, and could yet rise to the highest level since records began in 2001 by the time the final figures are released later this year.”


Starbucks in Dublin fined over racist drawing on customer’s cup, Politico.EU, 19 January 2021

“Foley, an Irish citizen of Thai heritage, filed a racial harassment case after the outlet offered her coupons but no acknowledgement that the image was offensive.”


Morocco Furious At Footage of Spanish Security Abusing Migrant Minors, EuroWeekly News, 5 February 2021

“On Sunday (January 31st), Spanish media released footage of Spanish security personnel beating and kicking a seemingly unconscious Morrocan youth as he lay on the floor of a migrant centre in the Canaries. Another migrant can be heard crying “he’s my brother… he’s my brother” in the shocking video.”


‘The burka initiative only serves to throw fuel on the fire’, SwissInfo, 4 February 2021

“Switzerland could follow in the footsteps of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Bulgaria by banning women from wearing the burka or niqab. On March 7, the people will vote on a popular initiative that aims to enshrine a ban on hiding one’s face in public in the constitution.”

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