EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

The Government seems to think that the “Britishness” of the nation is under threat as it seeks to protect “distinctively British” television programming according to a speech given by the Minister of State for Media and Data at the Royal Television Society convention in Cambridge. It is still unclear what British qualities are, but as Gareth Roberts (Doctor Who screenwriter) observes, “being distinctively British” is very different from being “unquestioningly patriotic, let alone nationalistic”.

Two landmark studies by the Film and TV Charity have also found that creative diversity agendas in the UK film and TV industry have shied away from “heavy-hitting interrogations of racism within the sector” and, worst still, that there is “no formal accountability” on racism in the industry, due to a chronic lack of data on the progress of diversity initiatives.

Interestingly, British actress and writer “I May Destroy You” Michaela Coel is the first Black woman to win an Emmy award as a Black creative in the US, despite the fact that the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite is trending on social media. I just wonder how many talented Black and Asian Brits in the TV and film industry are not even given the opportunity to work in this industry.

I welcome feedback on this newsletter, thank you.

Keep Well & Stay Safe!

Thushari Perera

BLACK EUROPE RESOURCES

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UK NEWS

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CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

Film and TV Charity Reports

Film and TV Charity to launch £1m anti racism programme, Televisual, 21 September 2021

The Film and TV Charity  will be launching its Impact Partnerships Programme early in 2022 which will funnel £1 million of investment over a period of three years into organisations and community groups led by people of colour, for people of colour. The programme is part of its Anti-Racism Action plan. The charity has published two documents exploring anti-racism in the film and TV industry and is inviting industry leaders to participate in a series of roundtables, with the ambition of agreeing a new Anti-Racism Action Platform for UK Film & TV by Summer 2022.”

 

Britons getting less tolerant of racist language on TV, Ofcom finds, The Guardian, 22 September 2021

“Ofcom found that attitudes to racist language have hardened, with Britons wanting a very strong justification for its inclusion in programmes. Last summer the BBC had to apologise after broadcasting the N-word during a news report on an allegedly racist attack on a young man. Another big change has been in attitudes towards transphobia.” Read the Report here.

 

#EmmysSoWhite trends as actors of colour overlooked in every single major acting category, Pink News, 20 September 2021

“The only exceptions came when RuPaul’s Drag Race took Best Competition Series and Hamilton took home the award for Outstanding Variety Special. I May Destroy You writer Michaela Coel was recognised for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series, the third time a Black creative has won the category and first for a Black woman.”

CONSUMER ISSUESCookbook Melting Pot

Book which celebrates diversity of food in Welsh BAME community up for prestigious international award, Nation Cymru, 20 September 2021

“A recipe book that celebrates the diversity of food in the Welsh Black, Asian and minority ethnic community has been nominated for a prestigious award. The Melting Pot by Maggie Ogunbanwo, released six months ago, is up for a Gourmand World Cookbook Award in the migrant category for 2022.”

Bristol pharmacy apologises for selling product to ‘whiten’ skin, ITV, 17 September 2021

“A pharmacy in Bristol has issued an apology after selling a product to “whiten” skin. Westbury Pharmacy, in Charlecombe Court, has removed the product – made by Korean company Purederm – after a customer complained.”

 

TECH

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Will The Online Safety Bill Impact Your Rights?, Each Other, 23 September 2021

“The introduction of a Bill to keep people safe online was announced in 2019 with the Online Harms White Paper, which set out aims to pressure social networks to take on more responsibility for harm caused on their sites. It focused on enforcing high standards on social networks, who would face legal consequences if they did not adhere to the rules.”

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

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Charity report finds racism continues to affect UK hospitality, Harpers, 21 September 2021

“A survey commissioned by the not-for-profit organisation Be Inclusive Hospitality suggests that racial discrimination continues to be an issue for the UK’s service industry. The Inside Hospitality survey, conducted between November 2020 and January 2021, was organised by the UK’s only professional network for people of colour in hospitality, food and drink. Among its more worrying findings was a fear shared by 56% of Asian hospitality professionals that their race/ethnicity was hindering their career progression, while 40% of black hospitality professionals felt the same.” Free Summary Report here.

 

Over a third of UK adults have suffered discrimination at work, Workplace Insight, 17 September 2021

“New research into workplace discrimination, commissioned by CIPHR, claims just how widespread employment bias is in the UK. On average, one in six people (16 percent) report having suffered ageism, one in ten (10 percent) say they have been the subject of gender-based discrimination (12 percent of women and 7 percent of men), and around one in twelve feel that they have been on the receiving end of prejudicial treatment because of a disability, their race or sexual orientation (9 percent, 9 percent and 8 percent respectively), at some point in their careers.”

Lloyd’s of London wants third of market’s new hires to be ethnic minorities, Yahoo News, 17 September 2021

“Currently, only 8% of the market comes from an ethnic minority, according to Lloyd’s data…Lloyd’s also said it would mandate the collection of ethnicity data across the market.”

EDUCATION

Girls at risk of exclusion Agenda Report

Girl Speak Briefing: Girls at Risk of Exclusion, Agenda, September 2021

“Drawing on conversations with girls and young women and experts in the field, our new briefing paper finds that girls at risk of exclusion are a significant and growing minority, with rising rates of permanent exclusion for girls telling us that they are being let down. Black and minoritised girls and young women tell us that they aren’t being listened to and that racist stereotypes mean their needs are being ignored. New data we uncovered found an unacceptable and persistent over-representation of Black and minoritised girls amongst children excluded from school.” Read the Briefing Paper here.

Rashford included in GCSE media studies course due to Man Utd star’s political activism on social media, Goal, 22 September 2021

“This new addition to the course is part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion…’Marcus Rashford has successfully used social media to promote his campaigns on food poverty, homelessness and books for children, and influenced government policy on food vouchers during the school holidays. He was also commended for his comments and response to the racist abuse he himself and other Black England footballers received, after the Euro 2020 finals this summer.’”

A fighting chance for every child, A manifesto to end educational inequality, Teach First, September 2021

“As our country begins to rebuild after COVID-19, it’s time to break the cycle of inequality. That’s why we’ve built a manifesto, featuring proposals that we believe need to be adopted by policymakers, school and business leaders in the years to come so that every child has a fighting chance to reach their potential.” Read the Manifesto here.

Black Bristol Scholarship Programme kicks off: 40 students join £1m diversity initiative, University of Bristol, 21 September 2021

“The University’s Black Bristol Scholarship Programme was launched to address the under-representation of Black students. Starting this month, the scheme will see scores of students given bursaries, postgraduate funding and targeted careers support.”

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

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England’s Covid travel rules spark outrage around the world, The Guardian, 23 September 2021

“Refusal to recognise vaccines given across Latin America, Africa and south Asia has been denounced as ‘discriminatory’”

New body to tackle health disparities will launch 1 October, co-headed by new Deputy Chief Medical Officer, GOV.uk, 3 September 2021

“New Office for Health Improvement and Disparities to officially launch on 1 October. The new body will tackle the top preventable risk factors for poor health, including obesity caused by unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption. It will work across the health system to drive forward action on health disparities, including improving access to health services across the country, and coordinate with government departments to address the wider drivers of good health, from employment to housing, education and the environment.”

 

SPORT

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Peaks of Colour: meet the walking club by and for people of colour that’s all about radical self-care, Stylist Magazine, 20 September 2021

“… Peaks of Colour – a Peak District-based walking club by and for people of colour… Following in the footsteps of those who traversed these paths before us (Black Girls Hike and Muslim Hikers, for example) the group, still in its infancy, was born out of a need for safe spaces for people of colour in nature…”

 

US police kick boxer Amir Khan off flight for ‘no reason’, The Canary, 19 September 2021

“British boxer Amir Khan has said police escorted him off a flight in the US “for no reason”. In a video posted to Twitter on 18 September, Khan claimed he had been “banned” by American Airlines. He said he was trying to fly to a training camp in Colorado from New York.”

HOUSING & PROPERTY

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Huguenots, Jews, Bengalis … now developers size up London’s Brick Lane, The Guardian, 19 September 2021

“East London MP Apsana Begum warned that local businesses and people “will be driven out through rising rents” and the area’s “rich cultural vibrancy” would be “lost in the pursuit of financial gain”. Fatima Rajina, co-founder of Nijjor Manush, a Bengali and Bangladeshi campaigning group, said it was “just the starting point” of commercial redevelopment of the area which would adversely impact “one of the poorest communities in the country”. The brewery should be converted into social housing, she told the Observer.”

Over 9,000 people helped by the Everyone In scheme are at risk of remaining trapped in homelessness due to a lack of housing and support, Crisis, 8 September 2021

“Over 9,000 people with the most serious support needs, such as trauma, physical and mental health problems and drug and alcohol dependencies, are at risk of being trapped in a cycle of homelessness because there aren’t enough Housing First programmes available to support them into a permanent home, the homelessness charity Crisis has warned in a new report published today.”

GOVERNMENT & COMMUNITIES

Age UK Pensioner Poverty

One in five female pensioners living in poverty, says Age UK, Irvine Times, 20 September 2021

“Pensioners from black and Asian communities (including men and women) are around twice as likely to be living in poverty as white pensioners (33% of Asian pensioners and 30% of black pensioners compared to 16% of white pensioners), Age UK said.” Read the Report here.

 

Priti Patel’s asylum plan will break international law, says UNHCR, The Independent, 23 September 2021

“‘It seems to be aimed at deterring refugees, but there’s no evidence that would be the result,’ says UN official…The bill, which was published in July and is currently going through parliament, would make it a criminal offence for an asylum-seeker to arrive in the UK without permission. Asylum seekers would face up to four years in prison if convicted.”

 

Second UK data breach exposes details of more imperilled Afghans, AlJazeera, 23 September 2021

“A second data breach by Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has exposed the email addresses of dozens more Afghans who may be eligible for relocation in the United Kingdom, potentially risking their safety.”

Windrush victims launch legal action over compensation delays, The Guardian, 21 September 2021

“Both Henry Vaughan, 67, and Fitzroy Maynard, 55, are struggling financially while living in unsuitable bedsit accommodation. They say they are unable to begin rebuilding their lives after years of problems caused by the government’s mistaken decision to classify them as illegal immigrants.”

 

UK aid cuts make it vital to address anti-black bias in funding, The Guardian, 16 September 2021

“The UK’s cut to its aid budget comes to about £4bn a year. Such a dramatic reduction is a blow to many, but most of all to the local organisations who perpetually find themselves last in line for funding. New research by the Vodafone Foundation reveals that, too often, only a small proportion of philanthropic funding earmarked for African development reaches local, African-led civil society organisations. Instead, most development funding favours intermediaries in the global north and international organisations.”

Police and prosecution service need to be proactive on hate crime, Eastern Eye, 20 September 2021

“Kearney said: “There are a number of possible reasons for this: the Crown Office does not reveal how many charges for religiously aggravated hate crimes result in a conviction or how many are plea-bargained away or what proportion relate to crimes against Catholics, Jews, Muslims or others in recent years — or even why court proceedings for religiously aggravated hate crimes are at a five-year low.”

 

Former employee accuses equality watchdog of ‘racial gaslighting’, Eastern Eye, 20 September 2021

“Britain’s equality watchdog has failed to support the human rights of ethnic minorities and have colluded in denial of structural and institutional racism, one of its former employee has accused.”

 

RELIGION

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New £1 million fund to help faith groups support communities, GOV.UK, 9 September 2021

“‘New Deal’ will help strengthen link between faith groups and government as we work together to build back better. Faith-based organisations will be able to bid for share of the fund. Funding will support projects focussed on loneliness, debt advice and employability.”

POLICING & JUSTICE SYSTEM

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Sabina Nessa murder: Vigil organised for teacher whose body was found hours after attack, The Independent, 22 March 2021

“Reclaim These Streets, which planned a vigil for murdered Sarah Everard in March before the official event was subsequently banned, has said it will also join the event”

Stop and search: South Londoner who was racially profiled by Met welcomes police watchdog findings, ITV, 21 September 2021

“Mr Francis said he was in his car waiting for the Post Office to open when police officers handcuffed him and searched him for drugs. No drugs were found and Dwayne was not arrested.”

 

ENVIRONMENT

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Young global climate strikers vow change is coming – from the streets, The Guardian, 24 September 2021

“Mass youth protests to hit more than 1,400 locations weeks before Cop26 climate summit”

 

THE MONARCHY & ROYALSbuckingham-palace-5997329_640

Prince Charles ‘cash-for-honours’ scandal grows with fresh allegations, The Guardian, 19 September 2021

“A spokesperson for Clarence House told the Guardian: “The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the independent investigation now under way by the Prince’s Foundation.””

 

WIDER EUROPE NEWS

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Negotiations set for new, tougher, EU ethics body, EU Observer, 23 September 2021

“Despite resistance from mostly far-right plus centre-right MEPs, the European Parliament is pressing ahead with the creation of a new EU independent ethics body. The plan is to create an ethics body to oversee MEPs and staff at the European Parliament, as well as the European Commission.”

 

Statement By The Advisory Council On Youth (Ccj), European Action Day Against Islamophobia, Council of Europe, 21 September 2021

“The Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ) releases a statement on European Action Day Against Islamophobia. Read the statement

 

Neo-Nazi Music Festivals Are Funding Violent Extremism in Europe, Vice, 20 September 2021

“Far-right music festivals where thousands of neo-Nazis gather to listen to racist rock music have become an important hub for extremists to network, raise funds, and plot violent action.”

Médecins Sans Frontières criticises EU’s ‘empty promises’ for Covid-19 vaccine equity, Brussels Times, 20 September 2021

“The EU continues to block initiatives to help other countries produce their own vaccines and therapeutics and has not shared promised vaccine doses on time,” said Christou. “Consequently, many countries are facing dramatic shortages of COVID-19 vaccines. In low-income countries, only 1.1 percent of the population has received at least one dose.”

It’s not all about populism: grassroots democracy is thriving across Europe, The Guardian, 16 September 2021

“Protests, citizens’ assemblies, local referendums and mutual aid groups are pushing back against attacks on civil society… New civil society initiatives aim at tackling polarisation. One example is a project called Arguments Against Aggression, which tries to equip people with more empathetic communication and debating skills than those typically experienced on social media and has now run in seven EU member states.”

FRANCE

Macron apologises to Algerians who fought with French colonisers, Euronews, 20 September 2021

“France’s President Emmanuel Macron has apologised to Algerians who fought alongside French colonial forces in Algeria’s war for independence and were then massacred and ostracised as traitors. Around 200,000 Harkis — so the contingent was known — fought against their compatriots in the 1954-1962 conflict, and tens of thousands were killed after the French withdrawal.”

 

Zinedine becomes Antoine as satirical site fixes ‘un-French’ names, The Guardian, 19 September 2021

“Site ridicules far-right suggestion that people should be made to have ‘more French’ names… Behind the fun, however, lies a contentious proposition by Éric Zemmour, who says insisting people have “French” names would help greater integration of foreigners and their descendants. Zemmour has singled out the names Muhammad, Kévin and Jordan as examples of those needing to be changed… “I consider that by giving Muslim first names, you are refusing to accept the history of France,” he told French TV.”

GERMANY

As Angela Merkel steps down, her kindness to refugees is in stark contrast to Priti Patel’s lack of compassion, The Independent, 22 September 2021

“I will never forget that day in August 2015, when she simply said: “Wir schaffen das” (“We can do this!”). European nations were going through their periodic paroxysms over migrants/refugees who were fleeing Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, all war-torn countries, the last three subjected to catastrophic Western interventions…”

German election: continuing popularity of far-right AfD has roots in east-west divide, The Conversation, 23 September 2021

“After the 2015 refugee crisis, the AfD radicalised, shifting from operating as a eurosceptic party to a xenophobic party defined by Islamophobia. This move was again shaped by east German forces, particularly PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) – a protest movement that emerged in Dresden and spread to other cities mainly in eastern Germany. The AfD’s racism and xenophobia appear to meet less resistance in the east, where people have less experience with cultural diversity.”

Germany’s Far-Right Political Party, the AfD, Is Dominating Facebook This Election, The Markup, 22 September 2021

“Ahead of a national vote this month, Citizen Browser data shows that posts promoting the AfD party appeared more than three times as often as rivals’”

 

German cashier shooting linked to Covid-19 conspiracies, BBC News, 22 September 2021

“The 20-year-old student employee was shot after a row over face masks, in what is thought to be the first killing linked to German Covid rules. Researchers believe the suspect, named only as Mario N, was a far-right supporter and Covid-denier.”

Germany’s diversity shows as immigrants run for parliament, The Independent, 22 September 2021

“…There are about 21.3 million people with migrant backgrounds in Germany, or about 26% of the population of 83 million. The current parliament has 8.2%, or 58 of 709 lawmakers with immigrant roots. The 2013-17 parliament had only 5.9%, or 37 out of 631 lawmakers, according to Mediendienst Integration, an organization tracking migrant issues in Germany. Of the 6,227 candidates running for parliament, 537 have immigrant roots…”

 

Disadvantaged children in Germany bear the brunt of school closures , Euronews, 20 September 2021

“During pandemic closures, some children of foreign language parents even forgotten part of their German and nearly all have suffered a setback.”

 

GREECE

Greece tightens its border with Turkey amid ‘tough but fair migration policy’, Deutsche Welle, 17 September 2021

“Since the Taliban swept back to power in Afghanistan, Greece has stepped up measures to fortify its border with Turkey and stem the tide of refugees. Now, the EU is calling for more transparency.”

IRELAND

Calls for Racial Equality Strategy as racist hate crimes ‘outstrip’ sectarian motivated offences, Armaghi, 17 September 2021

“Those who have decided to make a new life here in Ireland are enriching our society’s diversity by sharing with us their culture, their values, their skills, and their language. Hate motivated crimes showed an increase of over 200 racist crimes in Northern Ireland compared to the same period in the previous year.”

 

ITALY

‘Black and proud’: Milan’s Maignan speaks out as Juve probe racist abuse, France24, 21 September 2021

“Juventus confirmed to AFP that they had launched an investigation into the abuse, caught on a video which spread quickly on social media.”

NETHERLANDS

Border police can ethnically profile people, Dutch court rules, AlJazeera, 22 September 2021

“Hague District Court says that ethnicity can be used to single out passengers for checks, but activists pledge to appeal… “Every time that I’m coming home to my country, the Netherlands, I’m being stopped because of my ethnicity,” Bamenga told The Associated Press.”

Why does world’s tallest populace seem to be getting shorter?, The Guardian, 17 September 2021

“Dutch people born in 2001 are not as tall as previous generation – is it genetics, migration or nutrition?”

 

SPAIN

Prosecutor investigates anti-LGBT, Nazi march in downtown Madrid, Yahoo News, 20 September 2021

“The Madrid prosecutor’s office opened an investigation on Monday after a crowd of about 200 people sporting Nazi paraphernalia marched in the Spanish capital’s gay-friendly neighbourhood of Chueca on Saturday shouting offensive anti-LGBT slogans.”

SWITZERLAND

Growing up as a Swiss Muslim in the shadow of 9/11, Swissinfo, 21 September 2021

“Young Swiss Muslims are no longer ready to accept increasing levels of anti-Islam sentiment… Between 1960 and 2000, the number of Muslims in SwitzerlandExternal link increased from 2,703 to 310,807, making it the third largest religious community in the country.”

How anti-Muslim sentiment has gone mainstream, Swissinfo, 21 September 2021

“A study publishedExternal link by the Center of Security Studies in Zurich states that although 56% of the Swiss population believes Islam is a peaceful religion, 46% see it as a threat. When someone in Switzerland complains of discrimination on grounds of religion, they tend to be disproportionately of the Islamic faith.”

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