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Facts vs feelings in the BLM debate Despite activist anger, the statistics tell a broadly positive story about black middle-class advancement

A Black Lives Matter demonstration in Parliament Square. Credit: Hollie Adams/Getty

A Black Lives Matter demonstration in Parliament Square. Credit: Hollie Adams/Getty


June 15, 2020   8 mins

George Floyd’s appalling murder and the global outrage it triggered has evolved into a broader protest about black disadvantage and racism in western countries.

Many people of goodwill, including many white people, have joined marches in the UK. Young friends of mine who have been on the marches tell me I should tread carefully writing about the issue because I cannot know what it feels like to be black in Britain.

That is true. Yet if we are going to have an honest conversation about the condition of the black minority, then we should consider facts as well as feelings.

The most important fact is that there is no single black minority. Over recent decades some ethnic minority groups have been climbing the ladder faster than others. That divergence story can now be told about Britain’s black minority itself, which in recent decades has generally experienced less good outcomes than most other big UK minorities.

The UK doesn’t yet have a US-style black middle class, but we are getting there. More than 35% of British-Caribbean men are now in the top two social classes (out of seven) up from just 11% in the 1990s, British-African men lag behind at 28%. On average poverty is higher and accumulated wealth a lot lower for black people, but pay is now only a bit below average.

Black children now slightly outperform whites in the Government’s Progress 8 school measures. Young black people are more likely to go to university than whites, 41% to 31%, albeit only 9% go to elite Russell Group universities compared to 12% of whites. Black people are well represented at the top in sport, music the arts, and the public sector, while under-represented in business and academia.

So far, so relatively good, especially given that most (not all) of Britain’s 1.8m black people trace their roots back a few generations to mainly poor, and poorly educated, immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.

There is, however, a substantial minority of the black population stuck to the bottom of British society, (14% of black people live in households with persistent low income compared with 8% of whites). They are likely to live in public housing in inner city London or other big cities. Their lives are shorter, more violent, poorer and less healthy than other black people and almost all other groups in Britain. It is their pain, and anger, that is easily connected to a narrative of slavery and humiliation, to historic white stereotypes of inferiority, as well as to more recent stories of police brutality.

Racial disadvantage is a reality but a complex one. It affects some groups more than others, and often overlaps with social class disadvantage. And the extent to which it is caused by white people is moot, given the apparent decline in racial prejudice of recent decades. It is possible to have racial inequality without a society full of racists. Less than 1% of the population admit to hard racist attitudes, though around a quarter admit to some prejudice, and back in 2006 only 1.3% of 35-54 year old whites objected strongly to having a black boss. The British Social Attitudes survey has not asked the question since but if previous trends had continued, and even allowing for some flattening out of the decline, that figure would now be close to zero.

There is no widely agreed definition of racism but prejudice clearly operates on a wide spectrum and manifests itself in many different ways. Even allowing for the fact that racism is a central taboo of British society, and that people therefore may not give honest answers in surveys, the evidence says it has been declining in recent decades. Yet many people on the anti-racist Left maintain that it has merely become less visible, a view with considerable support in parts of the establishment.

I have taken an interest in race issues for 15 years (seven years ago I published a book partly on the subject, The British Dream) and I know that the data, with one or two important caveats, tells a generally positive story of minority, including black, advance. (An enduring image for me of the Covid-19 crisis and British openness is Chancellor Rishi Sunak talking to BBC economics editor Faisal Islam about an NHS in which 35% of consultants are British Asians.) I also listen to a range of black and Asian voices, not just those BLM sympathisers who have dominated the airwaves in the past fortnight.

Everybody selects facts to suit — and make — their case, but we are currently seeing an epidemic of politicised selection (including in a Times editorial on Saturday on black advancement that uncritically recycled activist claims about disparities).

There is also the context of historical disadvantage versus current disadvantage. Black Caribbean households have on average just one third the assets of white households, and only one third of all black people own their own home compared to two-thirds of whites. But you would expect some disparity, given a general starting point a few generations back of a poor newcomer without assets or much education, and it is noticeable that 40% of Caribbeans now own their own home compared with just 20% of Africans who have been here a shorter time.

When BLM supporters use evidence to support their arguments for systemic racism it usually runs like this: take the black population in the UK of 3% and then point to big over-representation in bad things (prison population, stop and search, deaths in custody, being sectioned, unemployment) and under-representation in good things (top professions, Oxbridge, football management, Parliament, corporate boardrooms).

This is statistically naive. The over-representation of black people in prison, at 12% of the total, should not be looked at in relation to the total black population but rather to those involved in serious crime: in recent years black people accounted for around 20% of robbery convictions and 15% of murder convictions. Apparent disproportionality also falls away for stop and search (when you focus on who is on the streets in the places it happens), deaths in custody and being sectioned, but not for higher rates of unemployment (which was at least moving in the right direction prior to the crisis).

Under-representation in good things is a more mixed picture. There are some real issues here and Britain needs to do better, especially in business (just 0.9% of the top 20 executives in FTSE 100 companies are black). Indeed, one source of the alienation of some black BLM protesters may be frustration that after getting decent degrees they are not achieving the high-status employment they expected. The same is true of a lot of young whites too, sometimes seen as the driver behind Corbynism.

Looked at in this light, the anger of the black BLM activists might be seen, in part, as the growing pains of the expanding black middle class. And both anecdotal and labour market evidence does suggest that recruitment and promotion is harder for young professional black people than white ones.

Stereotypes and unconscious biases do linger on, possibly reinforced by AI. They persist even in the mainly progressive world of education. A friend of mine who teaches at an inner-city school in London, with mainly minority pupils, says he notices that white teachers get promoted faster than black ones. In some cases, he says, that is clearly because the whites deserve it, in other cases he is not so sure. But it is also worth remembering that stereotypes change when the social reality changes; in my lifetime, the dominant stereotype for both Irish and Indian people has been completely transformed.

Nearly 40 years ago in Brixton mainly working class British Caribbean young men rioted over openly racist policing, today we have black graduates (a mix of British Caribbean and British African) angry over unconscious bias and slower promotion. That surely represents some kind of progress.

And happily the black elite is now large enough to accommodate real intellectual variety. In the recent row over the review of ethnic minority Covid-19 deaths the mainstream black view, that they must be caused by poverty and racism, was challenged by leading black figures like Trevor Phillips and Tony Sewell who argued that we should consider all evidence, including the role of conditions that especially afflict minorities such as diabetes, and follow where it leads.

Sewell featured in an issue of Prospect magazine I edited in 2010 called Rethinking Race. As did Munira Mirza, now head of the No10 policy unit, who summed up part of the rethink, saying: “Of course, racism still exists, but things have improved to a point where many ethnic minority Britons do not experience it as a regular feature in their lives.”

To repeat, none of these people say there is no black racism here. But they would, I think, challenge the BLM story in three main ways. First, if you want to help disadvantaged black people focus on practical solutions to inner city problems: more investment in anti-knife crime units; more black police officers (just 1% at present); greater efforts to deal with obesity levels and chronic bad health; a national volunteering scheme for inner-city school mentors. Second, do not ignore the self-inflicted wounds of violent crime, fatherless families, anti-educational “acting white” culture. Third, reject victim culture which can discourage young blacks from aiming higher, using racism as an excuse for any setback.

Shaun Bailey, the black Tory London mayoral candidate, likes to talk about tackling black disadvantage and widening access to the elite as a means of strengthening the national team. This is the kind of language that people of all races can happily support. But a worrying aspect of recent events is the gulf between white elite reaction to BLM and the white majority who are likely to be looking on with some bemusement.

Consider this routine statement of anti-racist political activism: “We must be clear in the workplace that racism and inequality are enemies we must keep fighting; that racism takes many forms; that privilege takes many forms. It’s why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important. And that it’s not enough to be passively anti-racist; we must take a stand, and we must take action.” And then consider the fact that it was written a week ago by Richard Heaton, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice. A more establishment position is hard to imagine. BLM is a broad movement without much by way of programme or hierarchy but to the extent that it has a manifesto it calls for the de-funding of the police and its retreat from black communities (the opposite of what most of those communities want).

Elite reaction in the media was also captured by Andrew Marr on his Sunday programme asking black British historian David Olusoga to tell him: “What should white people be doing to change our lives
 to make this a better country for black people.” Olusoga didn’t really have an answer but talked about the subtle ways that black people are psychologically damaged by systemic racism, in language for example.

Marr’s instinct is, of course, a perfectly proper one but it reinforces the general assumption that whites are the central problem — which ends up placing too much focus on the white conscience, with even some suggestion of white people asking for absolution from black people.

I worry that these debates are being heard very differently in white middle England. White privilege tends to be a concern of privileged whites. As Barack Obama put it: “Most working-class and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race.”

And in the UK, BLM’s attempt to unilaterally rearrange the national heritage is a potential recruiting sergeant to the normally minuscule far-right. More worrying is the danger that it will drive an even bigger wedge between a progressive establishment, happy to embrace much of the BLM perspective, and the bulk of non-privileged, non-guilty, whites, who are not taking the hiring or promotion decisions that might disadvantage black people, and resent being labelled as racists. At a time when we should be trying to make it more, not less, comfortable to talk about race, they are likely to be more on their guard on this issue, and in the presence of black individuals they do not know.

Olusoga says we should listen to young black British BLM marchers when they say they see echoes of George Floyd’s experience in their own lives. But, to put it politely, there is an intense subjectivism here. About 1,000 people are killed every year by the US police, one quarter black. Three people in the UK were killed by the police in 2018 and none of them were black. Over the last 10 years 163 people have died in or following police custody, 13 were black. But taking the category of all those who have been arrested a white person is more likely to die in custody.

Black people in the US are closer in time to a truly brutal official racism and remain far more segregated. In the UK, nearly half of Caribbean men partner with white women and the mixed-race ethnic group is the fastest growing, a living symbol of integration.

False or exaggerated claims of victimhood are all too easy to make in the current environment but they are damaging to the cause of both equality and rational argument. And the whole debate is disfigured by disproportionality. The gravitational force of ideology focuses the attention of young radicals on a small problem, at least in the UK, of police harassment, while ignoring some far larger problems in the black community.

How does attacking white people for unintended micro-aggressions help a middle-aged black woman living in the inner city? She belongs to probably the unhappiest group in Britain. The father of her children is statistically likely to be absent, she lives in fear that violence will devour her son, she commutes a long distance to a low-paid job, she has more than a 50% chance of suffering from high blood pressure and obesity. When BLM comes up with some solutions to her problems the country should listen carefully.

Peoples’ feelings and perceptions are important, but they are just one piece of evidence in this jigsaw. And if we accept that the perceptions of young black BLM supporters is the only truth that matters then it just becomes my tribe versus your tribe and we are truly lost.


David Goodhart is the author of Head, Hand, Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century. He is head of the Demography unit at the think tank Policy Exchange.

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Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

We don’t suffer from white guilt and no amount of BLM propaganda will make us feel guilty of it.
What matters is your class not colour.
Original sin, no thanks
If you think that purtting us down will make racism stop l, it won’t, it will make it worse.
Being poor is what counts,
Poverty is colour blind but don’t let that stop you cultural marxists trying to cause division and hatred
Good luck with our society after this racist rubbish

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Whilst you make some interesting points, I would prefer not to be included in your ‘we’, thank you.

Linda Baddeley
Linda Baddeley
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Do you suffer from ‘white guilt’ and if so, why is that?

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago
Reply to  Linda Baddeley

Thank you for your concern. I do not suffer from the aforementioned affliction. Maybe I don’t understand the comment, but I am not aware of joint membership of any club Andrew Best is also a member of. It is the use of the term ‘we’ that is confusing me. It seems to appeal to a great number on here, how do I join? Is Mr Best the leader?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Well said.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Indeed. Am I alone in taking the greatest offence at the disgusting BLM ‘campaign’ in Britain? Where once colour of skin made not a jot of difference to my interactions with people, the repulsive BLM has antagonised and alienated me so that now I think
why do black lives matter more than those of the 97% non-blacks living here. Britain is not perfect but it is a fair and just country. BLM has produced a counter-reaction, making me aware of black people as a group apart who think they are victims of you name what. Result – separation and segregation. Well done BLM!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

As always, David Goodhart offers a factual and invaluable alternative to the demented and divisive BBC/Guardian/Ch 4 narrative. Thank you.

wgeoff.56
wgeoff.56
3 years ago

A well written and thoughtful argument. The talking heads of BLM that appear on our screens mostly come across as loud mouthed rabble rousers with an agenda to destroy society as we know it. They are, in my opinion, stinking hypocrites who attack white people for their ‘privilege’ and part in slavery but then overlook the part African and Arabs played and in some cases still play in the slave trade.

Nuances such as the British navy acting to stop slavery, losing over a 1000 men on the West Africa station whilst doing it pass these BLM types by, deliberately I think because their agenda is to smash our society.

Neither is there any consideration of the circa 13m slaves shipped eastwards by Islamic slavers during the period of the Atlantic slave trade nor of the 1.25m kidnapped from the coastal villages of Europe by Islamic pirates from North Africa who were sold in the slave markets of North Africa.

Liscarkat
Liscarkat
3 years ago
Reply to  wgeoff.56

In the early 1860s, hundreds of thousands of white men went to their deaths in the U.S. to help end slavery. Conveniently forgotten, of course.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  wgeoff.56

Well said.

Mike Flanagan
Mike Flanagan
3 years ago

“Young friends of mine … tell me I should tread carefully writing about the issue because I cannot know what it feels like to be black in Britain.”

Very possibly. But it’s also likely that they didn’t grow up poor. In fact, it’s almost impossible any young person today has the foggiest idea what it was like to grow up in a Liverpool slum 70 years ago.

So what gives these privileged opinionators the right to express ANY opinion about what causes differential outcomes?

Go Away Please
Go Away Please
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Flanagan

History is taught very poorly in our schools today and for some years past. I actually spoke to a 35 year old Londoner who had no idea that Londoners lived in terrible conditions in the early part of the 20thC and he hadn’t heard of William Wilberforce.

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago
Reply to  Go Away Please

Well said. And David could have informed his young friends to f that history. We had a young Japanese student staying with is a few years back and said how wealthy we were because we owned our own home and had free running water.

I showed him the extremely good TV series of North and South. We sat and watched it over three evenings as a history of the Brits. I explained we do not have free water or free health care. We pay for everything via taxes whereas he pays for what he needs. He was shocked at the poverty in our country just 150yrs ago. I explained the hard work of friendly societies and philanthropists (not government) to change this situation. I then showed him pictures of my grand parents house in Camden, just by the lock, with no toilet, just a bucket over a hole that they through lime into. He was fascinated and asked many questions.

History should be taught in schools as a serious subject. Not just as an exercise to make British children ashamed of being British, when we as a nation have achieved far more than many nations.

Chandra Chelliah
Chandra Chelliah
3 years ago
Reply to  Go Away Please

How many know what Churchill was up before, during and after the WWII. Oh yes he led the country to victory, but take this away and see what is left. This should be taught.

D Herman
D Herman
3 years ago

Sorry Chandra, but many of us do know, as we have been around a long time. Winston’s history is not all laudable, but without him you and I would not be chatting on here – well not freely and not in English.

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago
Reply to  D Herman

Indeed. Winston Churchill was the senior ranking politician of his day who was most responsible for the defeat of fascism. Forget Stalin, he had no choice once the Germans invaded and forget Roosevelt, since he waited until Pearl Harbour. Without the guts and tenacity of Churchill and the British people, this country would have folded and that would have enabled Hitler to divert all his resources to the defeat of the Soviet Union.

Margaret Ogburn
Margaret Ogburn
3 years ago

What many seem to forget, is that the Nazis wanted a pure Aryan race. Had Churchill. the only leader in Europe to really stand up to them, not decided to oppose them, there might possibly no black people and many others to object.

Dennis Lewis
Dennis Lewis
3 years ago

Contrary to what you imply, many British people do indeed know quite a lot about Churchill’s biography. Yes, as you write, he led the country to victory, AND he achieved many other things in his life. It’s true, he was far from being a paragon of virtue. (There are very few major historical figures of Churchill’s stature who are). But he was a complex, paradoxical, and truly brilliant man who deserves his acclaim as a great British figure.

chidozieononeze
chidozieononeze
3 years ago
Reply to  Go Away Please

“Early part of the 20th Century” – Some Londoners still live in poverty now. Also, Alan Johnson talks about being hungry and his destitute upbringing (he was born in 1950). Also, I would recommend any Wilberforce lovers to read Akala’s excellent book “Natives – Race & Class in the British Empire”. The British did not abolish slavery and tried to suppress anti slavery movements.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago

“The British didnt abolish slavery”.
Evidence please.

Gill Marklew
Gill Marklew
3 years ago
Reply to  Go Away Please

I agree, I think we are only assessed as whites as having better living conditions and that it has always been thus, no acknowledgement of the deprivations and struggles that got us here.

Kevin Lawson
Kevin Lawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Flanagan

Aren’t concepts like white privilege essentially blacks blacksplaining what it means to be white to white people

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Lawson

‘blacksplaining’ is an amusing update of ‘mansplaining’, but just as ‘mansplaining’ is a sexist slur against men as a group, so one could argue ‘blacksplaining’ is . . . well, you get the picture.

Gill Marklew
Gill Marklew
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Girling

Can I say wokesplaining?

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
3 years ago
Reply to  Gill Marklew

Of course! ‘woke’ is an ideology, not an immutable characteristic. The non-discrimination ethic doesn’t apply to ideas.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Flanagan

It’s also possible ‘young friends of mine’ do not exist. Just as “i have been told by sources close to,,,’. can be complete fabrication

Stephen Crossley
Stephen Crossley
3 years ago

Thank you to David Goodhart for easily the best and most well balanced article written on the BLM debate so far. Being just an ordinary person and naive in the ways of the British press I would appeal to those with press contacts to spread this article far and wide. I believe that there is a genuine appetite now for progress and David’s data driven approach is one that cuts through the often hysterical commentary on a difficult but very important subject.

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago

It is not a balanced article. It is a sit on the fence article. David has done his best to take the anger out the situation but has ignored the biggest elephant in the room that negates everything he has written.BLM is not interested in black, white or brown lives. It is interested in destroying western society by creating mayhem and division when there was no mayhem and division.

Once you address the cause you can ask people to stop thinking of race but go back to character, as we were all doing before this malicious and sinister organisation decided as all leftwing ideologies do, is to play with language and minds.

Su O.
Su O.
3 years ago
Reply to  Anjela Kewell

I think it is a balanced article with respect to the specific topic it’s addressing. Admittedly, that topic isn’t all-inclusive, but the aims and intentions of BLM seems simply to be outside what the author is addressing. As a related and causative topic, it certainly deserves attention, but I do believe it’s downstream of BLM and their lies and manipulations.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

…Florence Eshalomi just on the radio news…she has zero interest in discussing race or racial inequality, she just wants to shout and scream inequality and beat the government with it.
I’m afraid she is part of the problem, when she should be part of the solution.

Helen Wood
Helen Wood
3 years ago

As someone who lived in Jamaica as a child and who has lived and worked in North London s multi cultural environment I feel an affinity and affection for the British Caribbean community.
Of course Floyds murder is an appalling manifestation of racist abuse of power and deaths in custody of POC.must not continue.
I endorse David Goodwins points about the bemused British middle class reaction to the BLM demands and why some previously liberal centre right or lefties may start inclining towards the right. This because they are feeling insecure about their
National identity and freedom to express patriotic sentiments in the wake of woke activism with its accusations against White supremacy and its censorial dogmatism. Black intellectuals like Afua Hirisch and Bernadine Evaristo rightly assert the need for expansion of our history syllabus to teach about Empire from a black perspective and to understand the impact of colonial exploitation and the legacy of slavery.
But those advocates of black rights, calling for toppling statues of figures like Nelson and Churchill need to stop reducing these
complex historical figures as white supremacist ,seen only through the lens of racism and slavery. They need to look at British history from above as well as below and make a more balanced assessment of their legacy. Removal of statues is an emotive issue because they belong to all citizens not only factions on the
extreme left or right . The middle and lower middle class
majority are antagonised by BLMs unilateralist demands because their reasonable views appear to be in danger of being not only superceded but also not accurately articulated and represented. There is a need for much more public debate and information on the issue before appointing commitees to decide the fate of these statues ..if these decisions are not seen to reflect all citizens views it will cause further division.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Helen Wood

Aside from describing Afua Hirsch as an intellectual, a well thought out and written comment.

Naren Savani
Naren Savani
3 years ago

Goodhart is one of the bravest and most principled commentators on Race and social cohesion in this country. I hope he is given a role by the present government to help. Making him DG of the BBC would be a great start

Liscarkat
Liscarkat
3 years ago

None of my Caucasian ancestors owned slaves, or lynched anybody, or wore white hoods over their heads. I was born eighty-nine years after the end of slavery in the U.S. I have never caused harm to any person of color, verbally, physically, or in any other manner. If you think my life is privileged, at your expense, because I’m white, that only proves you haven’t lived one minute of my life and you don’t know anything about me. If you think I’m going to take a knee in front of you or suck up to you in any way, you are going to be disappointed. If you want to take personal responsibility for your life and use your brain in a rational manner, I’m all for you. But stop blaming me for your problems.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Liscarkat

Well said.

andrewdevinerattigan
andrewdevinerattigan
3 years ago

It is only the far left & genuine far right who care about skin colour in 2020. The rest of us form friendships based on personality and political alliances on shared value systems. No to the woke identity politics of the far left. No to the identity politics of the far right. The far right though are tiny in number and wield no power whereas the identity politics of the far left is dominant in our culture.

Carolyn Jackson
Carolyn Jackson
3 years ago

Far left and far right – both cheeks on the same backside.

Margaret Ogburn
Margaret Ogburn
3 years ago

I think you are spot on there. I think the left have been stirring the cauldron for some time. As pointed out above, the Democrats in the US tell the black community that they are oppressed and they will be their saviours, that they are their ‘friend’ but Trump has done more for the black community than any Democrat President including Obama. The mainstream media in both countries are left biased and do not report accurately and truthfully. They inflame situations and are causing more division. They call anyone who opposes the left’s narrative far right. I am certainly not far right. I live in Bristol, which is a very multicultural city, and in the main we had little or no problem with racial tension for a very long time. I judge people on who they are, not the colour of their skin, as I think do most people. I was brought up spending a good deal of time with my Jamaican stepfather and his family who all came here for better opportunities, they respected our laws and culture, worked hard and were happy. This BLM movement is toxic and is causing racial tension where there wasn’t any. People who have always accepted black and white as the norm are now starting to feel aggrieved and angry. The weak Govt leadership, biased media/social media and police who are not doing their job, are making things much worse. I fear the situation is only going to get worse.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago

A very good post.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago

Very well said.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago

David Goodhart should not have to “be careful”, none of us should and dealing in feelings instead of facts is pointless.
One fact which is not being mentioned, presumably to save feelings is the possible role of Vitamin D deficiency in Covid. Sunlight and the right diet are needed to have enough. Men need more Vit.D than women, elderly people are often deficient in Vit.D and people with darker skins cannot absorb it in this climate. All groups particularly prone to Covid.
It’s accepted that rickets in children has increased and a higher percentage of BAME children are affected ( percentages given in The Lancet ). Vitamin D deficiency also affects the respiratory and other) systems.

william83
william83
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

The crucial and obvious role of Vitamin D is studiously kept out of the subject article and general debates (to avoid damaging “feelings” – it seems). Why? Because it immediately raises the issue of racial differences and the racially pertinent point that dark skinned people are, by evolution, not suited to the lower level sun radiation in temperate zones.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

“David Goodhart should not have to “be careful”, none of us should and dealing in feelings instead of facts is pointless.”

This sentence is why I gave your comment an upvote.

Linda Baddeley
Linda Baddeley
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Doctor John Campbell, in his daily Coronavirus update Youtube videos, has repeatedly put out the message about low vitamin D levels in the BAME communities. He, and many others, cannot understand the WHO’s and SAGE’s failure to mention this and to emphasise vitamin D’s role in maintaining a robust immune system.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
3 years ago

Many thanks,David Goodhart, for a sensitively written piece with several highly pertinent facts and figures. One problem with re-cycling the American slogan “Black Lives Matter” in the UK is that it obscures an unfortunate aspect of UK crime, or more accurately crime in London. Black people living in London are disproportionately the victims and the perpetrators in the crime of murder. So black people need to be more worried about getting killed by a fellow black person than by a white person. Aiming the slogan at the white community distracts from the real problem, namely the existence of violent sub-cultures in London. (Outside of London, there is little difference between the black community and the white community in murder rates.)

Liscarkat
Liscarkat
3 years ago

The same is true in every U.S. city: black people are disproportionately the perpetrators and victims of murder. A young black man living in south Los Angeles is almost infinitely more likely to be killed by another young black man than by a cop. BLM in both the U.S. and the U.K. would do a greater service by addressing the failures of black slum culture instead of hysterically blaming white people for their problems.

dsteer62
dsteer62
3 years ago
Reply to  Liscarkat

You need to be careful with statements like this. It sounds suspiciously like “it’s all the fault of the black people themselves”. It’s a complex issue, but clearly there are institutional disadvantages for certain ethnic groups. That’s what needs correcting. A police force fully representative of the community is a start, and still well off being a reality….

reluctantmlungu
reluctantmlungu
3 years ago
Reply to  dsteer62

“A police force fully representative of the community” – why is this essential? And if it is, should BAME candidates be forced to join the police? How exactly?

Linda Baddeley
Linda Baddeley
3 years ago
Reply to  dsteer62

The police know this and have been encouraging applications from the BAME communities for some years. Unfortunately the police are seen as the enemy by many, particularly by young black men, who consider those who apply to be traitors.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Linda Baddeley

Indeed, if joining the police means losing all your friends then it is no wonder few black people apply. But that is a cultural issue that has to be addressed from within the black community (along with a few other issues)

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
3 years ago
Reply to  dsteer62

What is wrong with pointing out how something can be someone’s ‘fault’? Of course, history, circumstances, and social structures come into play, but so do culture, values, the choices one makes, or learns to make, in the face of external challenges. It’s not either/or. One can take on all the social barriers AND look in the mirror. Denzel Washington, while merely an actor, is right about this. He says look at the home first, that’s where everything starts, the absence of fathers being first and foremost. It is condescending not to expect people to take personal responsibility for their lives.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  dsteer62

I think it would be nice if the black community met all the other communities half way.

Maybe admitted some of its problems are self-inflicted and that it could learn a thing or two from all the other races that have come to the UK and made a success of it.

Because the UK is not white and black. It is multiracial.

Steve Lee
Steve Lee
3 years ago

The black on white crimes statistics also make for alarming reading.

Margaret Ogburn
Margaret Ogburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Lee

Unfortunately due to the biased media, black on white crimes rarely get reported. If a white person does something to a poc it is emblazoned everywhere and not reported accurately.

William Gladstone
William Gladstone
3 years ago

The lesson I have taken away from the Black Lives Matter events is right there openly, blatantly and obviously the establishment (the press, the police and the political parties) believe the white working and lower middle classes are second class citizens, I am sure they always did feel like that but it leaves you with few options, leave the country is probably the best option if you can and also lets be honest this is also happening across the west so the next is to vote for parties that will treat you equally and that means big changes in policy and narrative.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

This upper-middle-class white immigrant son of a refugee has taken exactly the same lesson from this episode. Have an upvote with my compliments.

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
3 years ago

This is one of the best articles I’ve read on BLM but even Goodhart seems to be heavily qualifying his facts, rather than stating them out right.

If you correct for a range of factors; class membership, demographic make up and cultural factors as well, race is virtually undetectable as a factor in determining the life chances of an individual in the UK. We know this, the facts tell us this, but no one willing to come out and say this out right.

How are we supposed to fix a problem which does not exist?

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

So many people are getting increasingly frustrated.
We’re supposed to be discussing racism as it’s the current hot topic yet the well-documented statistics and facts related to the issue are for the most part, ignored or dismissed.
How does that make any sense?
It doesn’t, because it’s not about racism, it’s about political power.
Racism is simply a pretext.
And what do those seeking power do on a regular basis?
Ignore, misrepresent, conflate and deflect facts that don’t fit the ideology.
Now it makes perfect sense.

For those who have followed Jordan Peterson’s work in the past this won’t be a surprise.
He has commented extensively that the cancel-culture and de-platforming purge of ‘undesirables’ from colleges and universities was always about power and not protecting the ‘oppressed’ as claimed by the activists.

These activists couldn’t care less about any statue.
It’s the fact that they have the power to make you remove the statue that counts.
Politicians are being squeezed.
Kneel before power – literally and figuratively – or be labelled a racist.
Your choice.

Steve Lee
Steve Lee
3 years ago

“Of course, racism still exists, but things have improved to a point where many ethnic minority Britons do not experience it as a regular feature in their lives.”

Any chance of talking about the racism white people suffer? Mainly at the hands of Pakistani Muslims? Thousands of white men have been attacked by gangs in places like Oldham and Bradford, and there have been at least five racist murders. Many white people have been intimidated out of their homes in these places. And the absolute contempt for white females lies at the heart of the ‘grooming gang’ scandal which is rampant in pretty much every town and city in the country and has been covered up by our ‘institutionally racist’ government for over thirty years.

“the gulf between white elite reaction to BLM and the white majority who are likely to be looking on with some bemusement”

You don’t say!

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago

Maybe we should start by explaining what BLM is. It certainly is not a genuine protest group for black lives which is insulting to the all other lives in UK, many of whom have less privilege than our black community.

BLM is an arm of Antifa which is funded bySoros and the Democrat party of America. It is an agitating group. It is a highly political group that has received so much money it now has to be registered as a Non Government Organisation which, in itself is misleading as NGOs are often funded by Governments. I.e. taxpayers money without their permission.

BLM says very clearly on their website they want to defund the police, destroy the structure of western democracy and capitalism. They also support abortion and population control. This aligns very much with the Democrat manifesto in America.

It seems to me that instead of worrying about offending our young black community, we need to tell them and the white young people who support them the truth. If they follow the belief that BLM will make their friends lives better they are in for a cruel shock. Should BLM and indeed the Democrats get their way in America I suspect they will also bring back their beloved segregation. Keep their black community in poverty as far as they can and ignore their pleas.

This in turn will affect the UK and all the good work that has been done for centuries in keeping our country an open international community of opportunity. We will see such anger from all sections of community if our black citizens suddenly have supremacy. There will be tensions like we have never seen in this country. All fed and agitated by a sinister and immoral organisation and political party in a foreign land.

Richard Gibbons
Richard Gibbons
3 years ago
Reply to  Anjela Kewell

What decent person can criticise the objective of keeping black people safe ? If the Nazis had called themselves something like “Keep babies safe” could they have ruled the world ? BLM in everything other than their name are a violent, hypocritical, communist organisation which is being given a clear run because their title includes the word black. We need loud, strong, principled adult voices to start telling the children the truth, we certainly cannot rely on the media or the politicians who are running scared and hiding behind weasel words hoping not to be the next victim of BLM’s hysterical behaviour.

David Barry
David Barry
3 years ago

Race relations will not improve until the MSM start to point out some of the facts identified here.

Importing American grievances and shoe-horning them into a culture where they do not fit will not serve any useful purpose.

So far as historical injustices are concerned, the past was a bad place in most respects, particularly for Jewish people within living memory of my parents’ generation, and anti-Semitism has not been eradicated. Going back further, it’s worth considerating working conditions during the Industrial Revolution (from Wiki):

” Bradford gained the reputation of being the most polluted town in England. There were frequent outbreaks of cholera and typhoid, and only 30% of children born to textile workers reached the age of fifteen. This extreme level of infant and youth mortality contributed to a life expectancy for Bradford residents of just over eighteen years, which was one of the lowest in the country.”

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago

I spent 10 months in Seychelles, which is predominantly Catholic, but all religions are represented. It is totally ethnically diverse and I saw no signs of racism what so ever at any level of society. However, with 1% of the population being Muslim, 10% of the prison population was Muslim. Was that because the criminal justice system was Islamophobic, was it because the Muslim population committed a disproportionate amount of crime?

Or was it because the Imam use to go to the prison and pay prisoners to convert to Islam.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

Excellent article, we need more people (black, brown and white) who see through those missives the left-wing controlled media call facts, and call all of them out all of the time.
Then we can start the discussion, that has been suppressed by the media and successive governments for 2 decades, that will raise the real issues. Then we can start seriously addressing them.

Putting up ignorant, badly educated but well meaning people to front BLM, causes people like my 80-year old mother to role her eyes and side-swipe the stupidity with which they speak of. BLM are not winning friends doing this, except perhaps for the angsty middle class who yearn to be “right-on”.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

You write
” Young friends of mine who have been on the marches tell me I should tread carefully writing about the issue because I cannot know what it feels like to be black in Britain.”

I hope you pointed out to your young friends two very important points:
1) Going on a march during lockdown is not very sensible.
2) Free speech is the bedrock of a democracy. Using identity politics to stop people talking about certain issues viz: Women’s rights, black rights, gay rights, transgender issues, abortion etc. is the way to destroy democracy not enhance it.

Pity you did not speak your mind, I could then have criticised you (or not) using my right to free speech.

reluctantmlungu
reluctantmlungu
3 years ago

More should be made of the 1% (of police ), 15% (of murders) and 20% (of robberies). Absolutely disgraceful figures – so “disproportionate”, as the left loves to whine, given that blacks are apparently only 3% of the population. These numbers should be shouted from the rooftops!

Tommy James
Tommy James
3 years ago

A badly needed injection of honesty and balance in a debate whose parameters have been very narrowly set. The debate has been cast as: black people are victims and white people are guilty of racism towards black people. There is some truth in this but it is oversimplified. The reality is more complex and nuanced. For example, we are continually hearing BLM protesters talking about the times they have perceived themselves to be victims of white people’s ‘micro-aggressions’.

I am sure they have, but as someone who has lived in north, south and east London for many decades (walking its streets, living in its council estates using its gyms, night buses etc) I would venture to suggest that some white (and indeed black people themselves) have also been the victims of micro (and not so micro) aggressions at the hands of other ethnic groups including black people as well. The relationships between different groups are not one way but symbiotic. The idea that aggression meted out towards white people doesn’t count as racism because it’s white people that have all the power is ludicrous. What power, for example, does a white council estate kid or care home girl from Oldham have?

The concept of white privilege is another example of gross oversimplification. For a long time now, white working class boys have been the group that is most let down by our education system. In what way are these boys enjoying privilege over the groups who are outperforming them in school and going on to get better jobs? And by he way, the highest earners in the UK today are Chinese and Indian men and women, not white people and certainly not white working class people.

And with crime too, it’s just not as simple as people are making out. 85% of the people who have died in police custody in the UK over the last 10 years (BBC online) are white and the US twice as many white as black people are shot to death by the police (Statista.com).

The only thing I think is missing from Goodhart’s analysis is the lack of attention to addressing economic inequality. There’s no point having things like mentors or more black police if our extreme level of economic inequality continues like it is. Extreme inequality hurts all of us, especially poor people, black or white. It has a causal link with crime, poor health and many other social problems.

Alan Matthes
Alan Matthes
3 years ago

The author choses his words very carefully but even in the opening sentence there is an assumption of murder as opposed to unlawful killing/manslaughter etc. How is this officer ever going to get a fair trail I wonder?
I broadly agree with David Goodhart’s sentiments but I suspect that a lot of middle England considers BLM a black supremacist, quasi-Marxist group that will NEVER be satisfied because at their heart they are in fact, racists themselves. (Their website and GoFundMe page make this quite clear.)
As ever, racism is too often in the eye of the beholder and in the current climate it will be the fall-back excuse for every failure and setback a black person experiences. I cannot imagine a more destructive message to give to any ethnic minority to disempower them.

Linda Baddeley
Linda Baddeley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Matthes

Re the murder versus unlawful killing/manslaughter question, I don’t know if it’s the same in the USA, but in the UK police training tells recruits that if someone can speak, it follows that they can breathe. Hence, if someone is saying, “I can’t breathe”, their training would lead police officers to assume that the person actually can breathe.
Maybe a change to this police training point would reduce the relatively small number of deaths at the hands of police in the UK , which are sometimes the result of restraining actions during arrest that affect the ability to breathe. Over the years there have been a number of deaths due to police officers sitting on the chest of someone during an arrest.
Murder is a premeditated decision to end someone’s life, followed by the action of doing so. Doing so whilst being filmed by unknown onlookers with smart phones, all eager to upload , would be an incredibly stupid, though not unheard of, action for any police officer to take.
So was the death of George Floyd, horrifying as it was, murder or unlawful killing/manslaughter? BLM, Antifa and the leftist youth have already decided. Will any judge and jury dare to argue the point?

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Linda Baddeley

From what was said in the autopsy, and from the prosecutor as well, Floyd was probably having a heart attack,which is why he was saying”I can’t breathe” even before he was arrested. People who have CV19 which affects their lungs badly will say the same thing. It’s not that they can’t breathe, but they can’t get enough oxygen.

https://www.nbcnews.com/new

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Matthes

Good post. The murder rap hung on the policeman involved in the arrest of George Floyd – a serial criminal, armed robber, drug user and pusher, a 6 foot four thug who pointed a gun at the abdomen of a woman – will surely not hold, even in America. Manslaughter in some degree, I guess, but goodness knows whether you are right about a fair trial.

So black lives matter, do they? By implication, matter more than white, brown or yellow lives, do they? Perhaps the representatives of this thug organisation could explain how Floyd’s life was as valuable and ‘of matter’ than, say, a black father bringing up two children (but don’t go on about the sanctity of life). PS. Alan, this is not a dig at you, I’m just using your post space.

Steve Lee
Steve Lee
3 years ago

Although I am often less than sympathetic to minority grievance culture, I would say that actually one can make the case for saying that black people in particular have a psychological number done on them in that they are encouraged to believe that (implicitly white) society is out to get them. That surely has to have some kind of corrosive effect on them and must surely play some role in inciting many crimes.

Everyone is treading on eggshells.

Carolyn Jackson
Carolyn Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Lee

So who is it who is encouraging them to believe that society is out to get them?

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago

The viewpoint that blacks are absolutely oppressed by whites is a narrative that is sold to blacks by Democrats in exchange for voting loyalty.

People such as Candace Owens are campaigning to break this mindset.

Gill Marklew
Gill Marklew
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Lee

This is a good point, the woke movement are using blacks as a baton to bludgeon white people with, creating a counter productive response, and some in the black community are allowing themselves to be used as a baton, so who’s getting hurt here?

william83
william83
3 years ago

Bizarre results arise to fill the gaps created by the exclusion of truths that may aggrieve “feelings”.
If these truths are allowed expression, the tone and direction of debate immediately changes. For example:
1/ The slavery furor does not allow the essential and basic truth to emerge. Which is:
If the Africans had said to the Europeans turning up on their beaches: “We are not going to make captives of our fellow Africans and sell them to you to be kept as slaves. So you can sod off and go elsewhere.”
If that declaration had been made, the slavery of Africans would not have progressed beyond that declaration. So, who is to blame for the instigation and continuation of African slavery?
The acceptance and consequences of this truth would push all discussions about slavery into the silence of the past – and then we can have some peace. Both sides admitting the difficulty of ascribing blame.

2/ The latest Covid-19 furor does not allow the essential and basic truth that the immune system determines the degree of susceptibility to virus infection. The latest report has completely excluded this as being a pertaining factor. Why? Because it immediately raises the question of racial differences; and raising this sensitive issue can aggrieve “feelings”.

No wonder we flounder in constant confusions.

Alan Hall
Alan Hall
3 years ago

Second paragraph: “I should tread carefully writing about the issue …”. This sums up the difficulty we have in solving any problems (and not just on race). This is an excellent article from our foremost public intellectual. Unfortunately solving problems is not possible whist we have an educated class that has been brainwashed at universities which are dominated by left wing, woke and anti-west thinking. Diversity is divisive, and yet it is the central platform of the Labour party and much of the media. Diversity leads to segregation, which ought o be considered a bad thing by progressives but is now promoted. Overall many writers do not want to hear what is written here as it undermines their virtue signalling. The answer: Defund the Universities!

Linda Baddeley
Linda Baddeley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Hall

And defund divisive groups.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago

When my Bi-sexual 18 year old daughter (been in a steady relationship with a boy for 18 months now) informed us at the dinner table that JK Rowling was TERF, I asked if she was going to burn the Harry Potter books. To which she replied that she could differentiate between the creation and the creator. I pushed my luck a bit further and challenged her on the RF part – JKR is a feminist but I did not see her as particularly radical and my daughter agreed. So I pushed my luck even further and said I did not think JKR was TE either, she just had some entirely reasonable concerns about how the whole Trans / gender dysphoria debate was going and I asked whether my daughter had read JKRs essay. She said she had read bits of it but mostly she had read the commentary on twitter. I sent her the link to JKR’s essay which she has now read, but has not commented back to me. I just hope I can teach her not to get sucked in by the hysterical nonsense on social media but to investigate properly and think for herself before she heads off to university (hopefully) in September.

Neil John
Neil John
3 years ago

“George Floyd’s appalling murder” great start, but wrong, try ‘George Floyd’s death in custody, for which a Police officer has been accused of murder’. The accusation and charge is not proof of actual murder, that can only be delivered by a court of law after considering the evidence provided to it. Be it 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree murder, until and unless however it wasn’t and isn’t murder, even Police officers need to be afforded the presumption of innocence or is it that equality really doesn’t matter…

aberfarm
aberfarm
3 years ago

Excellent discussion. But when you are told….

‘Young friends of mine who have been on the marches tell me I should tread carefully writing about the issue because I cannot know what it feels like to be black in Britain.’,

…..please do not accept this. It merely shuts down the argument.

To turn this around, if white people cannot know what it is to be black in Britain, it follows that black people cannot know what it is to be white in Britain, so therefore how can black people know that white people are systemically racist, and thus the cause of their problems?

The truth is that most white people want black people to have successful lives, despite what BLM would have us believe. But unless we can have a debate without getting shut down, we cannot shoehorn a few stats in there as laid out in this article, and link in those disadvantages (eg caused by poverty) that affect all races.

reluctantmlungu
reluctantmlungu
3 years ago

It is both arrogant and ill-considered – given the climate – for the author to declare George Floyd’s death a murder. That remains for a court to find.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

The Police Officer has been charged with murder, hardly ill-considered to state that Floyd was indeed murdered.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Innocent until proven guilty.
Initial Autopsy said he died of a heart attack due to coronary heart disease, and probably brought on by fentanyl and other drugs in his system. He was not asphyxiated.
The prosecutor says that he was complaining of breathlessness before he was arrested.
https://www.nbcnews.com/new
https://medium.com/@gavrilo

william83
william83
3 years ago

It must be remembered that morality is a judgement about what should be considered as right or wrong, and is therefore an expression of opinions held by people at a particular time. The concept of right or wrong does not exist in nature – except – and only – in the minds of human beings. Therefore, the biblical saying: “judge ye not less ye yourself be judged” should be remembered when judging the opinions held by people in the past. A proper opinion about the past can only be held by those who lived in the past.

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago

The best and most balanced article yet on the current insanity.
Just as an aside, from reading comments on many sites it is clear that the BLM protests in this country have set back the cause of good race relations by decades.

Andrew Shaughnessy
Andrew Shaughnessy
3 years ago

There’s a glaring inaccuracy in the opening sentence. “George Floyd’s appalling murder…” should read “George Floyd’s alleged murder…” No one has been tried, much less convicted of any crime. Whether Derek Chauvin committed murder or manslaughter is for the courts to decide, not Mr. Goodhart or anyone else.

grrinc
grrinc
3 years ago

We have no idea if George Floyd was murdered, there has been no trial yet. Facts vs feelings remember? I’ll put you on my ‘ignore’ list.

David Brewin
David Brewin
3 years ago

I was about to post something, however it would be simply self serving to do so, as Fraser has summed it all up ! thank you David

Jeffrey Shaw
Jeffrey Shaw
3 years ago

If a person announces he is having his arms cut off so as to fulfill his mental identification as a fish, he is placed on heavy medication and institutionalized. If he wants to do the same thing with genitalia he/she is pronounced a brave and courageous hero. The focus of the public acceptance of sexual abnormalities (and yes, that’s what they are) is to normalize pedophilia.

sabbadoo32
sabbadoo32
3 years ago

You know what they call an African-American Ph.D?

n****r.

Stats are nice. When this ancient American joke is no longer relevant, then we’ve done something. On either side of the Atlantic.

Gio Con
Gio Con
3 years ago

Parsing statistics, as BLM does, is actually manipulating statistics. It’s only necessary for them to do so to “prove” their identity politics case. When you take a class analysis, no fake statistics are needed — we know who are the oppressors and who are the oppressed. BLM is just the gatekeepers for the neoliberal Democrats — making sure that these protests focus on race and never broaden into a class struggle.

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago

Hmm well the Southerners have ignored the Northerners for many years happily supporting their Black African folk and ignoring the whites from up North.
BLM propaganda is easy for southerners to relate to while poor white folk looking for jobs can be safely ignored and run out of S. Coast towns as the BBC reported in the early 1980’s.
No doubt the liberal elite will censor this post.

David Barry
David Barry
3 years ago
Reply to  David Waring

“the Southerners have ignored the Northerners”

Surely this sort of simplistic, divisive talk is part of the problem?

‘Northerners’ can vote just like everybody else. Perhaps we should start sending better people to Westminster, for a start. Meanwhile, have a word with Yorkshire Tea in Harrogate.

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago

Mmm..Policy Exchange is a Tory think tank isn’t it? Gove was one of the founders. It is one of the least transparent think tanks, in terms of funding, according to Transparify. I always try to do a bit of background work on the authors, so I know what angle they are coming from. Interesting article, all the same.

David Richardson
David Richardson
3 years ago

A thoughtful and balanced article Mr Goodhart. As your young friends say – it is often not advisable to go the route of “my facts beat your feelings”. It is a post-modern world we live in.

It isn’t the race narrative that most, such as I (75 and white), have any problem with supporting in the BLM ideas – it is the underlying Marxist, anti-capitalist core that is simply not acceptable to most. Race is being used as bait and switch, and it isn’t hidden if you look.

It is no use intelligent, high achieving BAME youngsters being upset about their difficulties in getting good jobs, but siding with an outfit that will ensure you have no job at all.

I don’t like extremists of any variety, and agree with David Goodhart
that trying to paint everyone who isn’t a Marxist as a racist is only intended to make matters worse, which is the game of some at both extremes.

reluctantmlungu
reluctantmlungu
3 years ago

Why does UnHerd keep removing my polite, reasonable, non-inflammatory posts? What kind of outlet for reasoned discussion does that so casually??

Neil John
Neil John
3 years ago

Anything that starts with “George Floyd’s appalling murder” when no trial has taken place isn’t helpful, until a trial and a verdict of murder in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree is delivered, it should be accurately described as a death in custody, anything else is simply shit stirring.

stuuey
stuuey
3 years ago

Good article but it skips neatly around a fundamental issue…
What is BLM? if it really is only concerned with Afro Caribbean lives then isn’t BLM racist against the other ethnicities?
And if the other ethnicities are not represented, is that because they are not as disadvantaged as ACs or just are not interested to be in the protests? If so why would that be?
Some clarification would be a good start.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  stuuey

Do Black African/Caribbean people have the same issues as Middle-Eastern people?

Tom Hawk
Tom Hawk
3 years ago

“We must be clear in the workplace that racism and inequality are enemies we must keep fighting; that racism takes many forms; that privilege takes many forms” Sir Richard Heaton. Permanent Secretary to the Department of Justice.

Does he not understand the contradiction when he talks about priveledge? If not his education at Worcestor College Oxford was wasted. The top echelons of the civil service is a bastion of self propagation based on going to the right school, (where dad went) then the right College and into the Civil Service.

If there is one area of privilege that needs to be cleared out, it is the civil service.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
3 years ago

A really excellent article by David Goodhart, helpfully separating the facts from the mere assertions. I worry about the awful speed with which organisations in the UK (eg the BBC) have rushed to endorse the BLM message without paying attention to the counter-arguments and positive stories of ethnic minority advancement which David Goodhart’s article provides. By their craven unwillingness even to question some of these BLM assertions, and engage in a proper debate, these organisations are helping to exacerbate racial divisions which need not exist.

andrewdominic974
andrewdominic974
3 years ago

David, it seems you have been rumbled. Somebody has actually bothered to click on your links to see if what you were saying was actually backed up by ‘facts.’

I paraphrase one example.

Your statement “On average poverty is higher and accumulated wealth a lot lower for black people, but pay is now only a bit below average.”

Whilst you acknowledges the unarguable about poverty and wealth, you counterweight it by some positive news about pay – and link to this Government research:

https://www.ethnicity-facts

But if one bothers to look at the research itself… one discovers that it demonstrates the exact opposite. In 2013 average pay for ‘white British’ was £10.60. By 2018 it was £11.90. There has been a steady year on year rise. Back in 2013 average pay for black Britons was £10.27 – just 33p less than the white British population. It then dipped to £9.91 in 2015. By 2018 it was up to £10.80. But that is £1.10 behind white Britons.

Clearly, the pay gap has got worse – not better – both in proportional as well as real terms. So what do do mean, David, by “only a bit below average”? Are you trying to make the situation look better than it is?

Perhaps you would care to answer here? Or at least explain how what you’ve linked to supports your claim?

Oh, you have. On twitter. Apparently your facts “stand up to scrutiny pretty well”

Is ‘pretty well’ good enough, David? In a piece about the importance of facts?

What about your statement ” More than 35% of British-Caribbean men are now in the top two social classes (out of seven) up from just 11% in the 1990s,” where it turns out that the 11% figure is neither accurately reported nor taken from a comparable research?

Other factual distortions to be found, it would seem. I am sure your supporters in these comments will ignore this uncomfortable truth. I urge them to do what the writer seems to have done, though, and actually investigate your hyperlinked facts. No doubt they will see all this as a polemic against you and focus on the writer’s ‘feelings’ and not the factual evidence they’ve uncovered.

https://docs.google.com/doc

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago

Andy – you seem to be unnecessarily assuming the worst in your last para. Most – though not all – people do like to see information challenged and corrected.

The one that really struck me was:

“More than 35% of British-Caribbean men are now in the top two social classes (out of seven)”

If this is true, it is very surprising (to me at least) and very positive.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago

…and no matter the stats, there will always be a subset of malcontents for whatever reason…

Rita Shotton
Rita Shotton
3 years ago

‘There is, however, a substantial minority of the black population stuck
to the bottom of British society, (14% of black people live in
households with income compared with 8% of whites)’
Inevitable if millions more POOR, majority non-white, migrants are invited to live here year after year. At best, this ensures that the equality gap remains self-sustaining. At worst, equality gaps increase providing the ‘evidence’ for the BLM, the Left, SJW’s etc to accuse the UK as being racist.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago

‘George Floyd’s appalling murder…..’ What a start to your commentary! Are you the prosecutor, jury and judge? How do you know it’s murder? Should you follow the appalling, genuflecting Starmer in submitting yourself to a course in ‘unconscious bias’? Should you be even be using the word ‘murder’ when the case has not even been heard? Are you contributing to the poisoning of the atmosphere to the extent where the police office, who was carrying out his duty in apprehending a serial criminal, a drug user and pusher, a convicted armed robber, a 6 foot 4 inch thug who pointed a loaded pistol at the abdomen of a young pregnant woman, may never get a fair trial? Why was Floyd being arrested? Was he resisting arrest? Or are you pandering to the discriminatory, divisive, racist and, certainly to the people of Britain, grossly insulting BLM ‘campaign’? All this, and we have only just touched upon the first four words of your article?

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago

Excellent summary of imagined prejudices.

Howard Medwell
Howard Medwell
3 years ago

the idea that all white people in present-day Britain have derived advantage from the Atlantic slave trade, and from the profits of slave industries like sugar, tobacco and cotton is offensive to most of us, but it is widely believed, and will go on being believed. One problem is that, during the eighteenth century, profiteering from slavery was not restricted to a few rotten apples like Colston, but involved the whole British upper class. Queen Anne had substantial investments in the traffic in human beings, her successor George I was one of the few people to do well out of the South Seas Company, most members of the House of Lords had slave-trading, or slave-owning connections, as had many of the “worthies” whose charitable benevolence was pumped into Oxford and Cambridge colleges, Public Schools, and the various manifestations of the Church of England.
We are not all guilty, we are not all privileged, we have not all benefited, but we should surely all call for all these institutions, yes, including the Royal Family, to open the books, and start thinking about the how, the whom and the how much of reparations.
But seriously, it suits the powers that be better to forget that, and simply go along with the idea that we are all guilty, so that the middle classes can wallow in guilt, and the working class can nurse their resentment and keep it warm, and the Queen can keep her money.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Medwell

Don’t write off Edward Colston as a “rotten apple”. It just so slovenly, unnecessary and easy to slander the dead isn’t it?
Colston was just a man of his times, successful and philanthropic, unlike many of his contemporaries. It’s shameful to see so many institutions that benefited from his largesse now jettisoning his ‘name’ as if he were a Leper, despite the fact they have waxed fat on that legacy for years.
Perhaps in this ‘Empire’ controversy we should recall the words of a remarkable Spaniard, George Santayana. A Harvard educated Philosopher, who in 1922 had this to say about the British Empire, in his publication, Soliloquies in England “Never since the heroic days of Greece, has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish Master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, conspirators, churls and fanatics manage to supplant him”. Need we say any more?

Steve Lee
Steve Lee
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

In some ways I’d say it is somewhat ironic that a member of the elite like Colston is being over-thrown by an elite funded astro-turfed movement like BLM.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Lee

It is also interesting that the ‘mob’ haven’t turned their attention to the Anglican Church yet, which with the notable exception of the Quakers, was deeply involved in slavery.
Rowan Williams former Archbishop of Canterbury did make a grovelling apology back in 2006, but the present incumbent, the Welby creature is strangely silent. Why?

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Lee

BLM has also raked in $millions in donations.
Does anyone know where any of that money has gone? Are any inner city areas benefiting from this money to improve black lives?

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Very well said. Bristol would still be a small dirty fishing port without Colston, Cabot and Brunel. All of whom were involved in different ways with the slave trade and all of whom gave their wealth to the citizens of Bristol to create the lovely City we see today. The difference between today and then is we had truly great philanthropists. Men and woman who made great wealth through something accepted as usual, as with the banking industry today. They, however, used their wealth to build schools, hospitals, roads, railways and make better opportunities for everyone.

Today the wealth creators like big pharma, politics and banking still use our labour to make them wealthy. This time it is through taking our money, making us slaves to their agendas but never, ever giving that money to improve poverty in Africa or India. Never to give opportunities and help to women enslaved in the marriage market. Never to stop child rape and trafficking. Always always they use their wealth to create more luxury for themselves. They are the global socialists. They are not the true capitalists.

Linda Baddeley
Linda Baddeley
3 years ago
Reply to  Anjela Kewell

Don’t forget the underworked and overpaid celebrities, who appear on TV, Instagram, Twitter, etc., encouraging us mere mortals to donate our hard-earned cash to their latest, virtue-signalling opportunity, cause, whilst holding onto their own.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Medwell

I’m just not sure what the purpose of this would be. Yes, if you look at the historic British elite, and I daresay the historic elite in any nation, you will see them profiting from the labour of the people on the bottom. That’s how they get to be elite, after all, and accumulate far more than any person alone could.

And yet today the gap between the elite and the poor, or even the elite and everybody, is greater than it ever has been. And almost every one of us in even the middle classes can trace our pensions back to exploitative workplaces, and the goods we have in our homes back to exploitative extraction and exploited workers from other countries, and look at the workers who pack our Amazon orders or stock our supermarket shelves or pick our food, and it’s the same again.

So what’s all this about people who lived 200 years ago? They are not the ones clamouring for cheap food and cheap electronics and cheap home delivery right now. Even the elite of today aren’t clearly morally more culpable than the rest of us though they may benefit from having had richer ancestors.

The business of people having advantage today from the slave trade is largely a distraction.

Fitzroy Andrew
Fitzroy Andrew
3 years ago

A useful analysis, and material here that is important to keep in mind. Can’t help but wonder what it is the author thinks has brought about the change he refers to, if it is not (sometimes uncomfortable) challenge to the presumed status quo. Only conducting the debate in terms that ‘white people’ (which ones, as you all don’t feel the same about this?) feel comfortable with will lead to little if any change at all – as is noted in the very areas where it is acknowledged that progress is frustratingly slow (in the workplace for example).

Less forgiveable is the tired assertion that black folks are ignoring the ‘self inflicted wounds of knife crime, fatherless families, and anti-educational culture’. If you really believe any of that, you clearly do not know many black people, or anything about the decades of community-based (and woefully under-resourced) action to address all of that and more. That passage goes against the grain of what was otherwise a well-argued and well-informed piece, and intelligence about what is happening is not that hard to find. Could have done better there.

reluctantmlungu
reluctantmlungu
3 years ago
Reply to  Fitzroy Andrew

If you found the latter part of the article “less forgivable” because of “tired assertions”, perhaps you have a better explanation why 3% of the population commits 15% of the murders and 20% of the robberies? Might these alternate explanations include excess aggression, or “learned” resentment, or a sense of entitlement stemming from the constant grievance-mongering of the MSM? Do these suggestions sit more comfortably with your delicate sensibilities?

Fitzroy Andrew
Fitzroy Andrew
3 years ago

And you’re asking me to ‘explain away facts’? Maybe you should find some of your own. We’ll talk when you have….or maybe not

reluctantmlungu
reluctantmlungu
3 years ago
Reply to  Fitzroy Andrew

The facts about rates of criminality, as laid out in the article. You reject the author’s hypotheses without providing an alternative explanation or cause for them. So explain, or admit that you have no actual counter-argument.

reluctantmlungu
reluctantmlungu
3 years ago
Reply to  Fitzroy Andrew

So how do you explain away the facts, then?

Linda Baddeley
Linda Baddeley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fitzroy Andrew

41 years ago I chose to live in Handsworth, Birmingham. During those 41 years I’ve seen little evidence of ‘decades of community-based action’ to address problems common to the black sector of our community. As a founder of a volunteer group, Handsworth Helping Hands, (which has just been awarded the QAVS 2020), that seeks to improve life for all members of our hyper-diverse community, I’ve found a sad lack of enthusiasm, amongst black residents, for helping us in our quest.

Fitzroy Andrew
Fitzroy Andrew
3 years ago
Reply to  Linda Baddeley

I don’t know Birmingham that well as I’m a Londoner, but there have been supplementary schools for black children around since the 1980s if not before, and I’d be amazed if there weren’t any in Birmingham, especially Handsworth given its history. They are far from unusual, and I have had family involved in running them. A lot of them struggle now because the education landscape has changed so much, including the growth of personal tutors.

Add to that a whole range of black led projects tackling youth violence and knife crime and the related social challenges. I am personally involved in two.

So I can’t speak to the lack of enthusiasm you’re seeing, and its disappointing that that’s your experience. But it ain’t like that everywhere, and I have been around long enough to know that there is a long history to black community self-help.

666bobtodd
666bobtodd
3 years ago

blacks murder other blacks on a regular basis (over drugs) its in their genes,the empire bumrush did’ant only bring fatal sickle cell anemia to our shores

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  666bobtodd

But it doesn’t affect white people so what is the problem for you?

Steve Lee
Steve Lee
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

The crime statistics very much show that it does and the media censors this perhaps even more than they do with Muslims.