by Rakib Ehsan
Wednesday, 28
April 2021
Video
17:44

The forgotten people in Britain’s race debate

A panel with Tony Sewell discussed his report's greatest omission
by Rakib Ehsan

During today’s Policy Exchange event on the Sewell report on race and ethnic disparities, a key problem was raised — which is that the review paid too little attention to Britain’s mixed-race population.

The director of think-tank British Future, Sunder Katwala (who is himself of mixed Indian and Irish heritage) highlighted this weakness. Indeed, the report fell into the trap of examining race and ethnicity within a reductive ‘majority – minority’ framework, which overlooks people of multi-racial parentage.

Inter-racial families are an established part of modern-day Britain. While this is seen as an indicator of social cohesion, mixed-race Britons face challenges too, which the report should have said more about. Citing difficulties rooted in identity and sense of belonging, a 2014 report published by the National Children’s Bureau documents experiences of discrimination (from both mono-racial white and non-white peers). These were a contributing factor to mental health risks among mixed-race young people.

For the school year 2018/19, mixed-race pupils in England were more likely to receive fixed-period exclusions than their White, Asian, and Black peers. This is a particular problem among mixed-race pupils of White and Black Caribbean heritage — with nearly 11% being temporarily excluded from school for that academic year. To put this in perspective, the corresponding figures for Indian- and Chinese-origin pupils were both below 1%.

In regard to self-reported stability of childhood family life and current-day life satisfaction, research findings for mixed-race British adults should raise concerns. A January 2021 poll by ICM Unlimited found that 46% of the general population felt they had a ‘very stable’ family life during their childhood, this dropped to 41% for Black British Africans, 34% for Britons of Black Caribbean heritage and just 14% for mixed-race people of White-Black parentage.

The same poll showed that 30% of the general population were dissatisfied with their life in contemporary Britain. This compares to 21% for people of Black African origin — a notable portion having fled considerable social unrest and rampant institutional corruption in their country of origin. People of Black Caribbean origin, more likely to have an exclusively British ‘frame of reference’ than the more recently-arrived Black African category, reported a life dissatisfaction figure of 35%. Worryingly, the equivalent figure for mixed-race people of White-Black parentage was 55%.

It seems clear to me that the challenges faced by mixed-race Britons deserve greater attention — especially when it comes to critical matters of life stability and satisfaction. The government-commissioned Sewell report failed to grasp the gravity of the issues involved. Putting that right is a priority as we take forward the debate over race in 21st century Britain.

Dr Rakib Ehsan is an independent expert on social cohesion and community relations.

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Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago

I hate to be tactless and bring this up, and maybe it’s just that oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc, but the reason that only 14% of “mixed-race people of White-Black parentage” “felt they had a ‘very stable’ family life during their childhood” is nothing to do with Whitey the Racist. It’s that their Afro-Caribbean father abandoned his family.
A 2010 study (Google “Fatherhood Institute Research Summary: African Caribbean fathers” to find it) found that “Black and Black British fathers are twice as likely as white British fathers (and three times as likely as British Asian fathers) to live apart from their children; and high rates of non-resident fatherhood are also found where children are of Mixed Heritage”.
Mixed race children aren’t unhappy because of racism. They’re unhappy because their black father abandoned them so they grew up poor and under-parented.
If the writer would like to find a race to blame for this, there certainly is one. Somehow, though, I have this funny feeling that he’ll go out of his way to blame the wrong one entirely. In fact, going hugely out on a limb, I might risk a guess that he’ll attribute it to white privilege. These are the cognitive distortions, er sorry I mean insights, that get you paid the big bucks in the social cohesion and community relations industry.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jon Redman
George Bruce
George Bruce
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I should have read your posting before I did one. Exactly right.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I do think at the very least the survey data needs to break out mixed race children of married/stable parents, vs mixed race children of single mothers. One would suspect that the mixed-race children of stable marriages (or ‘partnerships’) would feel much like the general population, certainly in a place like London.
Judging by my son’s peers at primary school, the white sons of single parents are a lot less happy than the mixed race sons of married couples!

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Newman
Go Away Please
Go Away Please
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes, Afro-Caribbean fathers do have that reputation. However that can’t be the sole reason as it says in the article that 34% of people with a Black Caribbean heritage had a stable background but only 14% of people with a mixed white-black heritage. The article is not clear how many of those of mixed heritage had Afro-Caribbean fathers.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Yet another ‘forgotten people’ or group to worry about. Excuse if I can’t be bothered. And don’t expect me to take an interest in all these people who are ‘dissatisfied’ with life in what is, for all its problems and mis-governance, one of the fairest and best countries in the world.

Cynthia Neville
Cynthia Neville
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Hear, hear.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

“ICM Unlimited found that 46% of the general population felt they had a ‘very stable’ family life during their childhood, this dropped to 41% for Black British Africans, 34% for Britons of Black Caribbean heritage and just 14% for mixed-race people of White-Black parentage.”

I can say this means more to me who has lived in areas of poor minorities than the simple way it reads because I would expect it.

The Liberals would cancel you if you really did a study on race and outcomes as they would prove races do actually indicate trends in outcomes, or that you must be a racist (and the second is what they would find)
The white women who have mixed race children with men who are most likely to be absent fathers are a group themselves, worth studying. But a study in that contest would get you cancelled.

We must pretend race is a construct and class is a construct – but a real study of parents and outcomes would not fit that as all the evidence shows they are not constructs – so best not get involved as it would be fatal to your future, or mean you have to distort the results to fit the agenda.

jonbarrow
jonbarrow
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

yes I’d expect those result too.

George Bruce
George Bruce
1 year ago

January 2021 poll by ICM Unlimited found that 46% of the general population felt they had a ‘very stable’ family life during their childhood, this dropped to 41% for Black British Africans, 34% for Britons of Black Caribbean heritage and just 14% for mixed-race people of White-Black parentage.

Certainly if you look at the backgrounds of famous British people who are mixed race with a white mother and black father, they nearly all seem to have had a black father who disappeared.
Hell, despite him not being British and saintly to boot, it was even like that for Barack Obama.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Despite which, such people – Meghan Markle’s another – almost always identify with the black absentee parent, rather than the one who stuck around raised them.
This can only be for reasons of cynicism, or because they enjoy feeling like a victim even if they are POTUS, or because they can applaud themselves for any achievement because they did it even though they is black. Or all the above of course.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Doesn’t Markle have a white father and a black or mixed-race mother?

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Newman

Yes, Me-again is 3/4 white.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Lewis Hamilton’s father stuck around but Lewis is still a [email protected]

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

It seems clear to me that the challenges faced by mixed-race Britons deserve greater attention 
Why? And why is an “expert on racial cohesion” focused on a point of division? One would think mixed-race couples are a sign of improved perceptions. Once illegal, this practice is so widespread people barely notice, and I’m starting to think the lack of attention is perhaps the problem.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

What we used to call a complete ‘bluffer’ and a ‘waste of rations’..’

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago

raising awareness of the gravity of the issues involved” and “taking forward the debate over race in 21st century Britain” [da capo sin’ al fine].
Yes, one has to wonder about the amount of taxpayers’ cash being dumped into the pockets of the legion of shysters like Ehsan, the independent expert on social cohesion and community relations. Cash which would be in a better place if flushed down the toilet.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
1 year ago

Furthermore, what are they doing for themselves?

Andrea X
Andrea X
1 year ago

Excellent point.

Cassian Young
Cassian Young
1 year ago

Fascinating

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
1 year ago

Full marks to the man for finding another victim group.

Last edited 1 year ago by Graeme Laws