Race: Conflict & Change            Week 8:            Race, Crime            & Civil            Unrest
4 main questions•How does race come to be linked to crime and disobedience?•How have relations between black and ethnic mi...
TopicsRacist policing(harassment,deaths in policecustody and thefailure toprosecute racistattacks and                   Ri...
TopicsPerceptionsabout black/youth cultureand crime.
TopicsProtest and thelink betweenrace and crime.
TopicsInstitutionalracism and itsimpact.
TopicsAnti-terrorismand racialprofiling.
Victims of crime
Victims of crime• Indians  (27%),Pakistanis &  Bangladeshis (29%) are  most likely to be victims  of crime (white and  bla...
Victims of crime• Indians  (27%),Pakistanis &  Bangladeshis (29%) are  most likely to be victims  of crime (white and  bla...
Victims of crime• Indians  (27%),Pakistanis &  Bangladeshis (29%) are  most likely to be victims  of crime (white and  bla...
Stop & Search,Incarceration
Stop & Search,Incarceration•   Ethnic minorities more    likely to be stopped and    searched
Stop & Search,Incarceration•   Ethnic minorities more    likely to be stopped and    searched•   5 times more black    peo...
Stop & Search,Incarceration•   Ethnic minorities more    likely to be stopped and    searched•   5 times more black    peo...
Historical background There is a long  history of the  relationship  between race,  immigration and  protest which was  as...
Historical background There is a long  history of the  relationship  between race,  immigration and  protest which was  as...
Linking  crime,violence & race	 A shift in approach by  government and  police led gradually to  black people and  ethnic ...
Linking  crime,violence & race	 A shift in approach by  government and  police led gradually to  black people and  ethnic ...
Linking  crime,violence & race	 A shift in approach by  government and  police led gradually to  black people and  ethnic ...
Linking  crime,violence & race	 A shift in approach by  government and  police led gradually to  black people and  ethnic ...
Blacks = crimeThe idea that youngblack people weremore likely to commitviolent crime (suchas mugging) wasplanted in the pu...
The long hot summer of ‘76		 Black protest leads  to the image of  young blacks as  hedonistic,  dangerous and out  of con...
“Black-on-Black” Crime?“The first step towardscomprehending "black-on-black" crime is to stopthinking of it as ‘black-on-bl...
Race & riotsFrom Notting Hill ‘76to Bradford ‘01, thepoliticization ofblacks and ethnicminorities is linkedto their greate...
Brixton 1981
Brixton 1981
Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the  riots.
Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the  riots.
Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the  riots.• “Sus” laws  introduced.
Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the  riots.• “Sus” laws  introduced.• Protest and crime  made synonymous.
Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the  riots.• “Sus” laws  introduced.• Protest and crime  made synonymous.
Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the  riots.• “Sus” laws  introduced.• Protest and crime  made synonymous.
Responding to riots“They [black youth] livetheir lives on the street,having often nothingbetter to do: they maketheir prot...
Stephen LawrenceMurder
Macpherson:Definition of institutional“The collective failure of anorganisation to provide anappropriate and professionalse...
Oldham, Burnley,    Bradford 2001“A generation of Asians,discarded for their class,excluded for their race,stigmatised for...
Policing TerrorismAnti-terrorismmeasures are basedon the principle ofdeterrent whichoperates apresumption of“guilty until ...
Racial Profiling“There may becircumstances… where it isappropriate for officers totake account of a person’sethnic origin in...
PreventTeachers are beingadvised “thatchildren as young asfour could be at riskof radicalisation. Hesaid that signs ofradi...
Anti-terrorism: theimplicationsRather than actingas a deterrent, anti-terrorist policingseem to be adding tothe problem.
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Race, crime, the law and civil unrest - Race Conflict and Change Week 8

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The perceived threat to Britain and corresponding moral panic about immigrants and the racial ‘other’ has often been constructed in terms of law and order, and particularly ‘black criminality’. In this Week we will focus on the relationship between ‘race, the law, crime and civil unrest. We will examine the relationship between race, crime and social, political and economic inequality or exclusion, how racial ‘other’ has been constructed and represented as a threat to law and order, how ‘black criminality’ has been constructed and represented, how the state and the police have dealt with black populations in terms of law, order and crime, and how this has affected race relations in Britain. We will also examine the various race riots which occurred in the 1960s-1980s and explore how these relate to the question of racial, social, political and economic inequality, exclusion, oppression and conflict, particularly with the State and police, and how these were constructed not as cases of political protest or unrest but as an extension of the same phenomenon of ‘black criminality’. This backdrop will help us understand the present-day racialization of crime, violence and, most notably terrorism. We will look at how two areas – so-called ‘black-on-black’ gun crime and ‘Islamic terrorism’ are currently affecting the way in which threat is constructed. Specifically, we shall examine how these perceptions are institutionalized and turned into law resulting in a host of measures that impact on the civil liberties of everyone living in Britain.

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  • In the following slides, I go through some of the main topics the lecture will address.\n
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  • Facts and figures\n\nBefore starting, let’s look at the facts and figures on race and crime. While there is a lot of moral panics about the relationship between ethnic minorities and crime, they are actually more likely to be the victims of crime.\n\nFrom IRR Fact file (figures from 2000/1):\n\nVictims of crime:\n1. In the UK, whereas 25% of the white and black populations are likely to be victims of crime generally, Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshi people are more likely (at 27 and 29%) to be victims of crime. \n\n2. While 0.3% of white people are likely to be victims of racially motivated offences, 2.2% of Black people, 3.7% of Indians and 4.3% of Pakistani/Bangladeshis are likely to be. \n\nIn other words, a Bangladeshi is fourteen times more likely than a white person to be a victim of a racially motivated offence.\n
  • Facts and figures\n\nBefore starting, let’s look at the facts and figures on race and crime. While there is a lot of moral panics about the relationship between ethnic minorities and crime, they are actually more likely to be the victims of crime.\n\nFrom IRR Fact file (figures from 2000/1):\n\nVictims of crime:\n1. In the UK, whereas 25% of the white and black populations are likely to be victims of crime generally, Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshi people are more likely (at 27 and 29%) to be victims of crime. \n\n2. While 0.3% of white people are likely to be victims of racially motivated offences, 2.2% of Black people, 3.7% of Indians and 4.3% of Pakistani/Bangladeshis are likely to be. \n\nIn other words, a Bangladeshi is fourteen times more likely than a white person to be a victim of a racially motivated offence.\n
  • Facts and figures\n\nBefore starting, let’s look at the facts and figures on race and crime. While there is a lot of moral panics about the relationship between ethnic minorities and crime, they are actually more likely to be the victims of crime.\n\nFrom IRR Fact file (figures from 2000/1):\n\nVictims of crime:\n1. In the UK, whereas 25% of the white and black populations are likely to be victims of crime generally, Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshi people are more likely (at 27 and 29%) to be victims of crime. \n\n2. While 0.3% of white people are likely to be victims of racially motivated offences, 2.2% of Black people, 3.7% of Indians and 4.3% of Pakistani/Bangladeshis are likely to be. \n\nIn other words, a Bangladeshi is fourteen times more likely than a white person to be a victim of a racially motivated offence.\n
  • According to the 2010 ‘How Fair is Britain?’ study carried out by the Uqualities and Human Rights Commission – \n\n1. Ethnic minorities – more likely to be stopped and searched\n\n2. On average, five times more Black people than White people are imprisoned in England and Wales, where 1 in 4 people in prison is from an ethnic minority background. \n\n3. Muslim people currently make up 12% of the prison population in England and Wales.  \n\n
  • According to the 2010 ‘How Fair is Britain?’ study carried out by the Uqualities and Human Rights Commission – \n\n1. Ethnic minorities – more likely to be stopped and searched\n\n2. On average, five times more Black people than White people are imprisoned in England and Wales, where 1 in 4 people in prison is from an ethnic minority background. \n\n3. Muslim people currently make up 12% of the prison population in England and Wales.  \n\n
  • According to the 2010 ‘How Fair is Britain?’ study carried out by the Uqualities and Human Rights Commission – \n\n1. Ethnic minorities – more likely to be stopped and searched\n\n2. On average, five times more Black people than White people are imprisoned in England and Wales, where 1 in 4 people in prison is from an ethnic minority background. \n\n3. Muslim people currently make up 12% of the prison population in England and Wales.  \n\n
  • Slide 10\nHistorical background\nDespite the facts and figures, there is a notable tendency among the general public to view minority ethnic groups - particularly blacks and today Muslims – as being more inclined to commit crime. \nThis has an historical precedent. As far back as the 19th century, there were discourses linking immigrants – particularly Jews and Irish – to crime.\nIn a recent article, Maleiha Malik makes the link between race, crime and political activism. \nShe shows how Jewish immigrants, some of whom were members of Bolshevik or anarchist groups in the 19th and early 20th centuries, faced the same suspicion as Muslims today. \nIn general, race has always been linked to crime. \nIn the 19th century, the eugenics movement advocated sterilization of the poor and working classes who they viewed as ‘feeble minded’ and racially weak. \nTheir weakness was seen to lead to criminal behaviour.\nPost WW2:\nThe idea that immigrants and non-whites are synonymous with crime grew in British popular perception over time, particularly from the late 1960s on. \nThe idea was nurtured by politicians, such as Enoch Powell, who as we saw were opposed to immigration and advocated repatriation. But it was also promoted by the police who gradually began to identify black culture with crime.\n[click to reveal 2nd photo] Whereas the emphasis until the 1990s was mainly on Afro-Caribbean people, this has changed more recently to include Asians and other non-white migrants as well. \nIllegal immigrants and asylum seekers are often associated with crime and terrorism.\nThis can be seen in statements made today about the revelation that 5,000 so-called “illegal immigrants” have been allowed to work in security jobs in the UK. \n\n
  • Slide 11\nMaking the link between race and crime\nBut a clear link did not always exist between immigrants and crime and violence.\nPaul Gilroy:\nAlthough since 1945, there have always been fears about the link between crime and immigration, criminality was not as racialized as it had become by the 1970s.\nWhy changes?\nBefore the 1970s, politicians like Enoch Powell tried to establish a link between non-white immigrants and the rise of crime. \nPowell portrayed a picture of Britain as being crime free before the arrival of immigrants. \nHowever, many other voices spoke of other factors being responsible for breakdowns in law and order. \nThe Notting Hill riots involved white people attacking black people in the area because they were perceived to be involved in crime and bringing disrepute to the area.\nBut, though some local residents (as seen in the film) had a negative impression of blacks, this was not widely shared and was not endorsed by the government. \nSHOW FILM\nThe greatest responsibility for tensions in Notting Hill was put down to youth in general and on social deprivation. \nNotting Hill was a run-down area where drugs and prostitution prevalent. \nThe role of the far right in fomenting violence in Notting Hill was also brought to light. \nIn comparison, the presence of the National Front in Oldham and Bradford during the 2001 riots was underplayed, particularly by the judiciary and was reflected in the harsh sentencing of the rioters (5years for throwing stones/bottles).\n
  • Slide 11\nMaking the link between race and crime\nBut a clear link did not always exist between immigrants and crime and violence.\nPaul Gilroy:\nAlthough since 1945, there have always been fears about the link between crime and immigration, criminality was not as racialized as it had become by the 1970s.\nWhy changes?\nBefore the 1970s, politicians like Enoch Powell tried to establish a link between non-white immigrants and the rise of crime. \nPowell portrayed a picture of Britain as being crime free before the arrival of immigrants. \nHowever, many other voices spoke of other factors being responsible for breakdowns in law and order. \nThe Notting Hill riots involved white people attacking black people in the area because they were perceived to be involved in crime and bringing disrepute to the area.\nBut, though some local residents (as seen in the film) had a negative impression of blacks, this was not widely shared and was not endorsed by the government. \nSHOW FILM\nThe greatest responsibility for tensions in Notting Hill was put down to youth in general and on social deprivation. \nNotting Hill was a run-down area where drugs and prostitution prevalent. \nThe role of the far right in fomenting violence in Notting Hill was also brought to light. \nIn comparison, the presence of the National Front in Oldham and Bradford during the 2001 riots was underplayed, particularly by the judiciary and was reflected in the harsh sentencing of the rioters (5years for throwing stones/bottles).\n
  • Slide 11\nMaking the link between race and crime\nBut a clear link did not always exist between immigrants and crime and violence.\nPaul Gilroy:\nAlthough since 1945, there have always been fears about the link between crime and immigration, criminality was not as racialized as it had become by the 1970s.\nWhy changes?\nBefore the 1970s, politicians like Enoch Powell tried to establish a link between non-white immigrants and the rise of crime. \nPowell portrayed a picture of Britain as being crime free before the arrival of immigrants. \nHowever, many other voices spoke of other factors being responsible for breakdowns in law and order. \nThe Notting Hill riots involved white people attacking black people in the area because they were perceived to be involved in crime and bringing disrepute to the area.\nBut, though some local residents (as seen in the film) had a negative impression of blacks, this was not widely shared and was not endorsed by the government. \nSHOW FILM\nThe greatest responsibility for tensions in Notting Hill was put down to youth in general and on social deprivation. \nNotting Hill was a run-down area where drugs and prostitution prevalent. \nThe role of the far right in fomenting violence in Notting Hill was also brought to light. \nIn comparison, the presence of the National Front in Oldham and Bradford during the 2001 riots was underplayed, particularly by the judiciary and was reflected in the harsh sentencing of the rioters (5years for throwing stones/bottles).\n
  • Although Notting Hill sparked discourses that linked black people to criminal behaviour - violence, drugs and prostitution care was taken by government and the police not to endorse his view. \n\nVarious reports published in the 1970s showed that crime was more prevalent in certain areas and neighbourhoods than among particular ethnic groups. This was seconded by many police officials. \n\nBut this changes radically by the early 1970s\n\nThis was due to a number of factors including the economic recession of the 1970s, the success of the National Front and the impact of Enoch Powell’s ideas.\n\nThere were growing anxieties in the 1970s about three things: black youth culture, mugging and the increase in black political activism. \n
  • Slide 13\nSince the arrival of non-whites in Britain after 1945, African-Caribbean people in particular were seen as creating a disturbance.\nParties and informal clubs, prostitution and drugs were seen as problems that black people were more prone to than whites.\nBut until 1976, these things were not purely identified with black culture. And it was understood that not all “immigrants” were associated with crime or anti-social behaviour.\nIn the so-called ‘long hot summer’ of 1976 all of this changed. \nIn 1976 the Notting Hill carnival erupted into rioting. Gilroy sees this as a watershed that changed the nature of conflict between blacks and the police.\nLeading up to this were a number of smaller riots in various parts of the country. \nThese riots were the result of the growing heavy-handedness of policing against :\n(a) what were seen as black militants - anti-racist activists who were inspired by the Black Power movement – and,\n(b) of dance halls where young black people congregated. \nMost of the incidents took place at reggae music gigs or dance halls. Most of the riots took off in response to police trying to arrest one person or a small group of people. The crowd, in response, often tried to stop the arrest.\nAs Gilroy says, clubs such as the Metro youth club, the Swan Disco and the Burning Spear club in London, Birmingham and Leeds have gone down in black British history for the confrontations that took place their with police and where many were arrested.\nGilroy:\nThe growing numbers of incidents involving black youths and the police led to the perception that there was something about black people that made them more prone to violence. \nBecause black people identified strongly with each other and went to help other black people being arrested, the public perception was that black people were generally violent.\nFrom their side, because policing of dance halls and gigs seemed to be targeting young black people in particular, many believed that they had to defend themselves as a group against the police.\nIn response to the 1976 riots, the Metropolitan police took a new approach. Now they saw crime as more prevalent among black people than among the rest of the population. \nMugging was a particular theme:\nMost muggers were believed to be young black males.\nAs Gilroy shows, the statistics used to back these claims up were shaky. \nGenerally, it was only the victim’s perception of who his attacker was that led to the idea that more blacks were involved in violent thefts and muggings. \nBecause the idea that blacks were more likely to be muggers had spread so widely, many victims identified their attacker as being black whether or not this was the case.\nAs Gilroy and Hall point out, it has become commonplace “to see the history of mugging as the history of just such a racial category of crime.”\nThe 1970s saw the cementing of an image of young black people as both hedonistic and dangerous – in general, as out of control. \nFrom their point of view, young black people saw the police as intervening on behalf of white people, rather than in respect of law and order as it applies to everyone. \nIn other words, a division was made between white culture, which was seen as being embodied by the state and its institutions, and black culture which was seen as being alien to white culture and existing beyond the law.\nThe role of the police is now perceived as being to maintain these divisions and define who is on the right side of the law and who is not. \nFor many young black people, after 1976, this dividing line became one which separated whites from blacks.\n\n
  • Slide 14\nThe discourse on gun crime and so-called ‘Black on black crime’ mirrors the discourse of the 1970s…\nThe spate of killings often of very young people over recent years is big news. \nAlthough not all the youth involved have been black, there has been a tendency to associate gun crime with young black people.\nWhy is this so?\nMusic:\nIn the 1970s and 1980s, it was rastas, reggae music and dance halls combined with mugging. Today it is rap, hip hop and bling culture that is seen to promote gun toting and shooting.\nWhile there are important issues to be raised about the link between gangsta rap, the glorification of violence and the responsibility of the multi-billion dollar music industry, the reduction of violence to a lifestyle problem is only part of the picture. \nTwo issues can be highlighted:\n1.The meaning of black-on-black.\nWhat does it mean to talk about ‘black-on-black’ crime? Although more crimes are carried out by white people in the UK against other white people, we never talk about white-on-white crime.\nBy talking about black-on-black crime we promote an image of a self-destructive community that is imploding from the inside. This creates a special focus on black people as fomenters of crime that does nothing to look at the overall reasons for crime in the country.\n2.Reasons behind gun crime\nThis is linked to the question of why there has been a rise in the availability of guns and the consequential murders.\n Despite the fact that it is illegal to possess weapons, guns are readily available \nEducational and employment possibilities are still much lower for young black people than for any other group in the country. There is a direct link between life opportunities and the spiral into violence.\nRacist policing is still widespread. The police has a bad track record on protecting black communities from racially motivated and other crime. \nControversially: Given the availability of guns, it is clear that some people carry them for ‘protection’ because they feel that they are not sufficiently protected by the police.\n\n
  • Riots:\n\nThe various riots that took place around in Britain in the early 1980s in places like Brixton, Toxteth and Tottenham are crucial for understanding the racialization of policing.\n\nLet’s look now at the subject of riots and how this evolves from the 1980s to the present day.\n\nHow do perception and stereotypes about the proneness of blacks people and ethnic minorities to crime and protest become interlinked? Why are crime and protest not treated separately? And what is the role of the police in connecting the two?\n
  • \nSlide 16\nBackdrop to the riots:\nSpecific events led to the 1981 Brixton riots, particularly the death of 13 people in a fire in Deptford. There were suspicions that the fire had been started by the far right but it was barely reported by the media. \nNo one was convicted for the arson. This gave black people the impression that their lives were cheap.\nThe atmosphere in areas like Brixton was tense. The National Front was a constant presence in the 1970s and early 1980s – \nSUS laws:\nThe police in London implemented ‘Operation Swamp 81’ in April 1981. \nThis was a mass stop and search operation aimed at stopping street crime that put the sus laws into operation. Under the sus laws, it became legal for the police to arrest anyone on the suspicion that they may be involved in street crime without having to have evidence against them.\nThe majority targeted were young blacks who were almost constantly stopped and searched. The police was a constant presence in areas with a large black population.\nMay 2007: It has been proposed to reintroduce the sus laws in response to terrorism today. The new powers would make it an offence punishable with a £5,000 fine for a person to withhold their identity or refuse to answer questions.\n3. Protest and crime synonymous:\nThe riots in Brixton broke out seemingly spontaneously but they were an organised political reaction to the targeting of young black people by the police and the public assumption that they were exclusively responsible for all crime.\nThe government and the media interpreted the riots as an expression of black disorderliness and disrespect for the law – an excuse for violence and looting. \nIn fact, they came on the back of peaceful protest marches against racist policing and tragedies like the Deptford fire many of which had been stopped from going ahead by the police. \nAs Gilroy explains, there was a purposeful confusion of protest and crime that was orchestrated by the police and the media. Both protest and crimes, such as mugging, took place in the street. It was easy for the two to be conflated. \nBecause black people were considered largely responsible for crime, their right to protest became illegitimate. \nIf protest turned violent, it was black people’s natural propensity to violence and crime that was blamed and not the way in which protest was handled by the police.\n\n
  • \nSlide 16\nBackdrop to the riots:\nSpecific events led to the 1981 Brixton riots, particularly the death of 13 people in a fire in Deptford. There were suspicions that the fire had been started by the far right but it was barely reported by the media. \nNo one was convicted for the arson. This gave black people the impression that their lives were cheap.\nThe atmosphere in areas like Brixton was tense. The National Front was a constant presence in the 1970s and early 1980s – \nSUS laws:\nThe police in London implemented ‘Operation Swamp 81’ in April 1981. \nThis was a mass stop and search operation aimed at stopping street crime that put the sus laws into operation. Under the sus laws, it became legal for the police to arrest anyone on the suspicion that they may be involved in street crime without having to have evidence against them.\nThe majority targeted were young blacks who were almost constantly stopped and searched. The police was a constant presence in areas with a large black population.\nMay 2007: It has been proposed to reintroduce the sus laws in response to terrorism today. The new powers would make it an offence punishable with a £5,000 fine for a person to withhold their identity or refuse to answer questions.\n3. Protest and crime synonymous:\nThe riots in Brixton broke out seemingly spontaneously but they were an organised political reaction to the targeting of young black people by the police and the public assumption that they were exclusively responsible for all crime.\nThe government and the media interpreted the riots as an expression of black disorderliness and disrespect for the law – an excuse for violence and looting. \nIn fact, they came on the back of peaceful protest marches against racist policing and tragedies like the Deptford fire many of which had been stopped from going ahead by the police. \nAs Gilroy explains, there was a purposeful confusion of protest and crime that was orchestrated by the police and the media. Both protest and crimes, such as mugging, took place in the street. It was easy for the two to be conflated. \nBecause black people were considered largely responsible for crime, their right to protest became illegitimate. \nIf protest turned violent, it was black people’s natural propensity to violence and crime that was blamed and not the way in which protest was handled by the police.\n\n
  • \nSlide 16\nBackdrop to the riots:\nSpecific events led to the 1981 Brixton riots, particularly the death of 13 people in a fire in Deptford. There were suspicions that the fire had been started by the far right but it was barely reported by the media. \nNo one was convicted for the arson. This gave black people the impression that their lives were cheap.\nThe atmosphere in areas like Brixton was tense. The National Front was a constant presence in the 1970s and early 1980s – \nSUS laws:\nThe police in London implemented ‘Operation Swamp 81’ in April 1981. \nThis was a mass stop and search operation aimed at stopping street crime that put the sus laws into operation. Under the sus laws, it became legal for the police to arrest anyone on the suspicion that they may be involved in street crime without having to have evidence against them.\nThe majority targeted were young blacks who were almost constantly stopped and searched. The police was a constant presence in areas with a large black population.\nMay 2007: It has been proposed to reintroduce the sus laws in response to terrorism today. The new powers would make it an offence punishable with a £5,000 fine for a person to withhold their identity or refuse to answer questions.\n3. Protest and crime synonymous:\nThe riots in Brixton broke out seemingly spontaneously but they were an organised political reaction to the targeting of young black people by the police and the public assumption that they were exclusively responsible for all crime.\nThe government and the media interpreted the riots as an expression of black disorderliness and disrespect for the law – an excuse for violence and looting. \nIn fact, they came on the back of peaceful protest marches against racist policing and tragedies like the Deptford fire many of which had been stopped from going ahead by the police. \nAs Gilroy explains, there was a purposeful confusion of protest and crime that was orchestrated by the police and the media. Both protest and crimes, such as mugging, took place in the street. It was easy for the two to be conflated. \nBecause black people were considered largely responsible for crime, their right to protest became illegitimate. \nIf protest turned violent, it was black people’s natural propensity to violence and crime that was blamed and not the way in which protest was handled by the police.\n\n
  • \nSlide 16\nBackdrop to the riots:\nSpecific events led to the 1981 Brixton riots, particularly the death of 13 people in a fire in Deptford. There were suspicions that the fire had been started by the far right but it was barely reported by the media. \nNo one was convicted for the arson. This gave black people the impression that their lives were cheap.\nThe atmosphere in areas like Brixton was tense. The National Front was a constant presence in the 1970s and early 1980s – \nSUS laws:\nThe police in London implemented ‘Operation Swamp 81’ in April 1981. \nThis was a mass stop and search operation aimed at stopping street crime that put the sus laws into operation. Under the sus laws, it became legal for the police to arrest anyone on the suspicion that they may be involved in street crime without having to have evidence against them.\nThe majority targeted were young blacks who were almost constantly stopped and searched. The police was a constant presence in areas with a large black population.\nMay 2007: It has been proposed to reintroduce the sus laws in response to terrorism today. The new powers would make it an offence punishable with a £5,000 fine for a person to withhold their identity or refuse to answer questions.\n3. Protest and crime synonymous:\nThe riots in Brixton broke out seemingly spontaneously but they were an organised political reaction to the targeting of young black people by the police and the public assumption that they were exclusively responsible for all crime.\nThe government and the media interpreted the riots as an expression of black disorderliness and disrespect for the law – an excuse for violence and looting. \nIn fact, they came on the back of peaceful protest marches against racist policing and tragedies like the Deptford fire many of which had been stopped from going ahead by the police. \nAs Gilroy explains, there was a purposeful confusion of protest and crime that was orchestrated by the police and the media. Both protest and crimes, such as mugging, took place in the street. It was easy for the two to be conflated. \nBecause black people were considered largely responsible for crime, their right to protest became illegitimate. \nIf protest turned violent, it was black people’s natural propensity to violence and crime that was blamed and not the way in which protest was handled by the police.\n\n
  • \nSlide 16\nBackdrop to the riots:\nSpecific events led to the 1981 Brixton riots, particularly the death of 13 people in a fire in Deptford. There were suspicions that the fire had been started by the far right but it was barely reported by the media. \nNo one was convicted for the arson. This gave black people the impression that their lives were cheap.\nThe atmosphere in areas like Brixton was tense. The National Front was a constant presence in the 1970s and early 1980s – \nSUS laws:\nThe police in London implemented ‘Operation Swamp 81’ in April 1981. \nThis was a mass stop and search operation aimed at stopping street crime that put the sus laws into operation. Under the sus laws, it became legal for the police to arrest anyone on the suspicion that they may be involved in street crime without having to have evidence against them.\nThe majority targeted were young blacks who were almost constantly stopped and searched. The police was a constant presence in areas with a large black population.\nMay 2007: It has been proposed to reintroduce the sus laws in response to terrorism today. The new powers would make it an offence punishable with a £5,000 fine for a person to withhold their identity or refuse to answer questions.\n3. Protest and crime synonymous:\nThe riots in Brixton broke out seemingly spontaneously but they were an organised political reaction to the targeting of young black people by the police and the public assumption that they were exclusively responsible for all crime.\nThe government and the media interpreted the riots as an expression of black disorderliness and disrespect for the law – an excuse for violence and looting. \nIn fact, they came on the back of peaceful protest marches against racist policing and tragedies like the Deptford fire many of which had been stopped from going ahead by the police. \nAs Gilroy explains, there was a purposeful confusion of protest and crime that was orchestrated by the police and the media. Both protest and crimes, such as mugging, took place in the street. It was easy for the two to be conflated. \nBecause black people were considered largely responsible for crime, their right to protest became illegitimate. \nIf protest turned violent, it was black people’s natural propensity to violence and crime that was blamed and not the way in which protest was handled by the police.\n\n
  • \nSlide 16\nBackdrop to the riots:\nSpecific events led to the 1981 Brixton riots, particularly the death of 13 people in a fire in Deptford. There were suspicions that the fire had been started by the far right but it was barely reported by the media. \nNo one was convicted for the arson. This gave black people the impression that their lives were cheap.\nThe atmosphere in areas like Brixton was tense. The National Front was a constant presence in the 1970s and early 1980s – \nSUS laws:\nThe police in London implemented ‘Operation Swamp 81’ in April 1981. \nThis was a mass stop and search operation aimed at stopping street crime that put the sus laws into operation. Under the sus laws, it became legal for the police to arrest anyone on the suspicion that they may be involved in street crime without having to have evidence against them.\nThe majority targeted were young blacks who were almost constantly stopped and searched. The police was a constant presence in areas with a large black population.\nMay 2007: It has been proposed to reintroduce the sus laws in response to terrorism today. The new powers would make it an offence punishable with a £5,000 fine for a person to withhold their identity or refuse to answer questions.\n3. Protest and crime synonymous:\nThe riots in Brixton broke out seemingly spontaneously but they were an organised political reaction to the targeting of young black people by the police and the public assumption that they were exclusively responsible for all crime.\nThe government and the media interpreted the riots as an expression of black disorderliness and disrespect for the law – an excuse for violence and looting. \nIn fact, they came on the back of peaceful protest marches against racist policing and tragedies like the Deptford fire many of which had been stopped from going ahead by the police. \nAs Gilroy explains, there was a purposeful confusion of protest and crime that was orchestrated by the police and the media. Both protest and crimes, such as mugging, took place in the street. It was easy for the two to be conflated. \nBecause black people were considered largely responsible for crime, their right to protest became illegitimate. \nIf protest turned violent, it was black people’s natural propensity to violence and crime that was blamed and not the way in which protest was handled by the police.\n\n
  • \nSlide 16\nBackdrop to the riots:\nSpecific events led to the 1981 Brixton riots, particularly the death of 13 people in a fire in Deptford. There were suspicions that the fire had been started by the far right but it was barely reported by the media. \nNo one was convicted for the arson. This gave black people the impression that their lives were cheap.\nThe atmosphere in areas like Brixton was tense. The National Front was a constant presence in the 1970s and early 1980s – \nSUS laws:\nThe police in London implemented ‘Operation Swamp 81’ in April 1981. \nThis was a mass stop and search operation aimed at stopping street crime that put the sus laws into operation. Under the sus laws, it became legal for the police to arrest anyone on the suspicion that they may be involved in street crime without having to have evidence against them.\nThe majority targeted were young blacks who were almost constantly stopped and searched. The police was a constant presence in areas with a large black population.\nMay 2007: It has been proposed to reintroduce the sus laws in response to terrorism today. The new powers would make it an offence punishable with a £5,000 fine for a person to withhold their identity or refuse to answer questions.\n3. Protest and crime synonymous:\nThe riots in Brixton broke out seemingly spontaneously but they were an organised political reaction to the targeting of young black people by the police and the public assumption that they were exclusively responsible for all crime.\nThe government and the media interpreted the riots as an expression of black disorderliness and disrespect for the law – an excuse for violence and looting. \nIn fact, they came on the back of peaceful protest marches against racist policing and tragedies like the Deptford fire many of which had been stopped from going ahead by the police. \nAs Gilroy explains, there was a purposeful confusion of protest and crime that was orchestrated by the police and the media. Both protest and crimes, such as mugging, took place in the street. It was easy for the two to be conflated. \nBecause black people were considered largely responsible for crime, their right to protest became illegitimate. \nIf protest turned violent, it was black people’s natural propensity to violence and crime that was blamed and not the way in which protest was handled by the police.\n\n
  • Slide 17\nThe Scarman report:\nFollowing the 1981 riots, Lord Scarman was commissioned by the government to write a report and make recommendations. His report set the tone for British ‘race relations’ policy for almost two decades.\nThe important point about the Scarman report was the way in which it compounded assumptions and stereotypes about black people and the reasons for the riots.\nScarman recognised the disadvantage faced by many black people – unemployment, poor housing and health etc. – and promoted the idea of positive discrimination as a means of alleviating these problems. \nHowever, while this can be seen as positive, it ignores the real reasons for the riots.\nScarman did not see the disadvantages faced by black people as systemic. \nIn other words, although he recognised that some people had racist attitudes, he did not see racism as part of British society and its institutions. \nMost importantly, he ruled out the idea that the police force was in any way institutionally racist.\nInstead, Scarman argued that black British children were at a disadvantage because of the structure of black family life, emphasising the problem of single-parent families. \nScarman pathologised the black family and makes this the problem. \nOn the other hand, the police were praised for their handling of the riots. Scarman made no reference to the backdrop to the riots – the sus laws and ‘Operation Swap 81’. Instead, blacks are seen as a people disadvantaged by their ‘culture’ – which is perceived to be naturally violent and immoral – and in need of help (link to discussion in Week 5 on Multiculturalism). \nCritique of Scarman:\nJenny Bourne (Race and Class, 2001):\nThe Scarman report reduced racism to the level of the individual. \nRacism was seen to come from a few bad apples within institutions such as the police, and not from the police as an institution. \nRacism was also seen as being the individual perception of some black people. There could be no objective evidence for racism.\nJenny Bourne claims that Scarman’s proposal to create a system of positive discrimination only elevated some black people out of their situation of disadvantage, creating a black middle-class that did nothing to solve the problem of systemic discrimination and institutionalised racism.\n\n
  • Slide 18\nStephen Lawrence and Institutional racism:\nThe discussion of institutional racism has been going on since Brixton and the publication of the Scarman report. Then anti-racists campaigned for the recognition of institutional racism and were ignored.\nIt took until 1999 for it to be recognised following the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.\nThe Stephen Lawrence murder was a landmark in British race relations history because it led, in 1999, to the finding of institutionalised racism. \nThe Macpherson report overturned the consensus established by the 1981 Scarman report. \nIt found that the police and other institutions were rife with racism and that this has a direct effect on the treatment of ethnic minorities in policing, social services, the NHS and a host of other public and private bodies.\nLet’s briefly recap over the events that led to the MacPherson report in 1999 and the admittance of institutional racism by watching this brief clip - SHOW FILM.\n[In 1993, a young black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, was murdered in Eltham in London by a gang of 5 white youths. None of them were ever convicted for the murder. It was found that the Metropolitan police had not investigated the murder properly, creating a situation in which there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the murderers. \nIn 2007, a documentary also uncovered the fact that the father of one of the murderers had had dealings with corrupt police officers involved in the murder investigation.]\nIn 2008 it emerged that the police may have new evidence pinning the alleged victims to the murder and may be re-opening investigation. However, Lawrence family campaigners have said that leaking this information seriously undermines any potential investigation and suspicions have been raised that the affair was only raised to take the heat off the Met police currently under strain following the inquiry into the death of Jean-Charles De Menezes .\n(For more information about the case, refer to Brian Cathcarts’ book on reading list and on SyD).\n\n
  • Slide 19\nThe Macpherson report defines institutional racism as:\n“The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen as detected in prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people” (section 6.34).\nJenny Bourne identifies three main problems following the finding of institutional racism. \n1. The first comes from the definition of institutional racism itself.\nBy focusing on words such as ‘unwitting prejudice’, and ‘thoughtlessness’, Macpherson puts the problem of racism back onto the backs of individuals, just as Scarman did. \nThe wording of the definition of institutional racism assumes that prejudiced individuals turn an institution into a racist one. \nBut in fact the opposite is the case: when an institution is racist, then individuals who work in it express the structural racism of the institution. \n2. The second problem is in the proposals that Macpherson makes for coping with institutional racism. \nMany people interpreted the report to mean that the staff of various institutions had to be ‘more diverse’.\nAs Jenny Bourne comments, “there is nothing wrong with this, as part of an overall strategy” but it cannot be the only strategy.\nEmploying more minorities will not bring about change in racist structures. For Bourne, it is more a way of warding off criticism, because it is more difficult to say that the police is racist if it employs ethnic minorities.\nThis approach has been criticised by the National Black Police Association.\nThe third criticism is that talking about institutional racism is not the same as talking about state racism. \nAs Jenny Bourne points out, at the same time as the conclusions of the Macpherson report were being responded to, the government was bringing in other pieces of racist legislation, in the area of criminal justice and asylum and immigration. \nUltimately, it is the state and not a specific institution that causes racism to become institutionalised. The Macpherson ruling allowed the New Labour government to say it was tackling racism while at the same time introducing new forms of racist legislation. Because Macpherson did not take a holistic approach, he failed to account for this happening. \n
  • Slide 20\nDespite the fact that the MacPherson report admitted institutional racism in the police force in 1999, this was not taken into account. \nIn fact, 1981 and 2001 show striking resemblances.\nArun Kundnani gives an excellent overview of the events of summer 2001. \nHe compares the riots in the North of England of mainly Asian youth to those of Brixton etc. in the 80s. Whereas Brixton was the result of organised community self-defence, Bradford was totally disorganised and haphazard.\nWhile in Brixton, black, Asian and white people protested side-by-side, Bradford and the other northern towns were completely segregated between whites and Asians. (As we saw in week 5).\nThe riots in Bradford erupted in reaction to the National Front coming into the town. Local people organised a protest against the NF march which was reacted to by police in riot gear. \nThe sentencing of people involved in the riots was extremely harsh. Even first time offenders were given up to five years in prison (film: Bradford Riots). Tony Blair’s main emphasis was on the ‘thuggery’ of the rioters. \nJust like the attitude twenty years before, the emphasis was on crime and violence rather than on the reaction to institutionalised racism and social exclusion.\nThis time, the emphasis was on Muslims. Although there were people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, the perception that the violence stemmed from Muslims was widespread. \nJust like there was something about blacks that made them more prone to violence twenty years ago, the idea today is that Muslims are naturally more violent than anybody else.\n
  • Slide 21\nAnti-terrorism :\nIn many ways, the situation facing Muslims under anti-terrorism laws is not so different from that which has faced black people and ethnic minorities in general since the late 1970s and the introduction of the sus laws.\nHowever, the situation is aggravated by the fear and moral panic created by terrorism in the post-9/11 world. \nStatistics show that the majority of Muslims in Britain are not involved in terrorist activity, and neither are they implicated in so-called fundamentalist politics. \nThe fact that a small minority is, however, creates the perception that there is something about Muslim culture that makes Muslim people more prone to violence or terrorism. \nAs we saw in week 5, current policy puts the emphasis on culture (e.g. the proposal to teach Muslims about their faith through pro-government imams). \nIt therefore ignores political, social and economic dimensions in much the same way as Scarman ignored these factors in making the link between black culture and rioting.\nAnti-terrorism policy today is based on the principle of deterrent – it operates a presumption of guilt until innocence is proven. By doing so it cannot avoid using racial/ethnic stereotypes.\nSo what are the implications of anti-terrorism laws for racism?\n\n
  • Slide 22\nRacial profiling\nThe most significant implication is racial profiling. Although profiling goes against all of the recommendations made in the Macpherson report, it is still used in policing against terrorism. \nAccording to David Cole (2003), profiling “involves reliance on a generalization about people of a particular group.”\nThe Prevention of Terrorism Act (2006) - allows for a person’s ethnic origin to be taken into account when being stopped by police. Section 44 of the Act specifies Muslims. \nHowever, Muslims are not an ethnic group. What this therefore allows police to do is to stop ‘Asians, blacks or people of Middle East appearance’ who may or may not be Muslim. \nThis obviously leaves out the possibility of white people being Muslim – Islam is a religion, not an ethnicity. \nNevertheless, blacks and Asians are four times more likely to be stopped under anti-terrorism laws than whites.\nAs Cole points out, this very crude way of going about things also leads to ineffective policing. \nThus the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, a white British man, was able to slip through the net and almost detonate his bomb aboard a flight. \n\n
  • Slide 23\nUnder New Labour the Prevent agenda has been implemented to counter radicalisation among members of the Muslim community in an effort to prevent future events such as the 7/7 bombings. \n\nThe approach is described as 'a community-led approach to tackling violent extremism'. It believes that by selectively directing resources at 'moderate' Muslim organisations to carry out community development and 'anti-radicalisation' work, it can empower them to unite around 'shared British values' to isolate the 'extremists'. With hundreds of millions of pounds of funding, the Prevent programme has come to redefine the relationship between government and around two million British citizens who are Muslim.\n\nOne particularly problematic part of the Prevent programme is known as ‘Channel’. Over 200 people have been identified through the Channel programme as would-be violent extremists - the overwhelming majority young Muslims. In a number of areas, teachers, youth workers and other professionals working with young Muslims have been briefed by officers of the local police counter-terrorism unit (what used to be called Special Branch) on the indicators of extremism to look out for. One such officer interviewed by Arun Kundnani told himthat he was visiting nursery schools in Birmingham to advise teachers that children as young as four could be at risk of radicalisation. He said that signs of radicalisation among toddlers include saying that Christians are bad or drawing pictures of bombs.\n\nA report by Arun Kundnani and the Institute for race Relations found that:\n\n1. Prevent-funded voluntary sector organisations and workers in local authorities are becoming increasingly wary of the expectations on them to provide the police with information on young Muslims and their religious and political opinions.\n2. The atmosphere promoted by Prevent is one in which to make radical criticisms of the government is to risk losing funding and facing isolation as an 'extremist', while those organisations which support the government are rewarded.\n3. Local authorities have been pressured to accept Prevent funding in direct proportion to the numbers of Muslims in their area - in effect, constructing the Muslim population as a 'suspect community'.\n4. Prevent decision-making lacks transparency and local accountability.\n5. Prevent has undermined progressive elements within the earlier community cohesion agenda and absorbed from it those parts which are most problematic.\n6. The current emphasis of Prevent on depoliticising young people and restricting radical dissent is actually counter-productive because it strengthens the hands of those who say democracy is pointless.\n
  • Slide 24\nWhat are the implications of this for racism?\nIt is clear that, rather than acting as a deterrent, anti-terrorist policing, such as stop and search, have done nothing to stop the problem.\nThis is made clear by the Jean Charles de Menenezes shooting, the Forest Gate incident and other high profile cases \nWhat anti-terrorist policing and racial profiling do is to create an atmosphere of fear and victimisation within communities. \nPeople are living on tenterhooks waiting for the next police raid that could target anyone in their homes, at Mosques, or in the streets. \nSuch a situation can only lead to a sense of anger and frustration that could indeed lead some people to turn to violence. \nRacial profiling leads to a situation that is very similar to the one in Brixton in the 1980s. \nPeople who have grudges against the police and the government, instead of being permitted their right to protest, are being immediately singled-out as potential terrorists. \nThis leads to whole communities being identified as potential instigators of terrorist violence.\n
  • Race, crime, the law and civil unrest - Race Conflict and Change Week 8

    1. 1. Race: Conflict & Change Week 8: Race, Crime & Civil Unrest
    2. 2. 4 main questions•How does race come to be linked to crime and disobedience?•How have relations between black and ethnic minority communities and the police been conceived?•How have different governments and the police dealt with the link between race and crime?•What are the implications for issues of race and justice today?
    3. 3. TopicsRacist policing(harassment,deaths in policecustody and thefailure toprosecute racistattacks and Ricky Reel, murdered in London in 1997murders).
    4. 4. TopicsPerceptionsabout black/youth cultureand crime.
    5. 5. TopicsProtest and thelink betweenrace and crime.
    6. 6. TopicsInstitutionalracism and itsimpact.
    7. 7. TopicsAnti-terrorismand racialprofiling.
    8. 8. Victims of crime
    9. 9. Victims of crime• Indians (27%),Pakistanis & Bangladeshis (29%) are most likely to be victims of crime (white and black people=25%).
    10. 10. Victims of crime• Indians (27%),Pakistanis & Bangladeshis (29%) are most likely to be victims of crime (white and black people=25%).
    11. 11. Victims of crime• Indians (27%),Pakistanis & Bangladeshis (29%) are most likely to be victims of crime (white and black people=25%).• 2.2% of Black people, 3.7% of Indians and 4.3% of Pakistani / Bangladeshis are likely to be victims of racially motivated crime (white people=0.3%).
    12. 12. Stop & Search,Incarceration
    13. 13. Stop & Search,Incarceration• Ethnic minorities more likely to be stopped and searched
    14. 14. Stop & Search,Incarceration• Ethnic minorities more likely to be stopped and searched• 5 times more black people than white people imprisoned
    15. 15. Stop & Search,Incarceration• Ethnic minorities more likely to be stopped and searched• 5 times more black people than white people imprisoned• Muslim people: 12% of prison population
    16. 16. Historical background There is a long history of the relationship between race, immigration and protest which was associated with violence and crime. Jewish Anarchists
    17. 17. Historical background There is a long history of the relationship between race, immigration and protest which was associated with violence and crime. Jewish Anarchists
    18. 18. Linking crime,violence & race A shift in approach by government and police led gradually to black people and ethnic minorities in the UK being perceived to be more likely to be involved in crime and violence
    19. 19. Linking crime,violence & race A shift in approach by government and police led gradually to black people and ethnic minorities in the UK being perceived to be more likely to be involved in crime and violence
    20. 20. Linking crime,violence & race A shift in approach by government and police led gradually to black people and ethnic minorities in the UK being perceived to be more likely to be involved in crime and violence
    21. 21. Linking crime,violence & race A shift in approach by government and police led gradually to black people and ethnic minorities in the UK being perceived to be more likely to be involved in crime and violence
    22. 22. Blacks = crimeThe idea that youngblack people weremore likely to commitviolent crime (suchas mugging) wasplanted in the publicconsciousness
    23. 23. The long hot summer of ‘76 Black protest leads to the image of young blacks as hedonistic, dangerous and out of control
    24. 24. “Black-on-Black” Crime?“The first step towardscomprehending "black-on-black" crime is to stopthinking of it as ‘black-on-black’. The phrase is atbest misleading, at worstracist. It conjures up animage of blacks seeking tokill blacks, even of a blacktendency towards guncrime…” Vanessa Walters (The Guardian, August 21, 2003)
    25. 25. Race & riotsFrom Notting Hill ‘76to Bradford ‘01, thepoliticization ofblacks and ethnicminorities is linkedto their greaterpropensity towardsviolence and crime
    26. 26. Brixton 1981
    27. 27. Brixton 1981
    28. 28. Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the riots.
    29. 29. Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the riots.
    30. 30. Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the riots.• “Sus” laws introduced.
    31. 31. Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the riots.• “Sus” laws introduced.• Protest and crime made synonymous.
    32. 32. Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the riots.• “Sus” laws introduced.• Protest and crime made synonymous.
    33. 33. Brixton 1981• Backdrop to the riots.• “Sus” laws introduced.• Protest and crime made synonymous.
    34. 34. Responding to riots“They [black youth] livetheir lives on the street,having often nothingbetter to do: they maketheir protest there: andsome of them live offstreet crime. The recipefor a clash with thepolice is ready-mixed.” The Scarman Report, 1981
    35. 35. Stephen LawrenceMurder
    36. 36. Macpherson:Definition of institutional“The collective failure of anorganisation to provide anappropriate and professionalservice to people because oftheir colour, culture or ethnicorigin. It can be seen asdetected in prejudice,ignorance, thoughtlessness,and racist stereotyping whichdisadvantage minority ethnicpeople”
    37. 37. Oldham, Burnley, Bradford 2001“A generation of Asians,discarded for their class,excluded for their race,stigmatised for theirreligion, ghettoised andforgotten, has found itsvoice - but is yet to beheard.” Arun Kundnani
    38. 38. Policing TerrorismAnti-terrorismmeasures are basedon the principle ofdeterrent whichoperates apresumption of“guilty until proveninnocent”.
    39. 39. Racial Profiling“There may becircumstances… where it isappropriate for officers totake account of a person’sethnic origin in selectingpersons to be stopped inresponse to a specificterrorist threat (for examplesome international terroristgroups are associated withparticular ethnic identities.” The Terrorism Act (2000)
    40. 40. PreventTeachers are beingadvised “thatchildren as young asfour could be at riskof radicalisation. Hesaid that signs ofradicalisation amongtoddlers includesaying that Christiansare bad or drawingpictures of bombs.” Arun Kundnani
    41. 41. Anti-terrorism: theimplicationsRather than actingas a deterrent, anti-terrorist policingseem to be adding tothe problem.

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