ROTA blog

14 dead, nothing said - The New Cross Massacre 40 years on

If black lives didn’t seem to matter in 2020, they mattered even less four decades earlier.

Forty years ago this weekend (Sunday 18 January 1981), a joyous 16th birthday party in a South London home, turned into a tragedy after 13 black youngsters were killed when the house became a deadly inferno.

Governmental Gaslighting from the Equalities Minister

Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss set out the Johnson administration’s overhaul the Government’s equalities work this week, but it turned out to be nothing more than gaslighting on a governmental scale.

Truss declared the fight for equality should be led by ‘facts, not fashion’ and claimed notions of structural racism, protected characteristics and intersectionality were simply the flavour of the month and had all been proven worthless.

Does Black History Month still have a purpose?

Arthur Wharton, the first Black man to play professional football in Britain

Though first observed in the United States in the 1970s, Black History Month was first celebrated in the UK in October 1987.

Taking place mainly in educational and local council institutions, the idea behind it was to give some exposure to Black historical figures who’s achievements had been previously overlooked by the existing school curriculum, that preferred instead to focus their attention on the achievements of the white English men.

Covid-19: is there an opportunity for a new approach to informal exclusions?

 

The Department for Education has produced a guidance document for schools when they re-open in September after the Covid-19 closures.  ROTA has some thoughts.  

The period of lockdown has proved particularly challenging for some pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged communities. Refugees, asylum seekers, children from some BAME communities and from Gipsy, Roma and Traveller families have had difficulty accessing support and education resources.  

New evidence on informal exclusions

Since 2012 ROTA has been gathering evidence on informal school exclusions - and its various guises such ‘off rolling’ and ‘home schooling’ -  to the detriment of pupils and their families who have experienced this. We also have evidence that young BAME pupils may be disproportionately affected.  It comes as no surprise to ROTA that not only is this practice continuing in 2018 but may be increasing. 

Researchers reveal that diversity is good for your health

Diverse hands holding wrists forming circle

It has become a commonplace idea that the more ethnic diversity there is in a society the more conflict and ill-feeling there is. Difference and diversity are seen as negative and dangerous rather than as positive and engaging. Actually this assumption is highly questionable, but of course the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express expend thousands of column inches a day to try to reinforce this assumption. Along with politicians they have ensured that the dominant prejudice of the age is the fear of the “Other”. This prejudice can then be used to swing votes and win referendums.

Mad World

Authors and book cover

A quick Google search defines mental illness broadly as, ‘a condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking.’ When we live in a context where a “serious disorder” is often attached to acting and speaking out about racism rather than being racist, we must be critical about our own understandings of mental health and how they have been constructed by those with power.

The Importance of an Intersectional Approach in Social Research

Quote by and pic of Audre Lorde

“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” – Audre Lorde

In researching BAMER issues in the UK, it is important not to homogenise racial struggle and instead understand the diversity of identities that are present in different racial groups. For this, it is important that we view things from an intersectional perspective.

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