Botched racism policies could lead to backlash

Decades of anti-racism laws have failed to tackle the root causes of prejudice, according to a new book.

Written for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Tackling the roots of racism warns there could be an increased backlash against ethnic minorities because of botched policies.

The authors, from Middlesex University, reviewed British research into the impact of race laws and equality measures, particularly those aimed at tackling discrimination at work and building bridges between different groups.

They found that while policies had arguably made a different to the employment of minorities, they had not necessarily dealt with ingrained prejudices.

The authors warned that methods used to monitor performance or progress of employees could have the “unintended consequence” of compounding prejudice by focusing solely on the performance of black or Asian workers.

“Individuals do not necessarily act in racist ways, but attitudes and ideologies based on ideas about the supposed inferiority and subordination of certain groups are still deeply embedded in British society,” said co-author Dr Reena Bhavnani.

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