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The white working class; Britain"s forgotten race victims?

The Runnymede Trust have published a new study on the white working class and ethnic diversity in Britain. ii In response to Hazel Blears’ call for white working class voices and grievances to be heard, leading thinkers on race and class consider the relationship between social class and race equality. They conclude that the white working class are discriminated against on a range of different fronts, but they are not discriminated against because they are white.



After a decade of being ignored, class inequality is making its way back onto the political agenda. There are legitimate inequalities to be discussed and debated. Britain remains blighted by class


division, and economic background is still the best predictor of life chances. Class is central to how people see their place in Britain today. Returning to the issue of class inequality and social mobility


is therefore long overdue.



Various commentators have recently put forward the idea that white working class communities are losing out, while minority ethnic groups and immigrants are the winners at the direct expense of the white working class. The report disputes these claims and suggests ways of discussing class which can lead to greater solidarity rather than further division. It argues that the current way class is used puts it in opposition to efforts to promote race equality, rather than creating a means of pursuing increased equality for all.



Rob Berkeley, Director of Runnymede, said:



“There is an urgent need to ensure that a re-emergence of class onto the political agenda will not feed divisions, but promote equality for everyone. The way in which the debate has been framed so far hasn’t been particularly constructive. The message from this publication is that it’s possible to have a progressive debate on race and class in 21st century Britain that can lead to better outcomes for all.”

Please click here to download the report

Article provided by the Runnymede Trust

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Posted by, Asif Yusuf

 

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