Oscar Holdway López | Opinion
Racism should not be tolerated and should be called out wherever it is found, which is accepted across the board. We must challenge it wherever we find it. Currently, however, society is being divided into an ‘Us vs Them’ agenda through the spread of misinformation. A new false narrative is being pushed by the Left to the idealistic young: the phenomenon known as ‘white privilege’. This is the notion that there are advantages to being white, owing to an institutional racism within society.
A new consensus is arising among our young that the police are institutionally racist, the justice system is institutionally racist, and Britain and America systematically discriminate against BAME people to ensure that they live in poverty. All of these ideas need to be challenged as dangerous falsehoods.
Firstly, the notion that the police are institutionally racist. A 2018 Government study looked into the relationship between ethnicity and the criminal justice system. The findings showed that the black population accounted for 10% of all arrests, prosecutions and convictions. For white people, they made up 78% of arrests, 80% of prosecutions and 81% of convictions. The important fact here is that arrests, prosecutions and convictions remain at similar percentages. If there were indeed a disparity between the proportion of arrests and convictions, this could be evidence of police racism. However, as the three remain the same, the police are clearly not over-targeting or over-arresting the black community.
Some people may point to ‘stop and search’, where the proportion of stop and search exercises carried out on black people rises to 22%. Racial profiling on the surface may look likely at first, but let’s explore the other reasons behind this. 48% of stop and search exercises occur in London. Our capital has a much higher population of black people than the rest of the country, with 13%. If you exclude London from the figures, the black community accounts for 8% of stop and search exercises. This is in line with the other figures for arrests, prosecutions and convictions.
It could be that racial profiling accounts for some of the disparities in stop and search exercises of the black community in London, but if so, it would account for only a small fraction and the evidence is unclear at best. Some may say that black people account for only 3.5% of the population, so why are these figures so disproportionate? The fact is that the black crime rate per person is higher than other ethnic groups. This has nothing to do with race, but deeper social issues affecting the black community.
When people bring up the concept of ‘white privilege’, they’re referring to the idea that BAME people are worse off in society due to systemic racism. This is simply false. Success or failure in British society is determined by a multitude of factors – to think otherwise is an oversimplification. The three most important factors are: upbringing and parental relationship, educational attainment and employment. These factors determine the likelihood of someone being permanently poor in the UK, regardless of race. All three are interlinked, but we can nonetheless try to break each one down.
Firstly, let’s look at single parenthood. The best indicator for a child’s success – and ultimately an adult’s success – is their upbringing. It all starts in the family. Children brought up in a two-parent household are generally better off than those from single-parent families. Single-parent households only have one source of income, leading to lower income and often financially instability. Other studies demonstrate that children from a single-parent household are less likely to succeed at school.
Of course, income is not the only problem – young boys, for example, could suffer growing up without a father figure. The male role model is instrumental in the development of young boys, turning them into young men who can integrate into and positively impact the rest of society. The same applies with the female role model, helping young girls to become young women. In terms of crime, according to a study by the ministry of justice, over half of all inmates did not live in a two-parent household. There is clearly a relationship between a two-parent family and success in society.
With this in mind, if we analyse the level of single motherhood in the black community, we find that it is at a higher level of any other group in society, with a quarter of children not growing up in a two-parent household. Compare this to the white population, where single motherhood is at 10%, and we see that there are 1 in 4 black children being disadvantaged, through no fault of their own. This could potentially help explain the disproportionate amount of black people in prison. The issue here is not the skin colour of the individual, but the strength of the family unit.
The next thing to look at is education. Only 38% of the black community achieves a 5 or above in both English and Maths. Obviously, this is not because the black community is less academic; a multitude of factors could be in play here. Firstly, the family structure. Studies show that children in single-parent households do less well than their counterparts in two-parent homes. As we’ve seen previously, a higher proportion of black households have only one parent, therefore a higher proportion are at a natural disadvantage.
Another factor could be the poor quality of schools in areas of high black population. If so, then calls for greater investment in certain schools are clearly sensible. Having fewer qualifications when you leave school puts you at a disadvantage in life. Conversely, however, if we look at higher education, 37% of black school leavers went to university, compared with only 28% of white children, according to UCAS in 2016. The ‘white privilege’ has suddenly disappeared there!
Employment is clearly a way of demonstrating success. Employment of white people in the UK is at 77% (obviously pre-Covid), the employment rate among the Indian community is at 76%, and the employment rate in the back community is lower at 67%. If we delve even deeper into this, we find that age has a huge factor. The employment rate for black 25-49-year-olds is at 76%, but for black 16-24-year-olds, the employment rate is at a staggeringly low 33%.
This is what needs to be addressed. It would therefore be ignorant to suggest, given the evidence, that Britain is systematically racist. Both family structure and education are two of the causes of lower employment rates. People who have a weaker family background and lower educational attainment will be less likely to be employed. This is true whether they are black, white or any other ethnic group. As we’ve seen, though, there is a greater proportion per group in the black community with more single motherhood and fewer GCSEs in English and Maths.
It soon becomes clear that there is a domino effect. The stronger the family nucleus, with two parents, the stronger a child’s start in life, the better chance of doing well at school and the better chance of integrating into society and staying out of crime. This is regardless of race. If we take into account socio-economic class, for example, the disparities in educational terms for a white working-class child and a black working-class child equal out. Incidentally, Asian children tend to do best at school, regardless of class. What shall we call this… Asian privilege?
Privilege does exist. Some people have greater advantages than others. There is an infinite way of classifying people by privilege. These might include parental income and background, physical health, mental health, age, intelligence, era you were born, country you were born in, area you were born in, etc. All of these can intertwine for different individuals. For example, a black child might have two parents but have a disability, and a white child might have one parent but no disability. Who is more privileged? But also, who cares?
The problem with the ideology of ‘white privilege’ is that it pits different races against each other. At no time in history has this ended well, and now is no different. The advocates of this nonsense purport to represent an entire ethnicity. In their eyes, each ethnicity has a group opinion – individual thought doesn’t exist in their utopia. Instead, the amount of melatonin in your skin determines what you must think. If you’re thinking of voting for Trump, then “you ain’t black”, according to Joe Biden. The truth is that each individual person has different experiences, thoughts and ideas, regardless of their colour. Each person has different advantages and disadvantages. Classifying an entire ethnic group as privileged or unprivileged is dangerous, false and morally reprehensible.
So, what can we do to help as a society? Firstly, advocate a good upbringing. Encourage men not to abandon women and support stable two-parent families. Instil values of freedom, tolerance, respect for law and order, hard work and all those things that enrich our society. Secondly, ensure access to high-quality education for all. We need more policing, not less. Crime deters business and investment from high-crime areas. With an increase in more old-style community policing, crime should decrease, business and investment will come to communities and jobs will be created.
We must rid ourselves of this ‘white privilege’ victimhood, and instead start dealing with our actual socio-economic problems.