Hate crime reports surge in U.K. in wake of Brexit
Since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, a 500% increase in hate crimes reported online has drawn attention to a wave of racist, anti-immigrant sentiment in the country.
Some 331 reports have been filed through the online report filing portal in the week since the vote (a significant increase from the weekly average of 63) as critics of the “Leave” campaign have accused the anti-E.U. movement of stirring xenophobic sentiment in the country.
PM David Cameron announced additional funding to security forces to stem the tide and called on politicians across political parties to condemn hate crimes.
Sadiq Khan elected mayor of London, first Muslim to hold the post
A member of the Labour party, Khan defeated his Conservative opponent Zac Goldsmith with 57% of the vote, ending eight years of Conservative rule of the British capital on pledges to build more affordable housing and freeze fare prices for public transit.
Amidst rising Islamophobia throughout the U.K. and Europe as a whole, the mayoral campaign was marred by accusations from Goldsmith and PM David Cameron that Khan, a former human rights lawyer, was connected to extremists.
Khan, 45, grew up in a South London housing estate, one of eight children of working-class Pakistani immigrants, and went on to become a lawyer before his election to Parliament in 2005.
British PM announces name-blind admissions and hiring measures, new gender pay equity policies
PM David Cameron announced that the UK’s University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) will switch to name-blind applicant evaluation in 2017 to reduce racial bias in college admissions.
Numerous studies have indicated that culturally inflected differences in names significantly impact job applicants’ likelihood of being hired, with those with names traditionally from black and other ethnic minority communities receiving fewer interviews.
Cameron also outlined new policies to address the gender pay gap, including forcing private companies to publish bonuses, requiring large public sector organizations to publish pay data, and pushing for the elimination of all-male FTSE-350 boards.
The UK has made major strides in LGBT political rights in recent years, but the social acceptance of gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals has struggled to keep up. DESIblitz takes to the streets to survey British Asian perspectives on their community’s evolution regarding LGBT rights. Tackling religion, education, and the factors at work in the cultural politics of immigration and integration, interviewees present the complexity of acceptance and homophobia in British Asian families.
Investigation finds London’s Metropolitan police force took no disciplinary action on more than 200 racial discrimination complaints over year
The Met received 245 complaints of racial discrimination by police officers between March 2014 and February 2015, with five resulting in managerial action and the rest being dismissed.
Complaints were often dismissed as “poor communication,” although five officers received three or more allegations of discrimination.
The police force is looking to address fraught relations with London’s ethnic minority communities as only 11% of its ranks come from minority backgrounds while 40% of London’s population does.
“[The Met is] shown to be effectively immune from any accountability. We need a truly independent body that carries the confidence of the communities affected by police abuses of power. The police cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.”
Sports Wales recently conducted a study of Black, Asian, and ethnic minority participation in sports in Wales and found disproportionately low levels of engagement. The research found that ethnic minorities were less likely to participate as players or as volunteers, administrators, or spectators, causing concern because of the traditional conception of athletics as an inclusive cultural activity.
Percentage of Wales’s population that is of a minority ethnic background
Lower incomes, limited time, limited mobility, limited facilities, racism, and language barriers
Reasons study cites for lower levels of participation
Amount of funding earmarked for tackling inequality in sports (with £1.5 million specifically targeting racial and ethnic inequality)
A new documentary featuring renowned British drag queen Asifa Lahore (Asif Quarashi) highlights struggles of Britain’s gay Asian and Muslim drag queen communities. Probing the complexities at the intersection of an at times violently opposed faith community and a gender and sexual minority community that often whitewashes its population, Muslim Drag Queens premieres today in celebration of Britain’s vibrant Gaysian community.
Hong Kong immigrants now constitute part of the largest ethnic minority in Northern Ireland after weathering the Troubles
Numbering between 6,000 and 8,000, Chinese immigrants are Northern Ireland’s largest minority, with the mostly Cantonese-speaking Hongkongers comprising around three-quarters of those immigrants.
The immigrants began arriving just before the start of Northern Ireland’s three decades of ethno-political conflict, remaining religiously neutral during the conflict that turned sectarian at times.
Now, residents thrive as restauranteurs, students, and politicians, including the UK’s first East Asian elected to a legislative body, and the Belfast Chinese Christian Church stands as a pillar of the growing Chinese evangelical community.