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Tamara Chabe: Lammy’s review of race bias won’t make a scrap of difference to black youths


David Cameron has appointed David Lammy to lead a review of discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Cameron says: “If you’re black, you’re more likely to be in a prison cell than studying at a top university. And if you’re black, it seems you’re more likely to be sentenced to custody for a crime than if you’re white. We should investigate why this is and how we can end this possible discrimination. That’s why I have asked David Lammy to lead a review.”

The best way of addressing the issue is to try and drastically reduce the numbers of black boys mainly from an Afro-Caribbean background getting involved in crime and entering the criminal justice system in the first place. A key component of that involves dealing with the epidemic of fatherless black boys and increasing marriage rates.

Left wing feminists and politicians like to promote the idea that children don’t need fathers and that marriage is not important. However, the evidence shows that black boys brought up by single mothers and especially those who live in estates and inner city areas can fall prey to gangs, and once in a gang, view the gang leaders as role models and father figures.

In 2008, Hazel Blears, who was Labour’s then Communities Secretary, set up a national role model scheme for black boys called “Reach”. It was almost like an X Factor style competition where black men had to apply to become national role models. Twenty black men were selected and unveiled. They included lawyers, doctors, top businessmen, journalists, fire fighters and much more.

Hazel Blears said: “The Reach role modelling programme was about finding a way of making a more relevant connection. Nurturing ambitious, realistic aspirations by showing young black men that they can achieve in any and every walk of life they can imagine.”

“What this programme is about is increasing the pool of positive people that our young black men see and lifting their sights. The twenty men that are stepping up for this challenge are more than capable of doing just that.”

Blears added: “Some have experienced trying times in their younger years, seeing friends go down the wrong route and getting into trouble with police and experiencing pressure to join gangs. But all, with drive and determination, have gone on to achieve despite the challenges that many young black men can face. It is these men who will help to provide the most powerful antidote to a culture of low aspiration that is seeing too many of our young black men fail.”

Clive Lewis, who was one of the men chosen to be a role model, said: “I know only too well how difficult it canbe to make your way as a black man through the pitfalls life throws up in front of you. Fortunately I had a father to help guide me. Not everybody is as fortunate and maybe that’s where I can help.”

Clive recognised the importance of having a father who was a constructive influence in his life, and it is unfortunate that leftists are unable to appreciate the importance of fatherhood and work so much to devalue and undermine the role of men in society.

The men who were chosen to become the “national black male role models” were tasked with attending schools, young offender’s institutions and regions in the UK were it was deemed that black boys were most vulnerable to gang crime.

I’m sure that the men who partook in the project did a fantastic job but sadly statistics still show that knife crime and gang violence is still rising, the numbers of black boys getting stabbed is rising, and black boys still disproportionately make up a large proportion of inmates in prisons and young offenders institution.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna recently held a debate about the epidemic of knife crime in London and talked of one of his constituents from Somalia whose sons got stabbed and now wants to take his boys back to Somalia because he believes that Mogadishu is safer than London.

A report in The Guardian citied Scotland Yard police chiefs who said that: “Rising knife crime is being caused by a cocktail of a reduction in stop and search, increased sales on the dark web of weapons, such as the foot-long “zombie knife”, and a burgeoning culture of youth violence”. Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said, “gang members and young people had told police that reducing stop and search meant it was no longer such a deterrent for those thinking of carrying weapons”.

I’m sure that Hazel Blears’ well meaning Reach programme had some moderate successes, but the fact that seven years later, we are still discussing the same issues shows that statist interventions such as national black male role model schemes have limits, and that addressing the epidemic of fatherless black boys, low marriage rates, and trying to bring down the numbers of teenage pregnancies is paramount, and that should also be done at a grass-roots level by black people themselves.

Economics is also factor rarely talked about, which can also harm the chances of minorities.

I am not a fan of George Osborne’s living wage because I think that the policy will have a detrimental effect on the employment chances of black men, the white working class, and cause discrimination generally against over-25s.

When I wanted to get some experience of sales, I worked for a few months on minimum wage in a company selling IT and broadband solutions. There were quite a lot of black boys who worked at thecompany, and quite a few in team leader and supervisory roles.

There were quite a number who were between the ages of 25 – 27 – some had finished university and were unable to find jobs connected with their degrees, and others were non-graduates who fell into sales. There were also some who confessed to having gone on the wrong path and spent a few years getting into trouble, but were now trying to turn their lives around and were happy to have a job in sales – many who told such stories were over 25. When George Osborne’s living wage comes into effect, it’s very likely that employers will discriminate against over-25s and such a situation will hit black men really hard.

Also the education system doesn’t focus enough on vocational skills. I read the autobiography of the late Booker T Washington who was a black American civil rights activist, and he stressed the importance of black boys and girls having an excellent grounding in vocational skills as well as academic ones because he knew full well that focusing only on academic subjects would lead to large swathes of black men in particular struggling to make a way for themselves.

With EU open borders and mass immigration from the European Union, which David Lammy supports, working class jobs are now being squeezed and it will be interesting to see if any research has been done on how EU open borders have affected the employment options of black boys who are non-graduates and working class. Lack of meaningful employment and a feeling of having no stake in society can lead to young men drifting into a life of crime.

Leftist social justice advocates talk about how racist society is and overt racism, but yet still think that mass immigration from the EU is a good idea and doesn’t harm the employment chances of young black boys, white working class youths, and blue collar workers.

Cameron’s review, just like the “Reach” national black male role model scheme, is looking at the issue on a superficial level and won’t make any substantive difference or help prevent black boys from getting caught up in the criminal justice system.

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Tamara Chabe
Tamara Chabe
Ms Chabe is a Legal/Business Advisor with a special interest in Business, Current Affairs & Leadership matters

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