What Azeem Rafiq’s case tells us about institutional racism in Britain

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Thomson Reuters Foundation News
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Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq’s testimony to British lawmakers over the racism he suffered throughout his sporting career was hard to watch. If only we could say it also came as a surprise.

But Rafiq’s case is far bigger than cricket. It’s a testimony that resonated with the majority of black and ethnic minority people in this country precisely because it encapsulates the experiences of many of us who have had to endure racism in the workplace. Sadly, Rafiq is far from alone in his suffering.

Perhaps the only real surprise for black and ethnic minority people across the country is that it took so long for the truth to be exposed.

As we saw with the racism England’s football players faced at the Euros, it's now falling on scandals in sports and culture to highlight how pervasive racism is in our society. And it is also showing a real disconnect between where the general public are and where decision-makers sit on dismantling institutional racism in Britain. Are we going to continue to punish individuals on a case-by-case basis and hope the problem goes away, or are institutions, schools and employers going to collectively take action?

Read the full article with Thomson Reuters here.

Rohini is communications officer at the Runnymede Trust.

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