His death rocked the world. It sparked overwhelmingly peaceful Black Lives Matter protests. It demanded of all of us that we look at what we can do to tackle racial injustice.
And the Liberal Democrats are no exception.
Over the past three months, we have stepped up our efforts to combat racism – whether conscious or unconscious, individual or institutional – wherever we find it.
Ending suspicion-less Stop and Search
One of the most egregious forms of racial injustice is the disproportionate use of police Stop and Search powers on black communities.
In particular, black people are 47 times more likely to be subject to Section 60 ‘suspicion-less’ Stop and Search than white people.
That not only contributes to the over-representation of black people throughout the criminal justice system, but also erodes the trust and confidence among communities that police officers need to gather intelligence and prevent crime.
It leaves too many black communities feeling over-policed and under-protected. And – as the evidence clearly shows – it doesn’t work to stop crime.
That’s why we are fighting to abolish suspicion-less Stop and Search. Ed Davey challenged the Prime Minister in the House of Commons to scrap Section 60. When he refused, Ed tabled a Bill to do it for him.
It’s time to end suspicion-less stop and search. Back our campaign now 👇https://t.co/WPWMclqJvo
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) July 12, 2020
Reforming the school curriculum
Education has a huge part to play in tackling racism
Education has a huge part to play in tackling racism and inequality – both in giving young people a better understanding of historical injustices and institutional racism, and in empowering them to make change happen.
Layla Moran is leading calls for a review of the national curriculum, to be conducted by experts and advocates from black and other ethnic minority communities.
The aim must be to make sure the history curriculum represents a more diverse range of perspectives, and that other subjects are designed to be more inclusive and tackle racial injustice.
Building a fairer education system will also require investment in recruiting and promoting a more diverse teaching workforce, and providing more racially inclusive teacher training. We’re calling on the Government to do that too.
Making new policy to combat racism
As well as stepping up these campaigns to change the law and the curriculum, we must also update our own policies in light of the issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Federal Policy Committee and the Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality have drawn up a policy motion for our online conference, titled ‘Racial Justice Cannot Wait’.
It’s a wide-ranging motion that affirms that Black Lives Matter and tackles everything from the need to draw up a Race Equality Strategy and end the Hostile Environment, to reducing the disproportionate number of black people in prison, to guaranteeing equal representation in society, to addressing the suffering and injustice caused by the British Empire.
And it’ll be debated at our online conference on the morning of Sunday 27th September.
Ade Adeyemo, Chair of the Racial Diversity Campaign