UK policeman warns systemic racism isn't just a problem in US, it's rife in Britain

31 May 2020, 10:46 | Updated: 31 May 2020, 11:52

By Seán Hickey

This British police officer told LBC that UK forces must work together to fight institutional racism or face the same situation as in America.

Tola Monroe is the national president of the Black Police Association and he joined Andrew Castle to debate the issue of race relations in the United Kingdom. Andrew brought up the conversation if the UK can be doing more to fight racism, Mr Monroe insisted we weren't much better than America.

"These issues are deep rooted, but are also visible here" he began. Mr Monroe reminded Andrew of the Windrush scandal and showed it to be an example of deep rooted racism present in British society. He went further to say that this isn't the only race issue that has come up in the UK over the years.

He told Andrew that the systems in the US are flawed, reminding listeners that this particular officer in Minnesota had a history of being heavy handed with minorities in the city. "It's not a surprise this has happened for what he's done over the years" he said.

Mr Monroe warned Andrew that if the issue goes unaddressed, the UK is "sitting on a tinder box over here" and insisted that the Met need to unite with protesters in America to prevent tensions arising in the UK.

The Black Police Association Chief insisted that stop and search is a typical British example of institutional racism, telling Andrew that "they are stopping particularly black men" and went on to describe a recent situation where stop and search led to a black man being tasered by officers.

Andrew asked whether "race and ethnicity is a part of that" in the instances where British officers must get heavy handed with people, Mr Monroe told him that it is definitely true.

Protests have now been raging for the last five nights
Protests have now been raging for the last five nights. Picture: PA

"We need to change the culture in policing" the officer said, "but how can I say that when I see this" referencing the death of George Floyd. Mr Monroe ended by telling Andrew that "it is institutional racism and this is a tough thing to say."

Andrew was also joined by Dr. Shola Mos Shogbamimu who is a lawyer and political and women's rights activist. She was vocal in her criticism of the UK's treatment of minorities and Andrew asked her if racism in the UK just as ingrained here as it is in the United States? Ms Mos Shogbamimu insisted that this was the case and backed up the argument of Mr Monroe.

She described institutional racism in the UK as "the weaponisation of whiteness" and urged Andrew to educate himself on the matter. She told him that if he researched the topic, he would get a wake up call "to bring an end to institutional racism."

"It is so easy to say to black people that they are the problem when it is the institutions that have put them in this situation" Ms Mos Shogbamimu concluded.

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