Iain Dale and co-host caller Denise's incredibly insightful interview on racism
4 June 2020, 21:34 | Updated: 4 June 2020, 21:36
Caller Denise was so insightful when talking about race issues, Iain Dale invited her in for a full hour of his show this evening. She explained to him why he can never truly understand what it is like to be racially discriminated against.
Following the Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park, Denise called in to say that black people simply don't get chances for representation on TV and the radio.
A YouGov poll came out today which found that 52% of people think the UK is a very or a fairly racist society.
Denise said she was not surprised by this statistic: "When it comes down to a consistent activity all the time, you can't not say that race has a huge factor to play in the life outcomes of the people of colour and black and brown people."
"For non-black people, it's oh my gosh is this actually true...I'm not surprised."
Denise observed that the discrimination for the Muslim community, for example, may be just as constant as discrimination against black people but it would be presented in a different way.
"Black Caribbean boys are the most likely to be excluded, in terms of mental health issues, you will see an overrepresentation of Caribbean males in psychiatric care," Denise said.
"In this country we like to look at America and think somehow it's an American problem, but it's not, it's a UK and English problem. There's no black in Union Jack," Denise said.
Iain stated that he looks at life through the lens of a white male but he said Denise had implied he could therefore have no comprehension of the discrimination people of colour face.
"I think you can have empathy for a person's situation, you can also have sympathy because most people in the world are decent," Denise replied, "in terms of the day-to-day understanding, I'm sorry Iain but you wouldn't know. You can empathise with it, you can read reports about it, but you're not going to actually know exactly how it feels."
Denise explained that being a black woman or being black and poor creates intersectional discrimination, meaning two factors of a person's life can combine to make discrimination even more severe.
"Whiteness actually has power and white people find it difficult talking about the power of whiteness that they hold," she said.
Iain pointed out that he is homosexual and asked Denise if she still thought he could not have any relation to her discrimination.
Denise said he could understand in some ways as he would have some prejudices put upon him by the wider heterosexual group.
However, she said, for people from the black community they are dealing with many issues: "Yes you can be sympathetic...but you can't feel it or know it in the exact same way."