Two years ago, Dr. Tony Sewell authored a report showing that Britain’s immigration problems and ethnic disparities are not due to racism and ethnic discrimination. Now he argues that the country needs to stop being governed by ideas of white guilt and should instead rely on available evidence.
Sewell, who is himself of African descent, caused widespread anger on the political left after he authored a report, as head of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which concluded that many social and economic problems cannot be blamed on racism and discrimination against ethnic minorities.
The report was attacked by left-wing activists and ethnic lobby groups as being ‘patronizing’ and ‘historically inaccurate’ to claim that many of Britain’s individual problems can be linked to class, socio-economic, cultural and non-white racism.
The report also found that the UK is not a structurally racist country and the author now argues that the country must stop being driven by white self-hatred and guilt.
– I can see it in institutions – overreach, completely irrational responses, not considering the context and the complexities of issues. The critical problem is, are we going to be driven by facts and data or are we going to be driven by sentiment, guilt and lobby groups?
– It’s not to say that racism isn’t there, but most of those social justice issues around disparities are complex for multiple reasons. You’ve got to have the courage to unravel them and find out what the multiple causes behind it are, he continues.
The report, published in 2021, found that negative differences between whites and non-whites decreased significantly when people with a migrant background were educated or working.
Sewell argues that while racism certainly exists, it is essential to focus on class, geography and family structures to improve the lives of non-whites in the country and that the constant focus on racism as an explanatory model means that other explanatory models are ignored.
– It’s not unconscious bias training for teachers. It’s how do you support some of those families that are finding it difficult with their children, particularly boys, to engage in the schooling system?