Systematic racism in Wales has to be tackled head on say Plaid as report finds “lack of action on race equality" to blame on disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities
Plaid Cymru have called for an in depth investigation into systematic racism in Wales with the view of establishing concrete recommendations on how it can be addressed
Systematic racism must be tackled “head on” Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Equalities and Justice Leanne Wood has said after a Welsh Government advisory group has found that “lack of action on race equality” is to blame for the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price MS had previously called for a full investigation into systematic racism in Wales during FMQs.
Leanne Wood MS said the report should be a “final wakeup call” to address the issues of systemic racism in Wales.
Ms Wood said that systematic and systemic racism in Wales should be “tackled as an absolute priority”. She went on to say that “shocking figures” have previously reflected the extent of systematic racism in Wales, and that the most recent report should be the final indicator that things have to change.
Plaid Cymru MS and Shadow Minister for Justice and Equalities, Leanne Wood, said,
“The report from the Welsh Government advisory group into the impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities highlights issues that have widely been discussed in Wales, but where limited action has been taken to overcome them. This report should act as a final wakeup call that action is crucial to address these issues, particularly the structural, systemic racism here in Wales.
“Wales is certainly not exempt from racism, and we shouldn’t adopt an attitude of exceptionalism and act like it is. In fact, issues of systematic and systemic racism in Wales are rife, and they must be tackled as an absolute priority in order to establish a fair and just Wales, in which equal opportunities and qualities of life are given to all its residents – regardless of race or ethnicity.
“That is why I am calling for a full and thorough investigation into systemic racism in Wales, with concrete recommendations which should be honoured as a matter of priority.
“Shocking figures have long alluded to the nature of racism in Wales, with research from the Wales Governance Centre revealing that imprisonment rates among BAME communities are more disproportionate relative to the population in Wales than in England, and that Black, Asian and minority ethnic people have the highest average sentence length. This is just one example of the extent of the issue in Wales.
“Systematic racism in Wales is not a secret, and nor should it be. We should all face up to the extent of racism prevalent in Wales so that it can be properly dealt with, with direct interventions, and we can set a precedent for how communities in a modern, forward thinking country can be presented with equal opportunities, free of prejudice.”