Friday, December 9, 2011

Some commentators were quick to call the "race riots" but the true picture was more complicated

In the chaos and confusion of riots this summer, some commentators felt the benefit of certainty. "These are race riots. Why ignore the fact?" Telegraph columnist Katharine Birbalsingh reprimanded. Outside, there did not seem to need further consideration. "More than 150 arrested after London hit by race riots huge," said a U.S. business website. "Let's talk about race riots in London," he called talk show in New Zealand. Those on the other side of the debate may seem just. "It's not about race at all," said Max Wind-Cowie left the manifestations of the research center of the Huffington Post.

Who was right? All and none. The race played a role - which is clear from our interviews with many of those involved in the riots. But its role in terms of who was involved and it is therefore difficult to categorize in a simplistic way as to give certainty to anyone.

The value

first point is that this was not the disturbance resulting from conflicts between the races.

The extreme right again complicate the situation in Liverpool. In Eltham, groups of white men joined in, claiming to be defending "the zone" for looters. "It will be implemented. A black will tonight, "was heard a prediction. There was no similar activity in Enfield, where they observed a group of middle-aged men shouting" get black, "as he pursued some adolescents premises.

And in Birmingham, there were clashes between black and Asian people, including one that killed three people, but it is probably more accurate to regard them as confrontations between looters and defense companies people.

But such cases are rare. For most, there was no obvious meaning attached by the protesters of the ethnic other participants in the disorder. Researchers from The Guardian and The London School of Economics 270 participants interviewed for reading riots project, published this week in The Guardian.

"I usually do not agree, we have our own territory, we have our own zone and fighting with other gangs," said one who took part in riots in Birmingham. "But not like other gangs, all together one day, they did not fight them, who fought against the police. One day we were all together, Asians, blacks, whites, we were all together, it was like, you know? I felt like we were a large group ... It took over Birmingham. "

Even in London, where widespread rioting after police shot and mixed breed suspicion Mark Duggan, there was no conflict between the whites involved in the riots and ethnic minorities. It is difficult to discuss the findings of the government commission created to receive the testimony of communities and victims of the riots, which announced last week. "We do not believe that it is the race riots"

In any case, the ethnic mix, he said something about how the different communities living in the capital. A young black man who joined the fray in Tottenham described what he saw. "At first he started, he was like, yeah, it was a group of people in black ... but I saw Hasidic Jews in Stamford Hill who fell there is much to see the white boys seen in the shops -. . Turco was. It was as if the whole neighborhood is out. The district knew it was wrong. But, unfortunately, was the neighborhood that has trash. All were in support. "Another was also struck by the diversity." I can not even count the number, yes, I saw the different ethnic groups there, "he said.

Police were attacked. Shops and offices and shops were attacked. However, it seems that have been identified as symbols of creation rather than as part of any racial statement.

next witness statements, we can be more specific about the careers of the rioters? Police have released figures of those who were arrested, but even that can not be totally reliable accounts, as studies continue to show that minorities are more likely to be arrested than others.

an estimate of the Department of Justice (Ministry of Justice) said that 42% of persons brought before the court were white and 46% of black or of mixed origin. A total of 7% from an Asian or mixed Asian.

But the proportions, as noted by the Department of Justice, has varied considerably across the country. In Haringey - including Tottenham, where rioting began - 34% were white, 55% black or mixed. In Nottingham, 32% were white and 62% black or mixed background.

In Birmingham, 46% were black, white, 33% and 15% were Asian. In Salford, which were brought before the courts were 94% white. With 6% black or mixed

Of the 270 protesters interviewed by The Guardian and The London School of Economics, 50% black, 27% were white, 18% of M├ętis and 5% Asian.

But it is undeniable that many black Britons were involved in riots. And a surprising number of people interviewed by The Guardian Black / LSE researchers had the complaints and raw passion of injustice and inequality, due, they say, the color of your skin
was not the main driver. Racial protest does not fully explain its decision to participate in the disorder. However, rose again and again as part of a general disillusionment that led people to the street, as observers and participants, which is part of a mentality

For most of us comfortable with the idea that the UK has made significant progress towards racial equality, the accounts of those who feel left out a reading worrisome.


"If you're black or color, in fact, it is in the lower class of things," said one respondent in the capital. "And then the white, that start in the center and you can reach the top. But black people are always starting from scratch. "


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