Anti-racism in social work: no more questions – just actions please

Social work is institutionally racist and there has been a lack of explicit action to tackle this post-George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. It's time for meaningful action that results in systemic change, says Wayne Reid

No Racism sign being held
Photo: Giovanni Cancemi/AdobeStock

Wayne ReidBy Wayne Reid, BASW England professional officer and social worker

A senior social work manager joked to me recently that I “was the only authority on anti-racism in social work”.  Although she was jesting, it did make me wonder what accountability and protections actually exist to support social workers of colour within the profession, given what we know about the omnipresence of racism. It didn’t take me very long to conclude – very little.

I write this article from my perspective, not on behalf of all Black and ethnic minority people or social workers – as we are not a homogenous group. I refuse to be the tokenistic ‘Black voice’ of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). I’ve had a diverse social work career and anti-racism is in all our interests. I’m one of many Black voices in the profession. It’s just my reality that my role at BASW enables me to be heard more broadly than others. Also, I realise that I’ve been ‘let in’ (to some extent) and ‘won’t scare the horses’, to quote the playwright and critic Bonnie Greer, in relation to the historian David Olusoga. I use Black and ethnic minority people here for ease.

Yes, social work is institutionally racist

Sensible people know racism is not just an isolated event or incident. It’s also a reflection of institutions, structures (including micro and macro socio-economic and socio-political factors) – which all interact with each other and shape the lived experiences of Black people. When will we accept that the philosophy of white supremacy runs deep in most organisational cultures? It really is not that hard to see.

Since my previous article on promoting anti-racism in social work, there has been some decent position statements from some organisations and prominent social workers. However, there has also been some cringe statements, some nauseatingly feeble blogs and some noteworthy silences. Unfortunately, there remains a scarcity of cast-iron and explicit actions and/or commitments to anti-racism.

Clearly, anti-racism in social work is not universally accepted as high importance or as urgently needed.

The response from the social work elite has been about as coherent, convincing and speedy as the government’s response to Covid-19, the A-Level fiasco and the Windrush scandal combined.”

However, the social work profession (like many others) is not broken. What we are experiencing and witnessing has been designed. If we truly want an equitable and inclusive profession that really encourages critical thinking, prioritises social justice and truly values diversity of service users and staff, then we need to reimagine new structures, new systems and new discourses. A paradigm shift! Anything else is just papering over gaping tectonic plates.

Yes, social work is institutionally racist – but so are many institutions, organisations and professions (not just the Police) when you consider Sir William MacPherson’s definition from the 1999 report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. There is evidently a “collective failure to provide an appropriate and professional service to social workers of colour based on their colour, culture or ethnic origin”. This is visible in “processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping” which disadvantage ethnic minority people.

This correlates with the over-representation of Black and ethnic minority social workers in fitness to practise cases; reports from the Social Workers Union of Black social workers being failed on their assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) and various other detrimental career outcomes. Basically, the modern-day social work equivalent of lynching.

I observe many key social work leaders asking the same old tired questions, then promising another exploration of the long and gruelling wilderness we meandered through in previous decades. Just like another government enquiry into, well… take your pick! The ongoing Windrush scandal? Stephen Lawrence? Stop and search?! The tactics deployed by our oppressors generally involve seek and destroy; smokescreens and mirrors or deafening silence.

Is there appetite for real change? 

The question is not: ‘Is social work racist?’ More incisive questions are: ‘As racism in society becomes more overt, what is social work actively doing to promote anti-racism?’ Or, ‘When will social work commit to (something like) a mandatory anti-racism commitment framework?’ With respect, in my previous article, I literally outlined a blueprint for large-scale anti-racist organisational change. I feel like I’ve done the class bully’s homework and then still taken a bashing on my way home. My ideas are not perfect (by any stretch of the imagination), but your homework is done for you, nonetheless.

We must now ask, whether there is really the appetite for real change? Is there the actual commitment, intention and motivation? Because if not, why not? Financial investment is not necessarily a major hurdle here – it comes down to the priorities and values of the existing leadership. I’d rather have some meaningful action, even if it is not perfect, as long as it is genuine – rather than this neverending paralysis of fear and/or indifference. Let’s have more clarity about what your change looks like and the timescales for implementation.  If not, it’s all just performative window-dressing and pitiful. No more questions – just meaningful actions please.

Disappointingly, neither Social Work England’s education and training standards for 2019 or 2021 nor the professional standards for social workers explicitly refer to anti-discriminatory (ADP), anti-oppressive (AOP) or anti-racist practice. The professional standards refer to “challenging the impact of disadvantage and discrimination, promoting social justice and helping to confront and resolve issues of inequality and inclusion”.

But is that really explicit enough? How can social workers be properly educated and held to account on promoting basic human rights for marginalised groups with the bar so low? Or is this just not a priority for us anymore? Social justice in this context feels like another catch-all to me – like BAME or EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion). Without explicit inclusion of these principles how can we ensure they are applied in policy, practice and education?  Simple answer?  We cannot.  Why is this no longer important?

There is a long history of ADP, AOP and anti-racist principles being intrinsic to social work values and ethics. The legal backdrop and framework is built on the Human Rights Act 1998, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Equality Act 2010. Therefore, it’s almost incomprehensible in my mind that these hard-fought principles are omitted from today’s regulatory standards and supplementary guidance.

Regressive social work standards

The previous social work standards, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), were stronger, expecting practitioners to “be able to practice in a non-discriminatory manner” and “use practice to challenge and address the impact of discrimination, disadvantage and oppression”. Prior to that, the General Social Care Council’s (GSCC) codes of practice required employers to “put into place and implement policies and procedures to deal with dangerous, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour and practice” and social workers to use “established processes and procedures to challenge and report dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour and practice”.

Therefore, the current social work standards are regressive and do nothing to advance the principles set out by their predecessors – despite the desperate and obvious necessity. Many believe these principles are now diluted and de-prioritised beyond the point of complacency.  Similar concerns have been raised by the chief social worker for children and families, with regards to the teaching of anti-oppressive practice in social work education.

Social Work England’s professional standards do acknowledge the impact of “difference and discrimination” on service users, but what about how these factors impact on minority groups of social workers?  There has been a silent shift to sweep the protected characteristics under the carpet of ‘equality, diversity and inclusion’ (EDI); which we know masks individuality – much in the same way as ‘BAME’ does to Black and ethnic minority groups. It conveniently rolls off the tongue – but subtly dehumanises and ‘others’ us.

The importance of incorporating these values and ethics was highlighted by BASW England in our response to Social Work England’s (SWE) consultations on rules and standards in April and June 2019 (prior to Social Work England’s inception). Unfortunately, our recommendations were not included. Reminders were issued to Social Work England (via Twitter) on 17/06/20 and 23/06/20. As of yet, there has been no response. I refer to these facts to underline the importance of these fundamental principles and how their omission in social work regulation is a travesty of social justice in itself. Without explicit inclusion, how else can social work educators and workers be properly educated and held accountable on ADP, AOP and anti-racism?  There are real concerns about the standards being superficial, cold-hearted, corporate benchmarks, as opposed to empirical and evolutionary cornerstones of social work that advance human rights and social justice.

I still find it astounding that social workers are so heavily regulated and that their employers are not.”

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) employer standards, are not mandatory and insufficient accountability exists  A few other equality frameworks and ‘innovations’ exist or are in the pipeline, but again the big questions are: Are they mandatory and enforceable? Do they apply to all social work employers? Do they explicitly embed ADP, AOP and anti-racism in social work policy, practice and education? Not as far as I can see. So, the provisions all seem very piecemeal and one-sided to me and rather oppressive for all – especially Black and ethnic minority social workers.

Do Social Work England and the chief social workers support the idea of the LGA’s employment standards becoming mandatory and universal? We know from BASW campaigns, research and our ongoing discussions with members that the working conditions for social workers remain diabolical in many organisations. However, there is little evidence of this being taken into account and appropriate action taken against employers (when necessary) as part of fitness to practise cases.

No more questions – just actions 

Community Care has reported that Black and ethnic minority social workers are “over-represented in fitness to practise cases [and] adjudication hearings are disproportionately white compared to the profession”. This evidence needs to be categorised and scrutinised in the context of social work employers (public, private and third sectors).  Also, these conclusions are not new. The GSCC and HCPC have historically reported on this too. So, what efforts have been made to address these longstanding issues of poor working conditions and inequality? Again, how much of a priority is it? Why are we continuously asking the same old questions?  No more questions – just actions please.

As reported in another Community Care article, how much of a priority is given to employing ethnically diverse workforces and senior leaders? I think most Black and ethnic minority professionals (and their allies) would be keen to know what is actually being done to reverse these trends.

Since George’s Floyd’s killing and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, BASW has been at the forefront of anti-racist social work activism. BASW England has championed anti-racism in social work on a scale unrivalled by any other organisation within the profession. Our activities have involved: the publication of numerous articles (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5); incisive and timely position statements (1 & 2); a campaign to change the racist imagery on the KCMG medal; establishing the Black & Ethnic Minority Professionals Symposium; developing the Black & Ethnic Minority Social Workers Anthology (working title); several podcasts (1 & 2) and webinars (1 & 2); a response to the minister for equalities’ report on the disparate impact of Covid-19 on Black and ethnic minority communities and presentations on anti-racism in social work (specifically designed for social work organisations) across England (and internationally).

The KCMG campaign is ongoing. We have received an acknowledgement from Buckingham Palace and our letter has been redirected to the Cabinet office. However, in a bizarre twist, the original tweet (which went viral) has now been deleted from Twitter. We have asked Twitter to explain this, but no response has been forthcoming. We know silence on racism is complicity with the oppressors. I think silence can also be construed as blatant racism in some scenarios. It seems when our oppressors choose not to attack us, the wall of silence is their other favoured tactic. Open dialogue has remained a prominent source of conflict resolution for good reason – it works! It helps to positively undermine any covert or overt power imbalance.

BASW England will continue to educate, equip and empower social workers of colour and allies. As an organisation, we realise that we are not immune to the perils of white supremacy and ‘whiteness’. However, BASW has shown a willingness to address and tackle these issues internally and within the profession more broadly. We will consider all anti-racist proposals from partnership organisations and specialist collaborators that will potentially benefit social work.  I like the idea of an Office for Minority Health, as proposed by Professor Dinesh Bhugra, to promote proper accountability and ensure people from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds have their holistic health (and social care) needs considered.

You can’t read yourself into activism

Anti-racism in social work risks being perceived as radical activism or anarchic ideology. Our social leaders must reverse this flawed belief system. I live in hope that social work policy, practice and education will now begin to properly recognise and reflect that ‘race’ is a socially constructed idea with no scientific validity – invented and refined principally to oppress Black people.

Race remains an unstable concept because it is superficially based on physical appearance. When race was constructed people knew very little about DNA, genetics and human origins. It is an outdated colonial invention that still permeates modern society. Intellectually and morally, as a profession and as a society, we must see beyond what was pre-determined for us centuries ago.

So, if society is built on plantations of racism, still celebrates racist history and traditions and reminds us daily of the inescapability of white supremacy, it’s not enough for social workers (and social work organisations) to be ‘colour-blind’ or ‘non-racist’.”

We must be PROACTIVELY anti-racist – otherwise anything else is just tiresome lip-service. If anti-racism in social work does not exist for social workers, can it ever truly exist for service users? Anti-racism is absolutely integral to social work, so when will it be given the credence it deserves? Without standing up for our defining values and ethics, what is to stop us succumbing to the pervasive and pernicious post-modern sleaze?

“The work of anti-racism is to fight racism wherever you see it… even in yourself.  The struggle cannot be found in the pages of a book. You can’t read yourself into activism. Sooner or later, you’ll have to make a choice…  Do what is safe or do what is right.” (Dr Muna Abdi).

Ultimately, if my destiny is to try and fail, then I can live with that. I’d rather die trying, thanks. Otherwise, how can I look my kids in the face or even look myself in the mirror? My scruples dictate that I must do what I know to be right (personally and professionally). My only wish is that more people did the same. I do not want to appear ungrateful, but I can live without the acclaim, the ‘likes’, ‘retweets’, plaudits etc. I want revolution!  So, brothers, sisters and allies – if you know your herstory, if the ancestral spirits live within you, if you know right from wrong – then now is the time to show and prove yourself – RISE UP!  What have you done to enforce anti-racism and promote black liberation lately?

Let’s not forget, “when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression”.  The only real enemy of progress is ignorance and ‘wilful blindness’.  Social justice must prevail.

‘One world, one race… the human race!’

Do keep in touch at: or @wayne_reid79 (Twitter) if this article resonates with you.

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92 Responses to Anti-racism in social work: no more questions – just actions please

  1. Adrian December 16, 2020 at 11:21 am #

    Liberation is an illusion if we don’t tear down the economic structures that depend on racism and slavery. We do indeed need to frighten the horses, even if that means challenging the “black capitalists” and expose the usefulness to the Establishment of SWE, Chief Scial Workers and BASW itself. The irony of ‘anti-racist activists’ and social workers of colour parading their Empire medals and “Queens Honours” is beyond parody.

  2. Anju December 16, 2020 at 6:42 pm #

    A meaningful paradigm shift would be for BASW to stop being the junior partner to SWE. Not sure how BASW can effectively challenge the oppressive treatment of social workers subject to fitness to practice show trials while being toasty with their SWE pals. Talk is indeed cheap.

    • Rob Mitchell December 16, 2020 at 8:21 pm #

      Anju, your evidence being…? ??

  3. Anju December 16, 2020 at 9:15 pm #

    Rob Mitchell my evidence being BASW statement dated 28 October 2019. My evidence being BASW input to SWE CPD validation. My evidence being the roles in SWE by BASW senior staff. My evidence being assailed by nonsense from BASW about being the voice of social workers when they collude with the infantalisation of our practice. Sorry am not more defensive but than I am just a social worker.

    • Rob Mitchell December 17, 2020 at 8:19 pm #

      This reads more like a vitriolic list of personal gripes you have with BASW Anju, rather then a coherent list of specific evidence to substantiate your claims of ‘junior partnership’ with SWE… ??

      • Anju December 18, 2020 at 6:43 pm #

        No gripes and definitely no conflicts of interest either Rob Mitchell. So to be clear, you object to BASW being described as the junior partner rather than that they are compromised by their “partnership” with SWE? Am happy to see them as an equal partner in the farce if that is a more accurate description.

  4. Adrian December 16, 2020 at 9:57 pm #

    Emojis? Really? Is this what passes for professional and respectful debate now Rob?

    • Rob Mitchell December 17, 2020 at 12:19 pm #

      Loosen up Adrian! ? That’s a bit terse and tense… ?

      • Candice December 17, 2020 at 12:51 pm #

        Oh dear. “Lossen up”, “terse”, “tense”. The triumph of nuanced Twitter discourse. Kids eh? That should tackle racism.

      • Paul December 17, 2020 at 10:57 pm #

        Adrian, accept that the kids are in charge now. Twitter is what passes for activism and tweets are the zenith of nuanced polemic.

  5. Black Diamond December 17, 2020 at 9:54 am #

    Your so correct Social Work organisations/agencies in the U.K. are racist as the lack of silence and motivation to dismantle racism within their organisations is evidence and superficial. I can’t believe Social Work England could have anti discriminatory, anti oppressive and anti racist practice and social work values so low on their agenda when the whole principles of social work practice is the bedrock around the matters of anti discriminatory, anti oppressive practices as well as the legal framework. I can’t see how any organisations working with Black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities can be truly be anti discriminatory , anti oppressive and anti racist when they have not address issues on their own doorstep, like I have said if there is over representation of Black and Asian and other ethnic minority social workers up for fitness to practice then there’s a reason and evidently racism is at play. Systemic racism, created and encouraged which destroys the careers and livelihood of theses workers.

    Social Work England do not need to re-look at the over representation of Black, Asian and other ethnic minority in fitness to practice, they already have the figures/statistics from previous regulators. It’s an excuse and a delay tactic. If black and Asian and other ethnic minority social workers are faced with racism then there will be an impact how Black and Asian and other ethnic minority communities are assessed when they have intervention from White Social workers and managers who have no intention to work with these families fairly. This is a fact and is already happening.
    Action is required now.
    In recruitment at all levels, in the fitness practice process they need to take racism into consideration. Not only overt racism convert as well.
    Social Work England need to lead by example, we are sick and tired of talk and pleasantries with out no action. You are failing Black Asian and other ethnic minority social workers this is historical.

    • Miriam Dhillon-Powell December 18, 2020 at 4:27 pm #

      Well said !

  6. Andy December 17, 2020 at 11:30 am #

    Does training on anti-discrimination, anti-oppression and anti-racist practice actually work? The above article is one of the numerous examples which have appeared over the past few decades on this subject. Is a profession whose membership is characterised by a spectacular gender imbalance, actually capable of addressing issues of equality, diversity and inclusion?

    • Sandra December 17, 2020 at 12:37 pm #

      Well put and no it’s not.

    • Gonebutnot December 18, 2020 at 8:25 pm #

      Spectacular gender imbalance that sees men disproportionately in managerial roles. Although I suspect that your claim was more whataboutthepoormenz?

      • Sandra December 22, 2020 at 11:19 am #

        Not really sure how you can conclude Andy is griping about men being hard done by. He is saying what you are saying in my reading: that the gender imbalance makes him dubious that the profession is capable of meaningfully addressing equality, diversity and inclusion deficits. I read him as calling for change not protecting Male privilege. Happy to be told if my feminism is off kilter and my little brain incapable of understanding subtlety.

  7. Chris Sterry December 17, 2020 at 11:39 am #

    A brilliant article from someone not only in the know, but having first hand experience.

    It is true that to combat racism there has to be proactive actions, for while reactive is good these do not combat current and future racism, with the possible exception of the incidence relating to the reactive actions.

    In some respects it go back to that, well overused comment, ‘lessons will be learnt’ for in my experience they rarely are in any situations, racism included.

    To change there has to be a willingness to change, as well as an overreaching policy introduced.

    In many instances there is a great reluctance to change, but with racism and also some others this reluctance has to be overcome.

    Unfortunately, an out and out racist will never change and if there are such persons within Social Work then they need to be dealt with under the Conditions of Employment and ‘no stone should be left unturned’.

    This is something that needs to be kept under discussion and investigation and should be given a very high priority.

  8. Charlotte O'Hagen December 17, 2020 at 12:29 pm #

    I am a social worker but I don’t pretend to work in social work. Why? Because the monolith is geared to upholding class based values and promotes the ideology of the State, social work Establishment would not survive its class privileges if it did not suppress collective social worker radicalism. I’ve had managers of colour, ‘white’ managers, mixed genders and non-binary sexualities over the 34 years I have been a ‘mere’ frontline practitioner. Personalities were/are different, pretensions were/are different but promotion and enforcement of corporate values was/is constant. The problem is the role of social work as a means of perpetuating class values and facilitating inequalities. No amount of self defined anti-discriminatory (re) education on the margins can make a difference. The ‘profession’ cannot promote anti-oppressive practice because its role is to perpetuate the marginalisation of swathes of citizens on behalf of the State. When the social work Establishment finds the courage to talk about class, the ‘profession’ may begin to tackle racism and anti-semitism. Leaders owning “white privilege” when congratulating others for acceptting an Empire honour is meaningless to my life. Challenging class privilege costs more though doesn’t it?

    • Joy McCalla December 20, 2020 at 7:46 am #

      Well said Charlotte. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  9. Nihat December 17, 2020 at 5:06 pm #

    In my team, Nike, Addidas, Superdry and Canada Geese are the fashion statements and Apple products drooled over. Collagues have taken a knee before a team meeting and are proud and fierce anti racists. Until that is when an unreconstructed Marxist like me points out the child labour, the environmental pollution, the poverty pay, cruelty and bondage involved in their labels and I am shut down. There are many truths ofcourse but consciously colluding in the exploitation and degradation of black and brown children and adults in India, Cambodia, China and Africa in pursuit of satisfying consumer lust, does rather undermine the anti-racism narrative does it not?

    • Andy December 26, 2020 at 10:55 am #

      Spot on! When I’ve tried to raise similar points, I’ve been accused of ‘butwhataboutism’.

  10. Ernesto December 18, 2020 at 11:28 am #

    Superb piece of satire, but unfortunately, I don’t think that was the intention of the article.

    2599 words of diatribe. It’s a shame that many who no doubt proclaim to be anti-racist allies read something written by a black man and think it has to be agreed with, because of the person’s background. An objective overview of this piece would cause a few queries, I imagine. Unbalanced pieces like this reflect poorly on the profession. Maybe I am not one of the ‘sensible people’ that Wayne refers in having to conform to his worldview, but he could at least offer some evidence to back up some pretty wild claims.

    ‘White supremacy runs deep in most organisational cultures?’ Surely you need to get some evidence for this accusation? Just because white people work there and/or are in leadership roles does not equate to white supremacy. You have to actually evidence these claims. Being white cannot be seen as some sort of original sin, that in itself is racist, which would be a strange tactic to use to supposedly counter racism.

    ‘Social Work is institutionally racist’ – no evidence offered, other than a report from 1999, an opinion piece from the Guardian and then leaping the how this proves the overrepresentation of black and ethnic minority social work fitness for practice cases is therefore down solely to racism. Then a couple of sentences later we go to lynching. No need to interrogate the nuances behind why there is a disproportionate number of cases, just assume the answer is because it is racism. There may be judgements made on race, but these have to be proved, it can’t just be assumed, it’s lazy and dangerous. It puts pressure on regulators to profess their anti-racist credentials and make suggestions for resolution such as ‘evidencing regulatory processes do not impact disproportionately on people from a minority background’ – should that really be an aim without understanding the problem, or should it be to have regulation that protects those receiving a service from social workers?

    It’s a shame that these pieces are not balanced with a more critical appraisal of the role of race within social work. On the other hand it isn’t surprising when you have articles like this proclaiming ‘silence is violence’, an emotive message that attempts to silence alternative thought. Excuse the pun, but this isn’t black and white, there are areas of greyness that require debate.

    ‘Your homework is done for you’ pretty much sums up Wayne’s attitude to critical thought and debate – I will think for you and now do what you’re told. An authoritarian approach.

    Personally, I don’t think this furthers any argument, let alone one as important as that around racism.

    • The Watcher December 18, 2020 at 4:22 pm #

      It seems the lived personal and professional experiences Wayne refers to and the array of (reputable) references in his article are not evidence enough for you to understand why social work is institutionally racist Ernesto? Strange that. Does that tell you something?

      • Chris Sterry December 19, 2020 at 11:31 am #

        Well said, for there are some, who will refute racism no matter how much evidence is produced, a prime example is soon to be ex-President Donald Trump, who declares ‘FAKE news’ on anything that does not reflex his own views and opinions.

      • Joy McCalla December 20, 2020 at 7:52 am #

        Well said Charlotte. I couldn’t agree with you more.yes I agree with you the watchers. We can allways find something to challenge the truth which hurts. Wayne article is correct and I totally agree with all he has said.

    • Al December 19, 2020 at 8:32 am #

      I wonder how anyone non-white gets into management. This article reads as though its near impossible… yet….

      With regard to over representation in fitness for practice, I wonder if other factors are at play than skin colour. It would interesting to find out the percentage of those who face fitness for practice don’t speak English as their first language for instance. There is also an over representation of men… are we able to say the profession is institutionally sexist on this basis? A big jump to make in my opinion.

      • Ron G December 21, 2020 at 9:20 pm #

        I can’t see beyond the comment “non-white” in your statement above Al. That really is a lazier term than BAME…!

        • Ake December 22, 2020 at 10:01 am #

          Oh my. Is this what social workers mean about how they work to achieve change through respectful engagement? Ten minutes ago most social workers were elbowing each other to be the first to use BAME and glow with smug narcissism. People of colour, not my image of my self, if that is your new thing.

    • Akin Deya December 20, 2020 at 9:29 am #

      Could not agree more. Wild claims with no evidence, and a really poorly written and unthoughtful piece. Seems to be conflating his hatred of capitalism with issues of racism. Capitalism is imperfect and many suffer in the system, but given we have 100 million deaths at the hands of communism in the 20th century, I don’t think spouting pro-communist ideology should be any more acceptable than that of the far-right.

      Wayne should spend some time to research the alleged issues on FTP/ASYE decisions, and not blindly assume the stats are caused and solely attributed to racism; shocking that these surely slanderous claims can be published in CC without evidence.

    • Black Diamond December 20, 2020 at 12:42 pm #

      Your sounding clearly defensive. Like many organisations such as the police, education, nhs etc and social work organisations are institutionally racist. There is enough evidence, it’s down to these organisations to do the right thing and put forward that information. Common sense tells us that no organisation wants to be seen in a bad light or have action taken against them legally although many have had action taken against them for example the police did this for many years and the evidence was overwhelming, in the case of Stephen Lawrence and the case of Carol Howard police officer more recently race discrimination. In the case of Stephen Lawrence the police deliberately fail to progress the case because he was a Black child.

      The social work local authority was racist when they continue to illegally placed a Black child in care and would not return him to his mother’s care when she asked and changed his name and denied him his Ethiopian culture that a fact. There were no child protection issues in this case. Refused him access to his case files until it blow up in the media. They lied to this man for 40 odd years he is in his 50s now. Read Lemn Sissay story. The social work organisations are not a reflection of the community they serve. At levels of social work organisations do not reflect the communities they serve. Senior leadership downwards.

      Do I sense, a bit of white fragility, gaslighting from yourself. As well as words like white supremacy seem to touch a cord. I believe your assessment and analysis is imbalanced. The regulator’s job, (Social Work England) is to ensure all people in communities are protected that includes Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities people.

      It is a fact that some white social workers/ social work managers, not all social workers/social work managers are racist. This has impacted on, not only Black, Asian and other ethnic minority social workers but also on black, Asian and other ethnic minority children and families receiving services/ intervention , when we should be working fairly and restoratively. Not racially discriminating against these families.

      It is concerning and harmful when local authorities social work staff are practicing immorally and making up allegations in order for children to be removed from their families. Or practicing racist actions and making racist disparaging comments about black and Asian and other ethnic children and families culture. Also making up allegations because they have issues with Black social workers, they do not treat Black,Asian and other ethnic social workers the same as white social workers. That’s a fact. Not all white social workers and social work managers act out these behaviours.

      Being silence is racist , would you or should you be silence in the case of domestic violence, no. We don’t tolerate domestic violence because at its worst people can lose their lives. So why are you silence when it comes to racism. Why should racism be tolerated in social work, whether covertly or overtly. We /I take a no tolerance approach to institutional racism and systemic racism.

      Doesn’t social work England have rules around condoning wrongdoings and doesn’t it have standards around discrimination.

      At least Wayne Reid has the guts to say what he believes opening and many people do agree with him. It evident that you don’t believe in anti racist, anti discriminatory or anti oppressive social work practice and possibly practicing very concerning for the social work community.

      Whether you are a white person or a person of colour, we don’t need to accept your views of denouncing racism existing within Social Work organisations.

      There are more than one account beyond the one in 1999 by the guardian about over representation of Black and Asian and other ethnic fitness to practice this has been looked into before by previous regulators. That’s why there is no need to reinvent the wheel when evidence is available.

      We are not interested whether you believe there is an argument for racism.

  11. Ade December 18, 2020 at 6:58 pm #

    Ernestos point is made by The Watcher, telling him he has the wrong thoughts. What was that about social workers promoting diversity and respecting difference? Which version of BLM do you promote The Watcher? Me, I am with the anti-capitalist cadres.

    • The Watcher December 21, 2020 at 9:25 pm #

      Not sure, how you derived that Ade… Why are you and Akin blustering on about capitalism, when the article makes no reference to that?

      • Ade December 22, 2020 at 12:14 am #

        Well observed. Not being a happy clappy spiritual type I believe racism is an outcome of capitalist economic relations. That’s why I bluster on about it. I am bemused why an avowed anti-racist author misses that point. Talking about anti-racist activism without reference to capitalist exploitation is like talking about driving a car without mentioning an ignition key.

  12. Malcolm December 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm #

    If it’s time to stop tinkering in the margins, stop wasting energy on changing the imagery of a medal, advocate for its abolition. The greater offence is in the act of the Monarch conferring an Empire ‘honour’ than the imagery of the Imperial medal? If being subject to a fitness to practice hearing is akin to a lynching, what does a person of colour accepting a medal soaked in the literal blood of slaves and subjugated peoples equate to?

  13. Nigel December 18, 2020 at 8:27 pm #

    Strange conclusion The Watcher given that Wayne writes from his own perspective and does not regard himself as representing “all black and ethnic minority people or social workers”. ‘They’ might think we all look and think alike, but surely you don’t see us all as part of one homogenous mass do you? That would be racist wouldn’t it?

  14. Theresa December 18, 2020 at 8:41 pm #

    The problem why anti racsim stagnated is because if people like you Ernesto. The evidence is everywhere as Wayne listed yet you choose to ignore and gaslight what is written.

    I truly hope that you are not a social worker.

    • David Williams December 20, 2020 at 12:43 pm #

      Anti racism hasn’t stagnated in the UK, you need to look at evidence for these claims that are banded around. Pretty much every indicator shows improvements in social attitudes regarding race, intermarriage and I’m pretty sure the UK has the highest proportion of mixed heritage babies in the world. This does not suggest a stagnant anti racist movement.

      Questioning someone’s claims in an article is not gaslighting.

  15. Ernesto December 19, 2020 at 11:23 am #

    I’ve addressed the evidence used by Wayne and questioned it. I imagine you are now trying to insinuate I am therefore racist. A favoured way of shutting down an opposing view.

    The Watcher, do you honestly believe there is white supremacy running deep in most institutional structures in the UK?

    • Black Diamond December 20, 2020 at 5:44 pm #

      No insinuations were made. Ernesto – Who the cap fit, let them wear it!!!

  16. Benji December 19, 2020 at 1:33 pm #

    Meanwhile in the cold reality of austerity Britain, social work functions as what? Penance belongs to religions. What I want as a black british citizen is a ‘profession’ that instead of sending people to food banks, fights for decent fair pay jobs, that is capable of sacrificing something for our fellow workers. Ask yourself when you talked to or even thought about the person who cleans your office and replaces the soap in your toilet? Fighting racism isn’t about greater “representation” in positions of power, my life as a worker won’t improve because my manager looks like me, they already do. Give me manageable workloads, give me respite to recrupriate, pay me an equitable proportion to my head of service, listen to me, don’t blame the organisation when I tell you when you are bullying me. Ernesto is right. If tomorrow we worked in the anti-racist, anti-oppressive, anti-discrminatory glow of the new shiny social work, how will our experiences differ in the real world we live in? If you want to clean the poison in the ocean, don’t just get stuck with picking the litter on the shore.

  17. Grace December 19, 2020 at 2:52 pm #

    The trouble with twitter led groupthink on social justice Ernesto is that, like a billionaire driver taking the knee in the paddocks of Formula One racing relegates the exploitiation of black and brown people below that of spinning a car around the tracks of Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Hungary and Turkey: social work commentators are confined to an echo chamber of like minded souls.

  18. Blair Mcpherson December 19, 2020 at 3:31 pm #

    The response of a lot of us to BLM is “I am not a racist”. This is a common response in LA’s and those who work in social services including many social workers. What we are being challenged to respond to is the statement , “ In a racist society it is not enough to be non racist you must be anti racist.” Angela Davis.

    • Horace December 20, 2020 at 10:33 pm #

      I have never uttered the words “I am not a racist”. It’s not my privilege to judge my own behaviour. What I know is that “racism” is a hollow term unless the virtuous define their meanings. Apparently if you are Jewish, you can’t suffer racism because “jews are a religion not a race”. Apparently light skinned people from the Mediterranean can’t experience racism because they are “percieved as being white”. Apparently ‘black people’ can’t be racist ever never because ”they’ don’t have power. Apparently as a black man, I can’t define myself as a Scouser because Liverpool is a slavers city. Nuance is everything.

    • Abigail December 21, 2020 at 7:02 pm #

      Angela Davis of course talks about racial capitalism, prison-industrial complex, global capitalism being the new colonialism. Don’t see much of that discourse in social work much less do I have any confidence that social work leaders are capable of or inclined to discuss how these power structures nurture racism. The danger of quotes from a radical activist like Ms Davis is that she will lead the well meaning to areas that don’t sit too easily with polite conversations. Actually even if we wanted to, most of us cannot believe that our leaders have a real commitment to anti-racist action when at the same time leaders endorse the service cuts that impact on the poor the most.

  19. Jans December 20, 2020 at 1:51 pm #

    When views are predicated on the assumption that there is a ‘right’ way to ‘truth’, then there is no room for discussion let alone dissent. Angela Davis ended up in prison for her activism, how many social workers would be prepared to face that consequence? For all of its authoritarian orthodoxies, social work is a benign environment to talk about racism. How many of you have stood on the terraces and tackled the racists of the New Den? Your mobbing of Ernesto makes his point better than his comments have. If you beleive that SWE lynches colleagues of colour, why have you all completed your CPD to collude with this neo-KKK? As it happens there are points I would challenge Ernesto on but I commend him for having the intellectual courage to challenge. How ironic that the person on behalf of whom you are attacking Ernesto doesn’t themselves claim his views represent all social workers. What makes you the arbiter of racism Theresa that you jibe to Ernesto that you”sincerely hope you are not a social worker”? If Ernesto is, in your opinion a racist social worker, I sincerely hope that you will report him for misconduct to the SWE. That would be anti-racist activism. It does though require a bit more effort than sloganeering from a keyboard. Which part of Ernestos comments “refute” racism Chris Sterry? There is an irony in implying Ernestos views are “fake news” and then comparing him to Donald Trump. The vurteous narcissism of fading Instagram and Twitter to a black square doesn’t take much courage does it? I take my inspiration from comrades like Blair Peach. As Linton Kwesi Johnson says, Blair Peach was an ordinary teacher, not even an Englishman, but he was murdered standing up to racists and fascists.

  20. Ake December 21, 2020 at 12:43 pm #

    Are people of colour who are proud recipients of baubles on behalf of the British Empire, part of institutionalised white supremacy? Can you accept the privileges of the Establishment and credibly rail against injustice? And no I do not accept you also accepting on my behalf an honour bestowed on you by the same institutions that subjugated and degraded my ancestors. Agree with Horace, nuance is everything.

  21. Don December 21, 2020 at 1:32 pm #

    I am an AfricanAmerican, my folks migrated from the South to New York so I know something about JimCrow and lynchings from their stories. I am not a social worker but my partner is so you can tell me to butt out but lynching is not a term to be used interchangeably with discrimination. Used by a person of colour about conduct hearings makes me even more upset. I understand metaphors, but “black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze” can never equate to a racist conduct hearing. By the way, whether it’s his real name or a pseudonym, Ernesto is a Latin name, think about that given your indignation over British white supremacy.

  22. Wayne Reid December 21, 2020 at 7:46 pm #

    I suppose I will have to accept that no amount of ‘evidence’ will be accepted by ALL of those we would want to hear it. There are none so deaf as those who do not wish to hear. None so blind as those who do not wish to see.

    • Black Diamond December 22, 2020 at 9:56 am #

      No matter what evidence you provide it will be denounced by individuals who refuse to accept systemic racism is live and kicking in organisations/agencies in the U.K this includes Social Work organisations. The latest victims two Black Barristers, Alexandra Wilson and Luke McClean mistaken as defendants in the Courts or shouted at by another legal representative because they believe they were a defendant, even when they were corrected no apologies were given. Although it is said a apology was given by the courts after these incidents. I don’t think an apology goes far enough. Now there is a call for mandatory anti racist training.

      Although I do not believe this training will change a racist person’s behaviour because that behaviour is deeply rooted and insidious. I believe it should be mandatory because it may have an impact on others workers who are willing to change.

      Action needs to be taken against individuals who oppress, discriminate against individuals if no change takes place. This is down to the senior leadership team in these organisations, such as Social Work England. Who should lead by example.

      The things is, why do these people think they have the right to treat a defendant that way in any case, that is why anti discriminatory, anti oppressive and anti racist practice is a must because these behaviours impacts on the lives of Black, Asian and other ethnic communities who receives services as well professionals who reflect these communities.

    • Altan December 22, 2020 at 11:56 am #

      Frankly I am offended by your characterisation of those of us who disagree with some or all of your polemic as being blind and deaf to reason and evidence. Your implication that I must therefore be a racist or a dupe because I disagree with you is petulant and I am furious at your slur. What I want is a comradely discussion. I happen to come from a family of Turkish trade unionists who suffered torture, imprisonment and exile. That doesn’t make me a better comrade, it just gives me a different perspective. I learnt what racism is growing up in what was West Germany. It made me a street tough as we used to say when I was younger. I see and advocate a different path to you Wayne, but that does not align me with our common enemies. Difference with us perhaps is that while you want a social work revolution, I want a revolutionary restructuring of all aspects of our society. And yes, that does include saying there is nothing to enthuse about trainers made by exploited and subjugated brown and black labourers. No doubt we can all find offence in each other, but let us be more offended by our common enemy whatever path we choose to take in our fight back.

      • Phil Bland December 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm #

        Strange how you have taken this so personally Altan. It’s clear he’s speaking metaphorically, not about your personal journey… If you disagree fine, but enough with the keyboard warrior faux fragility and outrage.

        • Altan December 23, 2020 at 12:10 am #

          Dear me that put the immigrant in his place. Not sure how I can take personally something written by someone I don’t know personally. I lack the insight for such sensitivity. Not sure which are the metaphors so please tell me. None of us know the journey of others we unknown to us so a bit baffled why you think I would expect Wayne to know mine. You are right that I disagree with most, not all, of what he writes here. Interesting that you see political disagreement as an attack however.
          I thought it was only us communists who prescribed a party line. “Keyboard faux warrior fragility and outrage”, how wrong you are. My outrage is real but not aimed at an individual. Nothing faux about my warrior spirit, faux wasn’t an option for the son of a gasterbeiter. Sorry if I fail the cricket test and bring a bad smell to your polite company. That all said, thank you for defining and reframing my thoughts. I did think that my ideas were all my own though. Actually, the anger and outrage I feel and the fights, metaphorical, I join to challenge the injustices I can’t tolerate transcend a keyboard. Not sure where the offence and fury sit in “that doesn’t make me a better comrade it just gives me a different perspective” and “what I want is a comradely discussion”? Perhaps you didn’t like my comment about trainers. No apologies. I do find it abhorrent that social workers and others talk about social justice while wearing apparel sweated out of the labour and poverty pay of black and brown workers, some of them children. Hashtags and Twitter, Instagram and Podcasts? That’s where the keyboard warriors are. I am too engaged with the real world sadly.

        • Elif December 23, 2020 at 12:44 am #

          Theres something very disagreeable about your comment Phil Bland. “Strange”, “not about”, “enough”, “faux”, “fragility”, “outrage”? Which bit of your privilege allows you assumed knowledge of somebody elses experinces and journey? Which bit of your privilege gives you the confidence to tell another person to shut up?

  23. James December 21, 2020 at 10:18 pm #

    We hear our own noise, live our own experiences, fight our own battles, have our own visions and don’t need directing down dead ends on the supposed evidence of others. By the way, I thought you said you didn’t represent us all, what happened to that insight Wayne?

    • Macky December 21, 2020 at 10:58 pm #

      “Represent”? That’s a bit of a reach there James…

  24. James December 22, 2020 at 9:55 am #

    “I write this article from my perspective not on behalf of all Black people or social workers”, meaning clear to me Macky.

    • Macky December 22, 2020 at 12:10 pm #

      James, wrong. I was asking for you to back up your view, not mine! Where do you believe Wayne has claimed to represent anyone else but himself..?!

      • James December 22, 2020 at 4:27 pm #

        “I will have to accept…..All of those we would want….blind….deaf..And Macky, do remember”your home work is done for you.:

        • Macky December 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm #

          No James, I still can’t see how that is evidence of trying to represent anyone other than himself …(!).

          It just doesn’t add up mate. 2 + 2 = 4

          • Antoine January 7, 2021 at 11:52 am #

            Comical is what comical is. Who’s laughing though?

        • Sharon Jeremy December 22, 2020 at 8:24 pm #

          I don’t think that backs up your point at all James…

          • James December 22, 2020 at 10:52 pm #

            I bow to both of your superior intellect and laser sharp powers of deduction. I am prostate and await my re-education. Can I please have some trainers if I am penitent? Good to see that social workers can at least count to 4. Interesting that you are both hooked on and afrronted by “represent ” but miss the nuance of being told that not All, note the capital A, want to hear ‘evidence” and are blind to see the right path and are deaf to the only ‘truth’ . Not much ambiguity there about who is leading and who should follow. Too cynical to take seriously the “views my own” narrative when disagreeing becomes synonymous with bigotry. I want to do my own homework actually, not led to someone elses content thanks. Actually Altan makes the point more eloquently, though I am less of a comrade to those who I disagree with it seems.

          • Sharon Jeremy December 23, 2020 at 7:12 pm #

            Now you’re just adding words at will James! ‘Truth’?!

          • Macky December 23, 2020 at 7:15 pm #

            James, it says a lot that you want to do your own homework (probably misinformation on the internet), rather than accept the evidence in this article. It’s an interesting indication of how receptive you are to new ideas.

          • Macky December 29, 2020 at 11:13 pm #

            Comical, James, just comical…!

  25. Jonny December 22, 2020 at 10:50 am #

    Right analysis, wrong conclusions. Organisations aren’t agents of change. Collective political action and solidarity is the only threat to oppressive structures. BASW can’t mobilise social workers, too few members, Social Work England exists to suppress and punish activists, social work academics bore us into apathy and leaders are paralysed by the compromises inherent to their positions. Unions used to offer us power but not now. When I was arrested on a demonstration for supposedly obstructing police, no charges made, my employer tried to discipline me for gross misconduct. Only one of my team stood up for me and suffered the indifference of our colleagues herself. Its admirable that collagues are passionate in this forum. Wherher we agree or not it shows commitment to engage. This or twitter, or well meaning podcasts are not enough. Post pandemic, when we are told there will be more home working and fewer social workers needed because of “new ways of working”, I hope we are galvanised to stand up. When redundancies come, and “concerns” over competence used to nudge people out, I hope this forum will be where we inform and mobilise.

  26. Nancy B. December 22, 2020 at 9:02 pm #

    Well put Altan.

    • Jonathan S December 29, 2020 at 11:36 pm #

      I disagree Nancy, I think Altan’s comments were indecipherable.

      It’s interesting that many of the opposing viewpoints here can quite easily be categorised as either ‘white fragility exposed’ or ‘colonised minds espousing sycophantic babble’…

      Personally, I’m interested to observe what action, if any, will ensue from the points made in the article.

      • Altan January 6, 2021 at 10:56 pm #

        Apologies Jonathan. Maybe it’s due to English being my 3rd language. I promise to do better.

      • Lara January 7, 2021 at 11:50 am #

        Jonathan, perhaps you can observe less and galvanise into action yourself without waiting for others to on your behalf?

  27. Ernesto December 22, 2020 at 10:29 pm #

    It’s interesting that the majority of those who claim to be anti oppressive etc etc are so disturbed by challenge and seek to belittle contributions towards legitimate debate, or is the debate over?

    A lot of prejudicial claims made based on people’s assumed skin colour as well, which is an interesting interpretation of anti racist practice.

  28. Donna Patel December 23, 2020 at 9:12 am #

    To the ‘non-believers of colour’ in this comments section, you need to educate yourselves!

    I think Wayne sums it up perfectly in another article: “…white wolves exist in Black sheep’s clothing. Let’s be clear, these people are cleverly disguised gatekeepers and handlers. White supremacy is often more palatable when it is communicated by people from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds.”

    • Altan December 23, 2020 at 7:24 pm #

      And we got there in the end. Not sure Wayne shares your view that there is one way to be black, one path, one truth. A little clue, the thought police don’t define if we are black enough, if we are foreign enough, if we are worthy enough.The Nation of Islam has its path, the Black Panthers had their guns, Malcolm X had an epiphany during his Haj, Dr King was murdered for his black vision, James Baldwin was fearless and gay, Miles Davis and James Brown made sure they were never underpaid, the Harlem 9 tore apart segregation in education. Bernie Grant strove into parliament with his own clothes, Darcus Howe took on the police and the law and won, Stuart Hall upended Marxist orthodoxy, Diane Abbott takes the abuse and the blows but is still standing strong, Alice Kinloch gave pride to African heritage by founding the Pan African movement. The list is long, the sacrifices endless. Can I consider myself educated now Donna?

      • Donna Patel December 27, 2020 at 9:14 pm #

        Sadly, not really Altan. You still seem to be resistant of what is very obvious and clear in the above article.

        • Altan December 29, 2020 at 10:36 pm #

          Not resistant Donna but disagreeing.

  29. Alison Berger December 23, 2020 at 9:56 am #

    Let me get this right Phil Bland, Altan asks for “comredely discussions” and you tell him to shut up? What was that about the colonialist mind?

  30. Andy December 27, 2020 at 8:30 pm #

    I do believe this is possibly the most surprisingly divisive article and commentary I’ve ever seen here on CC. It would be interesting to observe whether similarly “diverse” opinions are voiced openly in social work university and training forums. I’d suspect not, as to raise questions publicly about any prevailing political or theoretical hegemony is to risk potential social, academic or career censure.

    • Georgia December 29, 2020 at 10:22 pm #

      Not obvious to me though. Just because you think something to be Donna, it does not negate someone elses view. If the conversation is only between “beleivers”, it’s not a discussion is it? Faith belongs to religions. I would rather discuss with an open mind and change my opinions if I am presented with a coherent argument. Just because I live in a racist and exploitative society doesn’t mean I don’t have agency, I am not a victim because others want to treat me as such. When capitalists, middle class nihilist, bureaucrats, hedge fund managers, politicians of dubious hue, technology company bosses and the like embrace the easy gain of supposed anti-racism, I ask the questions not addressed here. Economic exploitation causes misery and feeds racism. Just my view though.

    • Al December 30, 2020 at 10:53 am #

      Of course its not Andy. Anyone who disagrees with the content of even some of this article would be shot down as a racist.

      In a previous article Wayne used hearsay evidence (that white managers prioritised white staff when giving out ppe) but failed to give any actual evidence of this. I am willing to stand corrected, but I just don’t believe this happened. Maybe one disgruntled member of staff told him this and he has then reported this as a fact!? However once out there in an article on this platform people accept this to be a reality, no questions asked. Why, because they fear claims of racism.

  31. Althea December 31, 2020 at 10:31 am #

    It’s not racism that forces Serco to exploit workers, it’s not racism that forces multiple jobs on people so they can rent a house of multiple occupation, it’s not racism that forces hundreds of thousands of people to embark on perilous migrations. Exploitation is dependent on racism. Economic power is consolidated through division and racism is a part of that. Someone once said “it’s the economy stupid”, they were right.

  32. Claire Flint January 3, 2021 at 10:12 am #

    Al, you state “hearsay evidence” above, but then state he “failed to give actual evidence”. A bit contradictory don’t you think? Which is it?

    Similarly, “I just don’t believe this happened” and “maybe one disgruntled member of staff told him this and he has then reported this as a fact” is also contradictory (on more than one level).

    Finally, your disbelief of ACTUAL evidence (and other people in this comments section) is very indicative of the dismissive nature of White supremacy (and the “White wolves in Black sheep’s clothing” argument). Re-read this article more thoroughly!

  33. Gareth R January 3, 2021 at 2:25 pm #

    Questioning the author’s sincerity and implying he’s a liar with no evidence doesn’t portray you in a good light Al.

    • Al January 4, 2021 at 1:30 pm #

      I’m not calling him a liar. I believe he has conviction in what he says. However, with such a serious allegation I want to see more than hearsay evidence before believing whole heartedly (as Wayne appears to) that something insidious has occurred. If a full investigation had been completed that confirmed ppe had been withheld I fully support this been reported as ‘evidence’ of racism. Until then I struggle to believe this happened. My issue is with people stating something is so with questionable ‘evidence’ to back this up.

      • Claire Flint January 4, 2021 at 2:27 pm #

        Al, has it occurred to you that an investigation might not have taken place due to institutional and structural racism? Let’s not overlook where the power is held. You seem blinkered on this issue.

  34. Claire Flint January 4, 2021 at 7:13 pm #

    The ‘burden of proof’ can just never be satisfied for some Al.

  35. Ake January 6, 2021 at 11:48 am #

    BLM doesn’t have leaders. We empower ourselves through unity and action. Beleive in your own thoughts, live your own experinces, mobilise your own strength. Critical thought versus unbending orthodoxy? Not much of a challenge to choose which is there?

  36. Black Diamond ? January 7, 2021 at 9:50 am #

    You know fine well that Wayne could not provide information about that individual or the organisation because on this platform 1, that would be a breach and 2, sharing information could interfere with any investigation. If you didn’t know this, you need to think before you accuse him.

    Even if it was one angry Black , Asian or other ethnic minority employee or fifty it’s wrong to refuse PPE due to someone skin colour this is life or death situation we are all in calling them disgruntled is disgraceful. Black, Asian and other ethnic minority people have already been disadvantaged in this health pandemic, due to systemic racism. Those social workers of Black, Asian and other ethnic minority staff are putting their lives on the frontline everyday just like their white colleagues/ and white allies, so excuse me if they wish to complain about about been disadvantaged/discriminated against they are entitled to. Especially when it comes to them loosing their lives.

    If you don’t wish to believe what they have reported is true, that’s your concern. If you don’t believe racism exist or worse, that’s is also your concern.
    For you to racially gaslight the lived experiences of this person or people in the workplace it’s despicable.

    People will always look for information to confirm their narratives, that racism and racial inequalities do not exist in organisations/agencies in the U.K, to justify keeping the status quo of racism and discrimination covertly ongoing in the workplace. Even when the evidence is right in front of them.

    Like the two white police officers who took a selfie, with the bodies of two Black sisters , one of them a Social Worker. This was totally unacceptable and unforgivable, these officers had the audacity. They felt they were untouchable. They just did not believe anything would come of it because that what usually happens “white privilege”. The media and the police has got this on very low-key.

    They got caught out because they passed images around to a number of colleagues on WhatsApp! In fact that’s a personal data protection breach the family can refer them to the ICO for a data breach. What they did was a criminal offence and regulatory breach, racial remarks were also made. A number of police officers implicated, 13, I believe, did not report the wrongdoings, clearly many of those officers lacked integrity.

    The police did not listen to the concerns of the family when the sisters did not return home that night, the family had to do there own searches and found the sisters themselves. They alerted the police. Which is very sad, again the police not taking Black families seriously. Sound familiar!!!

    In the local authority that I work white Managers also support wrongdoings, and have fabricated children’s case files and more. Even when reported to senior managers they do nothing about it, until it blows up and grievance etc take place. Even they try to gas light the situation by minimising the actions of the wrongdoingers.

    You may get the odd senior manager who does not conform to wrongdoings but a lot of them are like sheep. Theses managers also lie about Black, Asian and other ethnic minority Social Workers in order to get them out of their jobs and profession by referring them for fitness to practice and block their progression. That’s fact. Again reinforcing the status quo of racism and inequalities/ structural racism. These behaviour are regulatory breaches, structural /institutional racism is regulatory breach of the standards of social work England.

    AI , what I you trying to imply in relation to someone first language not been English you state “I wonder if other factors are at play other than skin colour.”

    Just because someone first language isn’t English does not mean they should be subject to fitness to practice that would be direct racial discrimination. Provide the evidence and the data. vilifying someone for not having English as their first language is disgraceful, it should be considered a attribute to speak another language as the U.K. is considered racially diverse.

  37. Antoine January 7, 2021 at 12:01 pm #

    Hang on, Al gets asked to “provide the evidence and the data” but when he asks the same he is piled on? I happen to think Al is wrong but if he is required to accuount for his comments so also are all of us. I am with Ake, less self appointed leadership, more grass roots solidarity.

  38. Black Diamond ? January 8, 2021 at 10:00 am #

    Antoine your right that is exactly why I ask him, he is providing a lot of opinions but with no evidence. Wayne did point out various reports within the article but AI chooses to ignore them etc etc. I also highlighted some cases in other institutions, where racial discrimination has taken place. it’s funny how issues around racism evidence how much divided people clearly are even in social work in the U.K. Trying to keep the status quo of structural racism going in contemporary Britain is not okay.

  39. Bitter January 8, 2021 at 12:18 pm #

    I take no lessons from anyone else about racist managers or the racism that is indulged in social work. For over a year my life was made hell by a conduct hearing and disciplinary investigation for supposedly mis-using food vouchers for personal gain. I was exonorated. Other than my union rep. I had no support. It’s easy in the abstract to talk about racism and structural oppression but where were the collagues of colour when I was marched out the office and disappeared for 14 months? Be warriors in the real world not on here. If you want to challenge racists don’t spout “educate yourself” and “become a beleiver” at them. Action should start with independent thinking and courage. Closing down arguments and petulance about “I suppose I’ll have to accept that no amount of evidence will be accepted by ALL” isn’t anti-racism work, its talking to like minded persons on one hand and shrill shouting at others on the other side. It’s not difficult really, find allies and act, don’t look for targets in safe places to prove yourselves. I am tired out pointless factionalism. If we are anti-racists, let’s give back our MBE’s and the rest. Don’t
    Spend energy on a redesign emblems: get rid of them. Say no to Mrs Queen like Benjamin Zephaniah did, say no to brands and logos that exploit and poison and murder black and brown workers. Social work isn’t the world it’s not even part of the communities we live in. Engage in politics not rhetoric if you want to better the racists. Better still allow yourselves to wash your dirty laundry in public without fear of being branded a dupe. We know how far racist thought and beliefs and behaviours seep in our own circles, don’t we? I want comrades not virteous certainty.

  40. Courtney January 9, 2021 at 4:37 pm #

    To “allies” on here talking about how we are not racists but social work is; a little clarification: social work isn’t out there somewhere floating on a pristine white cloud. We are social work. So what have you done today?


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