chapter  2
11 Pages

The campaign against anti-racism in social work: racism where? You see it . . . you don’t

ByNAINA PATEL

It is always Sundays She thought when the rain breaks, snow falls, stories break. Events happen. After all ‘time’ is on people’s side – Sunday a day of rest – of sorts. And some stories continue, only punctuated by time. The East Yorkshire Conservative MP John Townend claimed that immigrants (She thought, yes, he’s talking of ‘me’) were undermining Britain’s ‘homogeneous Anglo-Saxon society’. Robin Cook the foreign secretary said the Conservative leader, Mr Hague’s recent comment that Britain would turn into a ‘foreign land’ with Labour’s second term was just the type of comment that fuelled racist views. In West Yorkshire in Bradford around the same time, the TV screens told of ‘mixed race’ people causing five-hour disturbances. She thought that strange, since the facts suggested that an engagement reception of a Hindu engaged to a Christian was disturbed by thirty white youths who ‘hurled petrol bombs through the downstairs windows forcing 80-odd guests from the Indian engagement party upstairs to protect themselves . . . of the 200 odd reported rioters, only 3 were arrested for violent disorder’ (Gautama, 2001). She wondered how the petrol bombs just appeared and why a happy occasion should be turned into violent disorder while the police and others debate whether it had a racial motivation or not. ‘Race’ colours the judgement, like it or not. Shouldn’t the violent disorder be appropriately dealt with, She asks? She recalls in the last decade of the last century that although no violent

disorders in social work took place, a campaign against anti-racism did. An attack on progress, nonetheless. A national strategy led by the UK body in social work, the Central Council for Education and Training in

Social Work (CCETSW) resulted in tangible progress in anti-racist social work arising from their policy commitment to implement the Race Relations Act 1976 as an education and a validating body.