Covid-19: BAME Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:25 pm on 18th June 2020.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central 1:25 pm, 18th June 2020

Apologies, Madam Deputy Speaker.

History will judge each and every one of us. Before the Minister gets to her feet to respond, she must ask herself what will be written by her name.

Government Ministers are revealing trauma on one hand and then saying that racism does not exist on the other; it is cruel. I do not think the Minister should not give a speech. I think the Minister should list actions. What will the Government do and when will they do it? She should tell the House and the country when the Government will start to implement the 150-plus outstanding recommendations from previous reports and reviews, not focus on the new commission that the Prime Minister mentioned. We know that that is designed to agitate and gaslight us, just like the Foreign Secretary’s comments on taking the knee.

Black Lives has more in common with white working-class people, the LGBT+ community and people who are under-represented than this cruel Government do. In the words of the late, amazing Jo Cox, we have

“more in common than that which divides us.”—[Official Report, 3 June 2015;
Vol. 596, c. 674-75.]

I stand to tell the Government that we are done with the games, we are done with the platitudes and we are done with kicking this issue into the long grass. Enough is enough. Now is the time to act. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to get the Government’s knee off the neck of the black, African, Caribbean, Asian, minority ethnic communities.