Often the under representation of BAME people at various institutional, social and political levels is pointed out, sometimes emotionally or politically, but without any credible evidence that their participation and power positions have any measurable positive impact on the quality of life of or services for their respective communities.
At an institutional level, BAME people, like others, have to operate within a prescribed structure based on a dominant norms and values system which is responsible for the quality of the policies and practices that affect the life and chances of the groups of people and might have a differential impact.
The politicians have to work within the party political system, civil servants has to conform with the government/department policies, and professional practitioners have to operate within the professional framework, none of which are detachable from the conventional social context.
In addition to all this, national and international experiences tell that in many cases the space for recognition provided to the BAME people is more on the basis that 'collude with the status quo and get recognised, oppose it and be penalised' as well as on the degree of their assimilation.
It is because of these limitations that we see no specific focus on the services or equal opportunities for the communities represented, for example, by Obama in US or the BAME representatives in the UK. Would the London Mayor pay particular attention to and be more effective for his community?
I have inspected a number of schools in England with a black or Asian headteacher where narrowing the gap in the learning by the groups of pupils remained equally challenging with the usual reasons for underachievement and the school ethos was no different than anywhere else.
The senior BAME police officers operate like any other Met officer in London.
One could list numerous other examples but the point would be the same.
These are the institutional policies and practices and not the lack of BAME representation that give rise to outcomes like "if you are black or an ethnic minority in modern Britain it can still feel like you are living in a different World, never mind being part of a one nation society" as pointed out by the Chairman David Isaac of Human Rights Commission.
Changing a driver doesn't make a defective vehicle perform better!
I think in order to achieve social justice and equality for all, we need to address the inadequacies in our socio-political institutions and system as well as to rigorously revisit the conventional framework and criteria for our services that give rise to inequalities in the outcome.
Any dynamic society must change, exchange and move. Our maturity as a nation depends on how we resolve the divisive situations based on ethnicity or multiculturalism.
We need to observe and practise the principle that different groups of people are equally important. They may look different but their participation in socio-cultural, political and economic life is equally important as are their different but equally important needs.
Inclusive institutional practices based on justice and equality yield good outcome irrespective of the background of those carrying these out.
Moreover, as language is power and words create structures, the institutionally defined terms such as the 'diversity', 'minority' and 'BAME' etc have specific structures and promote a sense of segregation in terms of 'once an immigrant, always an immigrant' and not really letting these people become just British!
What is the justification for referring to the black people as BAME who have been living in the cities like Liverpool for the past 200 years?
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