Unacceptable levels of racism towards London’s black and minority ethnic population could start to be addressed with a new British slavery museum to commemorate the country’s colonial past, according to a new Fabian Society report.
Capital Gains presents proposals to Sadiq Khan for his second term as London mayor, in a city which now has 3.5 million black and minority ethnic residents. The report argues that Londoners from BAME backgrounds continue to face racial discrimination because of centuries-old tropes about racial inferiority.
The report’s chapter on race equality by Omar Khan (Runnymede) argues that present day racial attitudes are connected to a lack of public acknowledgement of Britain’s legacy of colonialism. He writes: “Until and unless Britain comes to terms with this history it will be impossible to understand much less eradicate the views that continue to justify racial inequalities today.”
The report says:
- The mayor of London should work with affected communities to commission a significant new museum to educate Londoners about slavery
- The UK government and London’s financial sector have a moral obligation to assist with funding the museum
In response to the proposal Sadiq Khan said:
“It’s right and fair that all Londoners see themselves and their history reflected in our city’s museums and cultural institutions. Learning more about the uncomfortable nature of our city and our nation’s role in the transatlantic slave trade can serve to deepen our understanding of the past and strengthen our commitment to fight racism and hatred in all its forms. Omar Khan’s idea for a slavery museum in London is both welcome and timely.”
Capital Gains is published by the Fabian Society with financial support from the City of London Corporation. Sadiq Khan introduces the report and praises the contributions which are intended to feed into the mayor’s policy thinking ahead of his bid for re-election in 2020. The report brings together 15 policymakers and MPs including Karen Buck MP, Sarah Jones MP, David Lindo (environmentalist), Madani Younis (creative director of the Southbank Centre), and Frances O’Grady (general secretary of the TUC).