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Quite a few important events have occurred in the last couple of months, some of which we are unable to comment on as much as we would like. Firstly, there were those controversial CRE poster campaigns. A TV production company rang Black Perspective. Before deciding to put us on air, we had to let them know what we thought about the campaign. This was our response: we are aware that the CRE works very hard to raise the profile of its campaign against racism, but the mainstream media is never interested until something dramatic - like the death of a Stephen Lawrence - occurs. The CRE?s cannot afford to wait for race murders to occur before its message is publicised. The poster campaign achieved what the CRE wanted - for a few days, the issue of race was on the front pages and there was not a single dead Black person in sight. The company was taken aback by our stance. They thanked us and went in search of some other Black journalist who said what they expected to hear - a denouncement of the CRE?s campaign. Then they packaged this as the view of the Black community!
Another important event was the public admission by the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police that there was institutional racism in the police force. This is unprecedented and very welcome. The reaction of the ?rank and file? of the police, however, shows how far we still have to go. Many were angry at David Wilmot?s comments. They say they are not racist. Most Black people disagree. There is obviously a gap between the perceptions of both groups, and this in itself indicates that something is very wrong. The police federation argues that the police force is no more racist than society at large, but we say that this is not good enough. The police has to be better than the society at large. After all, one can confront a racist neighbour, or fight the National Front, but how does a young Black man stand up against a racist policeman? No, it is not good enough for the police to be as racist as the society at large.
While all this went on, another related event has quietly slipped out of public focus - the report into the death of asylum seeker Ibrahim Sey. The inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing, and the CPS duly obliged us by once again announcing that no policeman would face prosecution.
Black Perspective is not all about racism as our lead story shows. This issue also boasts of a number illuminating stories and news items from Africa and the Caribbean, complemented by our six-page headlines section. Film correspondent George Amponsah returns with an incisive review of the latest Black British film - Babymother - and we wrap up with the most comprehensive listings of Black arts events in the UK
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