Category Archives: Uncategorized

We need to talk about light-skinned privilege

Media Diversified

Kristel Tracey talks about the importance of acknowledging light-skinned privilege amongst black communities

If you is white, you’s alright,

if you’s brown, stick around,

but if you’s black,

get back.

Almost seventy years ago, American blues singer Big Bill Broonzy sang of the racial hierarchy in place under America’s Jim Crow system.

Colourism. Shadism. #teamlightskin. #teamdarkskin. Divide and conquer, make one group believe they’re better than the other (but always inferior to white). Perhaps one of the most harmful remnants of colonisation and slavery was the internalisation of these cancerous notions, which persist across continents and cultures to this day.

To borrow the definition provided by Edward Ademolu, colourism (or shadism) “…is an intra-racial complexion-based hierarchy, that often affords societal, cultural, economic privileges and favouritism for/towards lighter-skinned people and discrimination against those with darker complexions. Some academics have even proposed that this may influence a persons’ life chances as…

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Guest Post: The Secret BPTC Student on legal aid cuts and the criminal Bar

The Secret Barrister

I am delighted that a current law student, and soon-to-be criminal pupil, has taken the time to write the following explainer on the ongoing dispute between the criminal Bar and the government over legal aid fees and the funding of the criminal justice system. A point which would be easy to lose – and which, more importantly, the Ministry of Justice hopes will be lost – in the clamour is that this is not simply about lawyers’ fees. The Ministry of Justice’s new legal aid pay rates for advocates (“Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme”), which amount in practice to a cut of up to 40% in complex cases, is simply the final straw. Our argument is that criminal justice across the board has been subjected to financial cuts unrivalled in other government departments, with the result that every aspect – from the police to the Crown Prosecution Service to legal aid to the crumbling fabric of our…

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The “hostile environment” that puts grandparents behind bars

Media Diversified

The dehumanising treatment of the Windrush generation by the Home Office needs to be challenged, writes Marcus Stow

Racist graffiti, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Black Cultural Archives.

What would you say if I told you of a state that retrospectively enacts policies that demand grandparents who have lived there for decades prove their identity, or face the threat of deportation or imprisonment? Am I talking about dystopian fiction? Some fascist regime from the distant past, perhaps?

Wrong and wrong again. This is modern Britain. Although perhaps it helps to add the context that we’re talking about African and Caribbean senior citizens. Not so surprising now?

In recent months there have been a disturbing number of cases of African and Caribbean elders being treated appallingly by the home office and benefits agencies. Many of these people arrived in the UK as British citizens when there was free movement from Commonwealth countries. Most…

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This is a moment I probably won’t remember but I feel safe. I can’t remember feeling safe. In itself it feels weird and so that’s a bit shoogly but it doesn’t feel unsafe. I’m grateful beyond words for this moment in my life. I have hope for more.

First they came for Catalonia..

Barrhead Boy

In the coming days Madrid will issue an arrest warrant for President Puigdemont of Catalonia on the charge of Rebellion.

It has the sound of something from a bygone age ,something that happened in the 18th or19th Century,not something that happens in 2017.

It leads one to believe this will not end in a 30 day custodial sentence and a €500 fine for the good President.

The last President of Catalonia to declare Independence Lluís Companys was put up against a wall in 1940 by Franco’s fascists and shot.

He remains to this day the only incumbent democratically elected President of a European country to ever have been executed.

Let us hope that this remains the case forever more.

However we do not know what the intentions of this extreme right wing minority government of Spain is in regards to President Puigdemont,we don’t even know if this charge of Rebellion…

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Four Walls and a Roof

The Common Green

“It seems obvious: the reason only a tiny percentage of new…buildings and retrofits aren’t green isn’t cost. It’s lack of ingenuity or knowledge of new construction techniques — architects and builders wed to the ‘same-old,’ lenders leery of anything unconventional.” – Sustainable Energy Africa

Housing – buildings in general, in fact – needs to be about more than just four walls and a roof. It also needs to be about more than vague promises of “more houses built” or about a volume-based industry which tries to extract as much profit per square metre as possible or being about more than the landlords who swoop in afterwards to do the same.

And with around 53% of all energy use in Scotland being used for heating and only a small fraction of it coming from renewable resources, it needs to be about more than throwing up any old building and passing the…

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