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Young Black and Betrayed: Black youth unemployment is through the roof.

Campaigner Lee Jasper says the latest figures showing the black unemployment is rocketing mean it’s time for affirmative action.

Lee Jasper responded to the IPPR research published today showing black youth unemployment has massively increased from a pre recession high of 35% to 48% today.

He said: “UK inner city Black youth are in crisis. We are seeing a serious increase in widespread disaffection. Black youths lack hope for their future for want of opportunity today. The spectre of failure now haunts over half of our young people.

“A Government that has no effective response to this issue is now consigning another generation to the scrap heap.

“Black youth unemployment needs to be reduced by 30% when compared to White young people. The UK is replicating the experience of many American cities during the 1980s; we are creating inner city ghettoes.

“The Government has a real opportunity to act and urgently need’s to set out clear policies for tackling this issue in its forthcoming Equality Bill.

“Black youth in the UK are locked out of opportunity by the edifice of racism in the labour market and the collapse of educational standards; they are first class youth but are being treated as third class citizens.

“If we are to avoid a very bad situation getting much worse then the introduction of affirmative action is the only realistic solution to this deeply entrenched problem.

“Northern Ireland has such legislation and as a result the unemployment rates of both Protestants and Roman Catholics fell dramatically over the period 1992 to 2008.
We have a comparable youth unemployment rate now as Catholics had when this legislation was re introduced 1990’s.

“We have never recovered from the effects of the recession of the 1990s and if affirmative action is good enough for Catholic community in Northern Ireland then its good enough for British Black Youth.”

Lee Jasper is Secretary of the National Assembly Against Racism Chair of the African Academy and is Vice Chair of Brixton Splash festival.

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One Response

  1. Interesting words from Mr Jasper.
    I would however like the words ‘affirmative action’ clearly and appropriately defined because if its anything to go by the American model then we’re in for a whirlwind of a time by way of issues surrounding and related to the ‘indigenous’ people of this country and what they see in a time of economic crisis and what they must have as such people.
    If we take the words at face value then I would include the word ‘positive’ as it would pro-active for us to come together as a people and pool the resources we have in the community to create job opportunities for our youth and our unemployed people and ultimately for those outside of it. We constantly say that we have made great strides in this country and how we are doing better today so I would take such words as a good sign of how we do have enough experts and professionals in various chosen fields in our community that are capable of creating an industry of our own which can help further the potential of those who are in need so they, and all of us can benefit from their achievements.

    Together, lets make ‘affirmative/positive action’ work!!

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