Half of voters want to tackle racism – but aren’t prepared to talk about it

One year on from George Floyd’s murder, 28 per cent of Britons think we have discussed racism too much.

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The murder of George Floyd one year ago sparked a chain reaction of rallies and movements around the world that called on societies to break down structural and racial inequality. 

According to a recent Ipsos MORI survey, most Britons are keen on doing just that – albeit with a catch.

The poll, conducted between 7 and 13 May, found 54 per cent of UK adults believe we must do more to tackle racism. Among ethnic minority respondents, this figure rises to 65 per cent.

Only 17 per cent think the country is doing enough to end structural racism, against the 13 per cent who believe we are doing too much.

However, while most Brits are prepared to take action against racism, they are less keen on talking about it. 

Voters agree we need to do more to tackle racism, but aren’t prepared to talk more about it
Ipsos MORI survey of UK adults, 7 - 13 May

Just 30 per cent told Ipsos MORI that race issues are not being talked about enough, but almost as many (28 per cent) said it has been discussed too much. Some 33 per cent believe the subject has been talked about to an appropriate level.

The disparity – between the 54 per cent who believe Britain must do more to tackle racism and the 30 per cent who believe we should talk more about it – risks holding Britain back. Until the country recognises that doing more to confront racism also means talking about and engaging with it more, the aspirations of the 2020 activists who protested in the wake of George Floyd's murder will never be realised.

 Ben Walker is a data journalist at the New Statesman

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