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CRE to include more ethnic groups

Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality argued for the inclusion of Jews, Gypsies and the Irish also.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2003 14:51 IST
UK Bureau

Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE),Trevor Phillip hit the right note when he pointed out that the Commission has come to be regarded as "the commission for Black and brown people complaining". This is really the fact. Over the years impression has grown that CRE is a zealous watchdog for the ethnic minority communities.

Now, Phillip wants to include "ethnic whites" among the Commission's 12 commissioners, the 13th being the chairman himself. His argument is that while incidents do take place against Blacks and Asians, others like the Jews, Gypsies and the Irish in the UK also suffer from discrimination and other problems.

Phillip said: "If you are a gypsy or a traveller, England is still like the (American) Deep South for Black people in the 50s."

Phillip has decided to recommend to the government representatives of newer immigrants from East Europe and of the Jews and other small groups to be chosen for six new commissioners who are to be selected before the year end.

In future a third of the Commission is expected to represent ethnic Whites and the English, who consider the Commission a natural body to appeal to if they suffer discrimination.

Quite a few leaders of the Black and Asian communities have welcomed the move, as a sign that they have "arrived" and do not need all the time a watchdog to monitor their problems.

First Published: Oct 21, 2003 14:51 IST