US unrest is a reminder to stand up to racism

We must be alert to the threat of discrimination


Commenting on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the resulting civil unrest across the US, UNISON assistant general secretary Roger McKenzie said:

“The death of George Floyd has reminded the world once again of the racism that scars US society. It exists too in the shameful brutality of some police officers, whipped up further by the disgraceful actions of Donald Trump.

“That these are scenes still being witnessed in 21st century America is truly shocking. Black communities feel attacked on all sides – from the virus, the resulting mass unemployment and the appalling actions of the very people who are supposed to keep US citizens safe.

“But we must never imagine these are issues that America alone faces. The same racism exists in the UK and around the world.

“Growing economic inequalities in the wake of the pandemic could well spark an increase in racism. We must all be alert to that threat and stand up to abuse and discrimination wherever it surfaces.”

Note to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

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