Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities are often excluded and marginalised by mainstream politics, and with the rise of UKIP, the politics of xenophobia and racism have frighteningly been taking centre stage. The Green Party must combat this, yet BME representation and engaging with and reaching out to BME communities is something we still struggle with.
Recently, a group of BME members came together to discuss these topics and some of the recent race and international issues such as Ferguson and the implications of the Paris shootings. These discussions evolved into the forming of a BME Group, launched at Spring Conference, with the aim of addressing these issues and providing a voice to BME members. The Greens must speak with a loud and clear voice on such outrages.
Deyika Nzeribe, Co-Chair of the Manchester Green Party, said: “I’m pleased there is now a Green Party BME group – it’s been a long time coming. To date, the BME representation in the party has been sparse. The surge in membership gives the party a new opportunity to engage with the diverse communities of this country. It is essential now that we grasp this opportunity in order to maintain our growth, especially in large cities. In Manchester, the 2011 census puts the non-white population at approximately 33 per cent. The implications are obvious.”
Manishta Sunnia, Equality and Diversity Committee member, added: “We need to hear the BME voice on a whole host of policies in the party, including on the economy, sustainable development and population. The party must be able to respond to the growth of racism, islamophobia and antisemitism in society, especially with regards to recent events like Ferguson and Charlie Hebdo. In the face of the dangers of a re-emergence of racist attitudes in this country and across Europe, it is essential for the Green Party to develop robust and inclusive policies that recognise the needs and sensitivities of minority groups. We must speak with one clear voice against the lies and distortions of the right.”
You can contact BME Greens by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org