Many of the black leaders who are prepared to talk about it do not want to be quoted.
If there was any consolation to be had from the recent English riots, it was that they did not pit one racial community against the police (as in Brixton and elsewhere in the 1980s), or one such community against another (as in Bradford and elsewhere in 2001). Yet the density of black people among the rioters suggests that race played some part, even if few politicians are keen to contemplate it. Just what that role was is a matter of great concern to thoughtful black Britons.
Black people make up slightly less than 3% of the British population. But in the CCTV snaps of rioters that the police in London, Birmingham and Manchester have put on the internet, slightly more than half seem to be black.
Many of the areas in which rioting took place, such as Tottenham,
Hackney and Brixton, are largely black. In Scotland, Wales and
north-east England, which have small black populations, there was no
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