Sputnik: What's going on with the Windrush Scandal, does it constitute racism in the British Government?
Dr. William Ackah: The government is just kind of compounding insensitivities by destroying documents and not really fully coming clean on what they've done, in terms of how they have treated this group of people.
I think when you put it into the broader context in terms of the government's whole policy of immigration over a number of years, I think one could quite confidently say that it does have a racialized dynamic to it. When you think about how the Windrush Generation were brought over to Britain to be a labor force, when they're needed as a labor force, they get treated in a certain way, and then when they're no longer perceived to be needed then they get discriminated and treated in very negative ways. I would say that is a very strongly racialized dynamic.
Sputnik: Is a ‘hostile environment' policy an effective way to combat concerns of immigration?
Sputnik: Could this case affect the way people view Britain from the outside?
Dr. William Ackah: Going forwards yes, with what's happening with Britain exiting the European Union, this may make other groups think about Britain's immigration policies — that you can't, in a sense, trust the British Government. It might be one policy one day, where they are very welcoming, saying 'come over and our policies will be welcoming and supportive of you'. But then in ten years' time, the political wind changes and you can be treated very unfavorably. So, that could well make people wary. But I'd say that for that generation of Caribbean migrants, and other migrants of color, that wariness has always been there. People came to Britain in good faith, to work and make a contribution to the society, and over a long period of time, were treated with hostility. People had to fight then for their rights to be citizens. Having fought for their rights, having fought racism, having fought discrimination, having made such a contribution to society, then to be told 'you still don't belong'. They are being asked to prove that they are worthy of British citizenship, I think that is quite disgraceful.
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