Race, language and labels: what do people really think of the term ‘BAME’?


Last month, the UK government announced it was dropping the use of the problematic catch-all term “BAME” (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnicity), in response to last year’s Sewell report on racial disparities.

This follows similar action by the BBC and other broadcasters in December last year, following a report by the Sir Lenny Henry Center for Media Diversity which found the umbrella term had been ” used to mask gaps in the representation of specific ethnic groups”.

But while the term clearly homogenizes a vast and disparate number of people, questions remain: is it still useful in certain situations, when and how should UK media refer to people’s race and ethnicity, and are diversity initiatives still necessary?

Five young creatives from digital platform Freestyle Bristol tackled these points during a panel discussion on race, language and labels, moderated by Cable presenter Priyanka Raval.

Is the term “BAME” still useful?

In another video below, Priyanka speaks to Delroy Hibbert, who runs Freestyle Bristol, about the contradictions of the problematic term which – although often insulting – is still useful for organizations like hers to apply for funding.

These videos are a co-production of Freestyle Bristol and Bristol Cable. They were shoot by young creative Omar Powell.


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