June 25, 2022, 9:15

    Prince William says racism remains ‘all too familiar’ for Black people in Britain today

    Prince William says racism remains ‘all too familiar’ for Black people in Britain today

    Prince William has said Black people are still facing racism and discrimination in modern-day Britain as he paid tribute to the Windrush generation.

    William was speaking as he and the Duchess of Cambridge attended the unveiling of a national monument at London’s Waterloo Station to celebrate the dreams and courage of the Windrush generation who came to help Britain rebuild after the Second World War.

    The monument is a 12-ft statue – of a man, woman and child in their Sunday best standing on top of suitcases – that was unveiled today to mark Windrush Day.

    In a speech to those who had gathered for the unveiling, which included Windrush passengers and high-profile members of the black community, William talked about how the nation would be poorer without their efforts and how he and Kate had learned a lot on their recent tour of the Caribbean.

    Prince William gives a speech at the unveiling of the National Windrush Monument at Waterloo Station
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    Image:
    REUTERS)

    He said: “We know without question that the Windrush generation has made our culture richer, our services stronger, and our fellow countrymen safer.”

    William also spoke of the Windrush scandal which began to surface in 2017 after it emerged that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were from the Windrush generation, had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights.

    He said: “Sadly, that is also the case for members of the Windrush generation who were victims of racism when they arrived here, and discrimination remains an all too familiar experience for Black men and women in Britain in 2022.

    The royal couple accompanied by Baroness Floella Benjamin, Windrush passengers Alford Gardner and John Richards and children next to the new statue
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    Image:
    PA)

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    "Only a matter of years ago, tens of thousands of that generation were profoundly wronged by the Windrush scandal. That rightly reverberates throughout the Caribbean community here in the UK as well as many in the Caribbean nations.

    "Therefore, alongside celebrating the diverse fabric of our families, our communities and our society as a whole – something the Windrush generation has contributed so much to – it is also important to acknowledge the ways in which the future they sought and deserved has yet to come to pass.

    "Diversity is what makes us strong, and it is what reflects the modern, outward-looking values that are so important to our country.”

    Prince William and Kate Middleton with Baroness Floella Benjamin at Waterloo Station today
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    Image:
    REUTERS)

    The next year marks 75 years since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks in 1948, bringing 500 passengers from the Caribbean.

    William spoke of the wide-ranging areas of British life which have been shaped by the work and skills of the Windrush generation and their descendants including commerce, manufacturing, sport, science, engineering and fashion.

    They have also provided valuable work for the transport system and the NHS which was founded two weeks after the Empire Windrush docked in England in 1948.

    The couple wave to the crowds at the event this morning
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    Image:
    REUTERS)

    The Government, which has provided £1 million in funding for the monument, said it “symbolises the courage, commitment and resilience of the thousands of men, women and children who travelled to the UK to start new lives from 1948 to 1971”.

    It also acknowledges the Windrush generation’s "outstanding contribution” to British society and is intended to be “a permanent place of reflection”, it added.

    The Queen also sent her congratulations on what she described as an “historic occasion”.

    In a personal message, she wrote: "The unveiling at Waterloo Station on Windrush Day serves as a fitting thank you to the Windrush pioneers and their descendants, on recognition of the profound contribution they have made to the United Kingdom over the decades.

    "It is my hope that the memorial will serve to inspire present and future generations and I send you my warmest good wishes on this historic occasion.”

    Waterloo station was chosen because thousands of people who arrived from the Caribbean passed through the station on their way to start their new lives across the country, the Government said.

    The unveiling is one of the dozens of events and activities across England to celebrate Windrush Day 2022.

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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