It’s 258 pages long, and by page 115 I was seeing a theme. Last week’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report was like that debate you were forced to do in First Year English class at school where you had to argue one thing but your inclination, experience and most of the facts said otherwise.

Added to that was the difficulty that the judge – in this case the UK Prime Minister – had kicked off the competition by saying he wanted to "change the narrative so we stop the sense of victimisation and discrimination." I mean, if you wanted to win the coveted gold cup it’s probably best to give him what he wanted. Right?

The narrative Boris Johnson wanted to change is that the system – whether it’s in education, employment, health – is rigged against people from ethnic minorities in Britain.

READ MORE: Uzma Mir: Arrival of my bright blue vaccination envelope brought joy...and despair

Clearly, the first step is to ignore most of those who have experienced and contributed to the narrative over the last 60 years – first generation Asian and Caribbean immigrants, the victims of the Windrush scandal, those impacted by the legacies of slavery and empire, those affected by stop and search and racial profiling. Or Black mothers who are nine times more likely to die during childbirth than their White counterparts, the victims of the Grenfell tragedy, victims of racist attacks and abuse, the disproportionate numbers of ethnic minorities who have died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and ethnic minority teachers and doctors who have repeatedly failed to get promotion.

Their stories are the ones the media apparently want us to know about – the failures that show Britain in a negative light. Instead, we must use data to point to the success stories only.

In the report (which, in a spectacular omission, rarely mentions Scotland, and uses data predominantly from England and Wales) we are hit with a barrage of data some of which seems to indicate better outcomes for some ethnic groups than others.

Most ethnic minorities do relatively well in getting into higher education including those from poorer backgrounds but when it comes to getting graduate jobs Indian, Chinese and White British earn above £30k whilst Black Caribbean and Pakistani/Bangladeshi graduates earn less.

The report looks for explanations with the naivety of an 11-year old – young people from poorer backgrounds (of which many of the Pakistani/Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean group are) need to get better careers advice; some Black and Pakistani/Bangladeshi British young people went to low-tariff universities; Indian and Chinese British come from a more stable family structure.

But in fact, after applying for a job all ethnic minorities have to work harder to get a call-back. The report notes that ethnic minority job applicants (including those from Indian and Chinese backgrounds) have to write on average 1.6 letters for every 1 letter a white applicant writes to get a call-back.

Why? Hmm, the report's not sure. Next example, please. Try the field of medicine: In 2020 almost half of all doctors in the NHS were from an ethnic minority, yet 60% of consultants are white. Searching for explanations for this disparity the report is silent, finally scunnered by having run out of reasons for this inequity. Data, as we all know, can be manipulated and moulded to prove or disprove the hypothesis, but to ignore it, is a new level of gas-lighting.

And whilst we are rewriting the present day narrative to prove that institutionalised racism no longer exists, the report seems to want to reimagine the past too.

The recommendation that we teach schoolchildren that enslaved Africans changed themselves culturally to be more like the British, to offer a positive view of slavery and its affect on the African diaspora, actually sickens me.

In the foreword, the chair Dr Tony Sewell wrote: "There is a new story about the Caribbean experience which speaks to the slave period not only being about profit and suffering but how culturally African people transformed themselves into a re-modelled African/Britain."

Like some sort of reality makeover show we are meant to forget that the slave trade made commodities of human beings, chewed them up and spat them out. This is one narrative that no amount of spin can ever change, and as people of the world we cannot allow this sort of revisionism, out of respect for the thousands who perished at the hands of the Atlantic Slave trade.

These are the facts that ‘speak to’ not only ethnic minorities but increasingly to the majority in this country. Since last summer and the death of George Floyd in the US and the subsequent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, ordinary people have moved forward to start to change the system. The commission is too late to stop that.

READ MORE: Meghan and Harry: I'm a mixed race mum – I understand how a pregnant Meghan must have felt

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees talk about being ‘heard’ in their organisations and places of work for the first time, there has been more discussion, more representation in some areas of employment, in adverts, on TV, in film, and even in Scottish football clubs.

It is these people who will change the narrative – organically and from a place of fairness rather than governments of any persuasion who want to alter our realities. Because the truth is that most of us want to see a post-racial society where every member is pulled up to be equal and treated with equal respect, their stories and histories are given equal value, and they are equally rewarded for their work which instils confidence and loyalty in us all.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.