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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Racism
423

Racist incidents in Schools – Scotland needs a new approach

Scotland’s schools have recorded over 3,000 racist incidents in the past five years, according to figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests. While this may seem shocking to some, we’re confident that it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In 2012, CRER undertook detailed research into racist incident recording practices and policies in Scotland’s schools. What we found was a patchy, problematic range of approaches. Based on research carried out by Respectme and LGBT Youth Scotland for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2015, little appears to have changed since then.

In our experience, two key problems make racist incident recording in Scotland’s schools ineffective. Firstly, a lack of understanding of the nature of racism and its impact in schools beyond direct cases of bullying; and secondly, disjointed recording processes and practices within schools.

Scotland’s education departments have had plenty of time to develop effective policy and practice in this area. Recording of all racist incidents in schools was a key recommendation of the Macpherson Report, the publication which cemented the definition of a racist incident as ‘Any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person’ in 1999.

That understanding seems to have rolled back, replaced by a defensive arrogance which both misinterprets what racism means and puts more emphasis on pandering to white sensitivities about ‘being called racist’ than it does on protecting children from racism. This attitude persists despite the clear fact that it’s the incident (not the child or the school) which is being recorded as ‘racist’.

However, our 2012 research did find some examples of good policy making in local authority education departments on racist incident recording. This should be capitalised on at a national level so that children in all areas can benefit, putting an end to the current ‘post code lottery’ approach which makes it so difficult for parents in some areas to challenge schools’ failure to deal with racism.

In our experience, racism in schools is still a serious problem and we are not convinced that current approaches to tackling it are working. Even although we aren’t funded to provide advice services, CRER regularly hears from parents whose children have faced serious harassment, physical violence and psychological torment at the hands of their classmates. In many cases, these parents report being dismissed, belittled and (somewhat ironically) even bullied when they try to seek help for their children. And it’s not just school children who are affected. The majority of perpetrators of racist hate crimes in Scotland are young men who have recently been through the school system. If the system was working properly, they would know better.

In an interview with the Times Educational Supplement, Louis Kushnick (race equality activist and Professor Emeritus at Manchester University) put forward a strong argument for mandatory incident reporting as a tool for social change: “Do we want a society characterised by stupidity, bigotry and ignorance? Or do we want our children to be at ease with the world? ...If we don’t raise our children to be decent human beings, they’ll bring into school what they’re consuming elsewhere and no one will challenge it... If you don’t have monitoring you have no way of identifying the scale of the problem. And if you leave it up to schools, there’s no reward for flagging it up.” Our research supports that view.

The EHRC’s research from 2015 also demonstrated that while practice on race is mixed, most other forms of prejudice based incident aren’t recorded at all. But with no central guidance or collation of statistics to give momentum to this work, it’s perhaps little wonder that practice is often so poor. It’s time for Scotland to develop a national strategy on recording and responding to all forms of prejudice based incidents in schools. Our children’s wellbeing depends on it.

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585

‘Post-ref’ racism and five ways to tackle it

With the upsurge in media coverage of racism linked to ‘Brexit’, people have increasingly been asking CRER about getting involved in tackling racism and hate crime. This was a pleasant surprise for us. We deal with these issues on a day to day basis and have done for almost twenty years, so it’s refreshing to see so many people willing to stand up against racism (although it’s worth mentioning that concerns raised by Black activists about the tone of the current debate do resonate with us).

Whether you’re new to anti-racism or just looking for a different approach, there are dozens of ways to take action now and in the future. However you do it, the important thing is to build anti-racism into your day to day life; not just now, but for the long-run.

Here are our five top suggestions:

  1. Build a strong understanding of race and racism, and share this understanding with family, friends and colleagues. This will help increase the number of people who can make strong arguments against racism in all its forms:
  • Our ‘Changing the Race Equality Paradigm’ guide for organisations highlights some of the key concepts.
  • Websites like Media Diversified and Runnymede’s Race Matters have a range of articles that look at current affairs issues from a race perspective.
  • Finding out about Scotland’s Black History can help to challenge assumptions about minority ethnic communities in Scotland. There’s no one comprehensive source of information on this, but some resources are available on this page from Education Scotland. We co-ordinate Glasgow’s annual Black History Month programme of events; sign up to our email list if you’d like to receive more details later this year about the 2016 programme.

 

  1. Directly challenge racism and hate speech whenever it occurs, in a way that’s effective and safe:
  1. Report any racist incidents you see, whether in public spaces or online:
  • We developed a guide to responding to and reporting online hate speech; it also explores the difference between hate crime and hate speech.
  • If you witness a racist incident or hate crime in Scotland, you can report it to Police Scotland even if you weren’t the person being targeted.
  • If you see racist materials (for example posters, stickers or graffiti) in a public place, you can report it to your local Council’s environmental department (in Glasgow, there’s a dedicated Environmental Task Force). Materials intended to stir up racial hatred can also be reported to Police Scotland.
  • Report any racist incidents at work, College or University under the relevant policies, and support colleagues or fellow students who are complaining about racism.

 

  1. Encourage your local politicians to take action against racism:
  • Write to MPs, MSPs and local Councillors to ask what they are doing to tackle racism and racial inequalities, and encourage them to speak up on race equality.
  • Ask your local politicians to support local or national anti-racist campaigns.
  • If you’re a political party member, encourage your local branch to actively recruit more minority ethnic members and to encourage and support them to stand as election candidates.
  •  
  1. Work with others to tackle racism:
  • Some employers have equality committees or equality champion schemes you could get involved in. If not, there are often likeminded colleagues you could join up with to think about how to promote race equality at work.
  • You could help to arrange or promote anti-racist training opportunities at work. Ideally, encourage your employer to provide this widely to staff rather than just those who already have an interest.
  • Some Colleges and Universities have Students’ Union officers responsible for equality. They should be able to advise you about any opportunities to get involved in anti-racist activities on campus.
  • Universities can apply to join the ECU’s Race Equality Charter scheme.
  • You can support campaigning groups and get involved with community organisations. All organisations work in different ways, so opportunities range from volunteering to holding a fundraiser, donating money or attending a protest rally. Not all organisations advertise for volunteers or have formal volunteering processes (particularly smaller community groups) but if you can offer practical help, some will welcome informal involvement – so if you are aware of a local group you’d like to support, there’s no harm in getting in touch to offer your assistance. Most formal volunteering opportunities will be advertised through local Volunteer Centres.

 

As you’ll gather from our ‘Changing the Race Equality Paradigm’ guide, CRER’s focus is on tackling structural and institutional racism, so we’re particularly keen to see more individuals pushing for change in the institutions they’re involved in.

Tackling these entrenched forms of racism is especially important for the future generations of young minority ethnic Scots who will continue to face racism based on their skin colour. Xenophobia against white migrants (horrifying as it may be) thankfully often tails off once families have settled here. Their children grow up being perceived by others as Scottish; they look ‘Scottish’ and sound ‘Scottish’.

Black minority ethnic Scots whose grandparents were born here, on the other hand, continue to face the eternal question: “Where are you from?”

The attitude that underlies that question in ‘friendly’ small talk is the same one which leads to racist violence. Assumptions about whether someone belongs or not. About who is ‘welcome here’ – and, for that matter, who has the power and privilege to ‘welcome’ another person to their own home in the first place.

Truthfully, there’s nothing particularly new or different about the racism we’re seeing following the EU referendum. What’s really remarkable is the strength of the current public outcry against it, and the opportunity this brings to build support for anti-racism in Scotland.

We know from previous experience that the media will soon shift its focus away from hate crime, abuse and inequality. It never had much focus to begin with on the less dramatic but equally damaging racial inequalities people face in employment, income and political representation.

It’s up to all of us to keep anti-racism at the top of the agenda.

 

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Three urgent equality requests from the Scottish Government at the beginning of the new parliamentary term

 

The 2011-2016 term of the Scottish Parliament saw significant strides forward for equality, including the introduction of the Scottish-specific public sector equality duty, passage of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014, the lowering of the voting age in the independence referendum and Scottish elections to 16, the development of the Equally Safe strategy, and the publication of the Race Equality Framework for Scotland. Ahead of the recent election, most Scottish political parties made commitments to equality in their manifestos, with some stronger and more specific than others.

However, despite promises and precedent, we know that making continuing progress on equality is a long and difficult process which requires considerable political will. As such, CRER has written today to the First Minister with three urgent requests to push forward the equality agenda in the new parliamentary term.

 

A Dedicated Minister for Equality

CRER believes there is merit in creating a ministerial post focused solely on equality, rather than including it as part of a wider remit or portfolio. Much more practical work remains to be done to promote equality for all those who face discrimination. The task of successfully implementing initiatives and strategies and of creating additional legislation and schemes needed to address issues for many equality groups is significant and expansive and deserves a dedicated focus.

Social justice and equality work are not the same. The former is largely concerned with income inequality and poverty, whereas equality seeks to address the prejudice and discrimination (both personal and institutional) faced by individuals because of who they are. These agendas are certainly related, but should not be conflated. With plans to progress the Fairer Scotland Action Plan and to introduce a socio-economic duty for public sector bodies, the Scottish Government would benefit from separating these two agendas to ensure each area of policy receives specific focus and expertise to effectively tackle inequality for all.

Furthermore, appointing a government minister to focus specifically on equality would send a strong message to the equality sector and to community members affected by equality issues that the Scottish Government values its commitment to equality and intends to keep it as a key priority area in the coming years.

 

Equality Impact Assessment of the Programme for Government

As legislation passes through the Scottish Parliament, it must undergo an Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) to ensure that it does not have a negative impact on groups with protected characteristics, to determine if there is a differential impact on any one group in particular, and to highlight opportunities to promote equality that may have been missed.

Given this, CRER asked the First Minister to ensure that the upcoming programme for government itself be assessed prior to its announcement in the Scottish Parliament. Significant consideration must be given to the aims and potential effects of legislation and initiatives on equality. Performing an EqIA on the programme for government would offer a strategic method to identify the impact of these commitments and demonstrate that the Scottish Government is being conscientious and considered about equality.

 

Dedicated Resources for the Race Equality Framework for Scotland

The recently published Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016-2030 made several promises to improve racial equality across a variety of sectors including education, employment, health, housing, justice, and participation. Given the fifteen year life of the Framework, CRER is mindful that the pledges made to communities require sustained resourcing and commitment to be successful in the long-term. It is exceptionally important that the Scottish Government recognises this and sets aside the resources needed to successfully implement the Framework in the coming years. Without this, it will fail to achieve the results promised and minority ethnic communities will continue to face racial discrimination and inequality.

At the start of the new parliamentary session, it is important that the equality sector and community groups hold MSPs and the Scottish Government to account for their commitments to equality. Fulfilling these three requests would go a long way to demonstrate that equality will remain high on the agenda in the term ahead.

 

Published: 12th May

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Race equality in 2016 party manifestos

Author Dorothea Brande once said, “A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved.”

In the case of tackling racial inequality in Scotland, several political parties are neither interested in stating the problem nor developing policies to solve it, at least according to their 2016 election manifestos.

The problem is that minority ethnic groups in Scotland are disadvantaged and discriminated against in a range of measures. 28% of Scots feel that there is sometimes a good reason to be prejudiced against certain groups, while 21% of those from non-white minority ethnic groups reported experiencing discrimination compared to only 6% of their white counterparts. 4,807 racist incidents occurred in Scotland in 2013/2014 and racist hate crime continues to be the most commonly reported hate crime in Scotland. Minority ethnic groups are under-represented in Scottish politics, with 1-2% of MPs, MSPs, and councillors from a non-white minority ethnic background, compared to 4% of the population. Those from non-white minority ethnic groups are underemployed at a much higher rate than those from white ethnic groups and the poverty rate for all minority ethnic groups is twice that of the white British poverty rate, despite minority ethnic children out-performing white ethnic pupils in school. Clearly, something is wrong in Scottish society.

Despite this, not every party standing candidates for election even mentioned racial equality in their manifestos, let alone set out ways to challenge and overcome this inequality.

Commendation must be given to the parties that not only stated the problem, but also offered solutions. The Scottish Green Party highlighted the issue of racial discrimination both for UK-born individuals and for refugees and first-generation migrants, and addressed issues including hate crime, education, political representation and participation, employment, poverty, and cultural diversity. They were also one of two parties who committed to the implementation of the Race Equality Framework for Scotland, alongside the Scottish National Party.

The Scottish Labour Party however have stated in their manifesto that they would consult with communities and publish a strategy to break down barriers faced by minority ethnic people. There is no mention of the (recently launched) Race Equality Framework for Scotland which compiled a huge database of information through public consultations. Likewise they state the many ways in which they wish to tackle inequality in education and employment, but make no mention of black and minority ethnic people and the specific barriers they face, or of the evidence that the Scottish Parliamentary inquiry published on race and employment.

The Scottish Labour party also published a BME-specific manifesto in addition to a disabilities, an LGBTI, and a women’s manifesto. While the BME manifesto was not well publicised, it addressed topics including opportunity, public life and representation, the economy, justice and health.

RISE: Scotland’s Left Alliance dedicated a section of their manifesto to “anti-racism” and stated that they are an anti-racist organisation with a “zero-tolerance policy towards racism.” Their manifesto highlighted policies to improve Scotland’s awareness of racial inequality (both historical and modern), address institutional racism, end racist hiring practices, improve political representation for minority ethnic groups, and tackle racist policing.

The Scottish National Party pledged to appoint a Race Framework Advisor to implement a range of actions to tackle existing inequalities in minority ethnic communities in line with the Race Equality Framework for Scotland. The only other race-specific policy detailed in the party’s manifesto addressed increasing minority ethnic representation in Modern Apprenticeships. The manifesto addresses wider equality issues and states that teachers will be expected to undertake equality training to address prejudice-based bullying, police officers will receive appropriate training to investigate hate crimes, and public authorities will be required to gather diversity information to use it to inform employment practices.

Other parties mentioned racial equality, but this was alongside other equality areas and did not offer policies particular to tackling racism and discrimination. The Women’s Equality Party noted that women experience additional inequalities due to ethnicity, alongside other characteristics such as sexuality, gender identity, and class. Their manifesto highlighted issues of poverty, violence, hate crime, political representation, and media representation with the effect of these issues on BME women detailed alongside the effect on disabled women, LGBT+ people, and disabled people.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats asserted that there should be equal opportunity for everyone regardless of their race, sexuality, gender, religion, disability. One policy in particular applies to minority ethnic people – forming a stakeholder group to propose new ways to tackle the barriers to equal representation in senior roles in the police and education services.

However, the Scottish Conservative and UKIP did not address racism, racial equality, or issues facing minority ethnic groups in their manifestos.

While much progress has been made since the 2011 manifestos (when a vast majority of parties did not mention racial equality or racism at all), there is still much work to be done to convince parties that racial equality must be a policy priority.

Before politicians can put forward policies to tackle racial inequality, they must be willing to talk about it. For several parties, the 2016 manifestos were a missed opportunity to do just that.

NB: Please note, this blog was updated on 9th May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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'I don’t want to make a fuss, I just want to ignore it.’
 

Everyday Racism
by Zandra Yeaman

Recent news has once again highlighted the issues of racism in Scotland and has led to some Facebook friends having to use their click power to unfriend people they have decided are racist.

The fear of being called racist has put many on the defensive. But as a colleague of mine pointed out, ‘being called “racist” is not an insult. It’s an adjective to describe something which prioritises the importance and value of one ethnic group’s identity, appearance, culture or way of life over others. It’s the assumption that your cultural viewpoint is the right way, the best way – everything else is an anomaly, to be tolerated at best and eradicated at worst.’ (http://www.crer.org.uk/crerblog?start=20)

Most people seem to think of racism in its extreme forms of a white person physically attacking a black person, or in overt forms such as a banana being thrown at a black footballer. However every day racism not only includes these forms of oppression but also racist practice that goes unnoticed but is nonetheless still felt strongly by Black Minority Ethnic (BME) people on a daily basis.

Despite BME people living with the anticipation that racial discrimination can (even will) happen, and this in itself is stressful, what is usually forgotten is that most BME people are not overly sensitive to racial discrimination; in fact many are reluctant to label behaviour as racist before giving the situation serious consideration.  No one wants to feel humiliated because of who they are or because of the colour of their skin.

Let’s pause for a moment and consider some examples of what everyday racism looks like:

Politicians make discriminatory statements such as ‘British jobs for British workers’;

Daily Mail cartoon depicting black people in the jungle along with a headline “‘Am I Black?’ asks Tom Jones”.

Teachers sharing Britain First posts with racist sentiments with their classes;

White people rolling their eyes at yet another challenge to their racist joke (and then complaining ‘you can’t say anything these days without the fear of being accused as racist’);

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Black History Month is an opportunity to mark the struggles and successes of Black people in the past and present; issues which may have been forgotten about or are absent from our history books and the education system.

In Scotland, it has been celebrated since 2001. Here, Black History Month has encompassed the history of African, Caribbean and Asian people in this country; people who often have a direct link with Scotland through slavery or colonialism. It is a time to acknowledge the contributions, sacrifices and achievements that have been made which inspire us, but also a time to remember, and take the opportunity to apply the lessons of the past to build upon our future.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_s200_colin.clark.jpgGuest Blog by Professor Colin Clark

The recent publication of NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey for 2013 appears to show that tolerance and acceptance of others has become rather passé in Britain. People are now bolder and more assertive in openly declaring their prejudices. Since 2000 there has been a significant rise in the number of people who self-report to BSA researchers as being racially prejudiced. Drawing on a sample of 2,149 people, the question asked by BSA researchers since the early 1980s has been: "How would you describe yourself … as very prejudiced against people of other races, a little prejudiced, or not prejudiced at all?" In Scotland, 25% of those asked this question suggested they were either ‘very’ or a ‘little’ prejudiced. This represents a double-digit increase north of the border - the figure was ‘just’ 14% in 2000. Across Britain as a whole, the figure is 30% for 2013, up 5% from 2000.

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Tagged in: Guest Blog News Racism
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This week’s news has been dominated by racism both in the UK and abroad. The
Dani Alves incident, Jeremy Clarkson mark one and two, various UKIPpers, and a US basketball team owner (who ironically owes his successes in that position to the very people he seems to hate).

High profile recognition that racism is unacceptable should be a good thing. We should be welcoming all of this discontent about racist language. But look a little deeper and it soon becomes clear that this week’s debate is no cause for celebration.

What should have been an opportunity to highlight the fact that racism is alive and kicking has somehow morphed into a tit-for-tat argument around semantics and the meaning of free speech. The main problem with this is that only a handful of the current commentators seem to properly understand the semantics of racism in the first place.

One key point they’re missing is that the word “racist” is not an insult. It’s an adjective to describe something which prioritises the importance and value of one ethnic group’s identity, appearance, culture or way of life over others. It’s the assumption that your cultural viewpoint is the right way, the best way – everything else is an anomaly, to be tolerated at best and eradicated at worst.

Another misunderstanding (which can even be seen in some of the supposedly anti-racist coverage of these incidents) lies around why racist language is not acceptable. Racist language is not just a social faux-pas showing how out of touch, ignorant or unpleasant the user is. It’s part of a deep rooted structure that can’t be explained in a few column inches, however critical they may be.

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Tagged in: Racism
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"I call on all people, especially political, civic and religious leaders, to strongly condemn messages and ideas based on racism, racial superiority or hatred as well as those that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

  

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the 21st March to commemorate the day in 1960 where police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa. The official day was proclaimed six years later by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in a call to the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. 

The 21st of March this year, marks the first celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination since the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela. President Mandela’s legacy is particularly relevant to the 21st March celebrations due to his historic struggle against apartheid and the victory over racist forces in South Africa. 

This year the UN has decided to honour the courageous struggle of an extraordinary leader in the fight against racism and chosen “The Role of Leaders in Combatting Racism and Racial Discrimination” as the 2014 theme for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

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10956

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Over 50% of Premier League and Football League footballers have either witnessed or been subjected to racist abuse in football stadiums according to a consultation undertaken by Kick It Out.

The consultation, carried out between August 2013 and December 2013, was completed confidentially and anonymously by 200 current professional footballers (32% black and minority ethnic) from across the Premier League (15%) and Football League (85%).

Sent to every Premier League and Football League club, the consultation saw players answering a wide range of questions on discrimination in football, and the effectiveness of Kick It Out. The results revealed: 

  • 57% of players have witnessed, and 24% have been subjected to, racist abuse in football stadiums. 7% of players have been subjected to, and 20% have witnessed, racist abuse on the training ground or in the dressing room.
  • 39% of players have witnessed, and 3% subjected to, homophobic abuse in football stadiums. 7% of players have been subjected to, and 26% have witnessed, homophobic abuse on the training ground or in the dressing room.
  • 92% of players thought fan on player discrimination was common or extremely common. 80% felt fan on fan was common or extremely common. 50% thought player on player discrimination was extremely rare or rare. 39% thought player on player discrimination was common or extremely common.
  • 69% of players felt that, due to their profession, they are more exposed to abuse, with 91% agreeing that social media has led to an increase in them receiving discriminatory abuse. They felt these platforms must be policed and monitored more effectively.
  • 65% of players are aware of reporting procedures and are comfortable informing either the Premier League or Football League, the PFA, their club, agent and Kick It Out. They feel The FA and Police should have quicker and more consistent responses with harsher penalties for both fans and players. They also believe that there should be better education for fans who are found guilty.
  • 52% of players agreed that there was an issue around the lack of black and minority ethnic managers and coaches. 62% felt mandatory shortlisting should be in place for black and minority ethnic candidates applying for non-playing jobs in football. 70% believed there should be greater transparency around the recruitment of managers and coaches, and how appointments are made.
  • 86% of players agreed there needs to be an anti-discrimination campaign in football, with 89% saying that they will support future Kick It Out initiatives and events.
  • 92% felt Kick It Out has been effective in raising awareness of racism in football, and 71% agreed the campaign has been effective in tackling the issue. 67% felt Kick It Out has been effective in raising awareness of other issues of discrimination in football, and 55% agreed the campaign has been effective in tackling the issues.
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Tagged in: Equalities News Racism
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Following the lead of Harvard students, a group of Oxford University Black and Minority Ethnic students launched “I, too, am Oxford

The group explained that their project was “inspired by the recent ‘I, too, am Harvard’ initiative. The Harvard project resonated with a sense of communal disaffection that students of colour at Oxford have with the University. The sharing of the Buzzfeed article ‘I, too, am Harvard’ on the online Oxford based race forum, ‘Skin Deep’ led to students quickly self organising a photoshoot within the same week. A message that was consistently reaffirmed throughout the day was that students in their daily encounters at Oxford are made to feel different and Othered from the Oxford community. Hopefully this project will demonstrate that despite there being a greater number of students of colour studying at Oxford now than there has ever been before, there are still issues that need to be discussed. In participating in ‘I, too, am Oxford,’ students of colour are demanding that a discussion on race be taken seriously and that real institutional change occur.”

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Tagged in: Equalities News Racism
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Following a legal challenge brought forward by solicitors, Deighton Pierce Glynn, on behalf of two clients of the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London the Westminister Government has 'confirmed that if any further campaigns of a similar nature are planned, they would carry out a consultation with local authorities and community groups.'

The legal challenge against the 'Go Home' vans pilot was brought on the basis that the initiative failed to comply with the public sector equality duty of the Equality Act which requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment and to foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

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On Wednesday, we shared a report on Twitter that UKBA Officers were stopping people of minority ethnic appearance at the tube station in Kensal Green. Tweeters and some independent media quickly took up the story, with a few of the bigger news outlets (notably the Huffington Post and New Statesman) catching on this morning. But what actually happened at Kensal Green, and was it legal?

According to the Home Office statement made to Political Scrapbook, this was merely “a routine operation” where Officers “questioned individuals to check if they had the right to be in the UK”.

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On 17 May 2012, the Daily Mail hailed the fact that 100,000 calls had been made reporting ‘illegal’ immigrants (one call every 6 minutes) to the UK’s National Allegations Database, despite the system not being publicly launched until 30 September 2012. Conveniently forgotten has been the fact that less than 3% of allegations led to arrest.

These Government campaigns urging citizens to report neighbours and work colleagues as illegal immigrants and the latest campaign to “go home or be arrested” are coming very close to two campaigns run by Europe’s right wing parties.

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13117

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In the past few months the world has witnessed several high profile incidents which have resulted in increased discrimination against persons from Asian backgrounds. Such incidents have included the bombing of the Boston Marathon, the trial and conviction of an Oxford sex-grooming ring, and most recently the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby. With each of these events has come a media flurry that has overwhelmingly focused on the Muslim community, and through this one-sided coverage there has been a growing tension; leaving some people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, particularly those from the Muslim community, feeling vulnerable and under attack once more.

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The 5th of July 2013 marks the 65th anniversary of the NHS. This is a momentous occasion. It gives the UK a chance to take pride in the knowledge our country has one of the most successful health care systems in the world. The NHS philosophy is one based on equality, in that every person resident in the UK receive equal treatment as they require. If you break your leg, you know where to get an x-ray. If your loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it would be fair for you to assume that they will be given exemplary care. Despite this however, there are continuing difficulties for BME people in accessing health services. (For further information on this issue you can see Chapter 9 of the EHRC’s publication ‘How Fair Is Britain?’ available here). But, what about those employed by the health service, the faces behind the NHS?

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Tagged in: Equalities NHS Racism
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"The Movement today for freedom cannot be pushed back anymore than a tidal wave can be pushed back by hand. That which seeks to destroy the freedom of Man, seeks to destroy the soul of Man."


Medgar Evers, May 31, 1959

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Aside from the few cases of race discrimination which hit the headlines, we don’t hear much about how Britain’s equality laws are upheld. To the casual observer, this probably seems quite natural. The Employment Tribunal system is so far removed from our everyday lives that we barely perceive it, assuming that it simply toils away in the background, resolving other people’s discrimination problems ten a penny.

But what happens when someone needs to use its services – say, for a race discrimination claim?

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Shelia Washington, who was instrumental in organizing the Scottsboro Boys Museum.
Justice at last for the Scottsboro Boys

After over 80 years, a gross injustice has at last been righted in the U.S. 







It was an intriguing old photo from a Glasgow newspaper that had belonged to my Dad that led me to find out about the tragic tale of the Scottsboro Boys.  The old Press photo showed a black woman heading up some kind of demonstration in the 1930s, the time of the Depression.  Her prominence was unusual at the time on the double count of her gender and her colour.  

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The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights welcome the news that the Council of Europe has launched a campaign against the growing problem of hate speech online.

The No Hate Speech Movement will aim to tackle all forms of racism and discrimination on the internet by helping young people and youth organisations to recognise and act against this latest form of human rights violation. The rise in the use of hate speech – in social media, forums, chat rooms and elsewhere online – has prompted some commentators to label the digital phenomenon as a new form of human rights abuse. 

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