Racism Among Young People

22 February 2012
Dario

I have been thinking the same thing for the last twenty-four hours. I live close to London, and yesterday as every Sunday, I went for a walk with my girlfriend in a very beautiful park close to my home.

I love going there. After spending a week working in my small office I need to relax. ‘I need the contact with the ground’ I always say… I love walking and getting lost in my thoughts. I love forgetting for a while who I am and just relaxing.

But this Sunday was different. I was on my way home when I noticed three young boys playing with their new rollerblades. I passed by them and kept talking with my girlfriend. We were just laughing. They were very rude and we looked at each other, confused.

I kept walking and after few steps I realized that one of them was asking me something. ‘Don’t you like my way of talking eh?’ ‘Are you from my country?’ ‘Do you like my country?’ ‘If you don’t like my country go away, go away!

I was shocked. It is the first time that something like this has happened to me. They were young, too young maybe 6,8,12…. I don’t know if this is the result of a lack of education or who knows what.

In November 2011, a woman was arrested for her racist comments to other passengers on a train in London. Of course those episodes are not connected, but what immediately comes to my mind is the effect on young people this kind of hatred has. Asked by one of the passengers to mind her language since little kids were on the train, the woman points to the child on her lap and says “I’ve got a little kid here.”

 

Of course, this is an extreme example of ignorance but which role assumes our behaviour in the eyes of our children? The question could appear trivial but it is not. Many times we underestimate the consequences of our words, or our own actions. Sometimes we do not realize that we are an example for others.

The media is filled with hateful messages. As highlighted in our submission to the Leveson Inquiry, media coverage of immigration in the last 10 years has increased in both volume and hostility towards all categories of immigrants, to the point of completely demonising migrants.

In the recent years, there has been a reported increase of racial discrimination among very young people. This is the time to ask what their understanding of race, culture and diversity is. Are young people conscious of their actions or they mimicking what hear at home?

[h4]We must teach them to value racial and cultural diversity if we are going to have meaningful integration. We must explain them that diversity strengthens our society. It is not a loss of tradition, but an enrichment of our identities.[/h4]

After this weekend, I am still thinking about the schoolmates of these boys. I am almost thirty years old and I can keep walking and move on. But who is protecting their classmates from this kind of violence at school? Children are our future and our responsibility is to teach them to respect other people today.

11 Comments. Leave new

Absolutely agree! In most of the cases kinds do not question what they hear form their relatives and parents (though, they might when they get older) and can be really cruel to others. How would you explain to a kid who’s being bullied that they should not believe what other kids are saying? I don’t know…
But anyway…I just wanted to show support and say that there are many people out there who think differently and do not believe tabloid crap!

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It has been long known that Britons are racist according to past and current historical incidents. Unfortunately, Britain is still racist despite all non-sense words by British politicians. These racist assaults against foreigners are happening in everyday life in the UK so that some people have learnt to tolerate these racist assaults in some extents and treat them as normal incidents in their daily life in Britain.

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The racism is not a new dirty side of Britain since Britons have had long history of racist assaults throughout the history.

Regarding British families, unfortunately British children learn how to be a racist while they grow up since the British culture is full of racist thoughts. There is no way to educate these children unless this dirty side of British culture is changed. A deep insight into the British culture reveals how this dirty side has been robustly placed into British teenagers’ minds. As long as they believe that Britons are superior to other nations, it is not possible to teach these children even one line of human rights. They must understand all nationals have the same rights as Britons have and nobody is superior to any other one. These children won’t learn such equality unless British culture changes its route.

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A quick search on the internet reveals how racist assaults by British teenagers have increased during recent years and unfortunately none of politicians has tried to implement any practical anti-racism policy in the UK. Therefore, it seems British politicians may deliberately be responsible for this lack of basic education about a very basic human issue of colour.

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As a European living in the UK, I have also suffered numerous racist insults by British people. Everybody knows Britain is a racist country and I agree with the points made that British culture should be blamed for racism in the UK.

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I, as a European citizen, am also a victim of British racism. I think the media including television channels can have an important role to educate British teenagers to combat the racism in Britain. Racist insults are very common in all areas of the UK and it does not limit to London since the more you are outside London the more racist attacks are happening in Britain.

Instead of meaningless TV‘s programmes, anti-racism educatory films should be broadcasted to teach British teenagers about disgusting meaning of racism in the society. However, I also believe strongly that families have more critical roles in this process as the racism unfortunately begins within British families and therefore it should be aimed to demolish within the family too.

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I think British politicians are intentionally promoting racism by making various laws in place and thereby putting Britain in high rank of racist incidents in the world. Therefore, British teenagers are not to be blamed since they themselves are victims of British laws.

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Unfortunately, British children learn to be racist while they are growing up within their families so these families should be educated as a first frontline to fight with the racism. If you do not educate these families first, there is no way British children can be taught at their school. However, governors should have anti-racism programmes in both places, within the family and in the school since some British families cannot be educated due to lack of basic understanding of the matter.

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Say to me . I am victim of racism incidents mroe of 5 years . Broken car, assault, insults every week … And nothing happens I complaint to the police every time. And they do nothing . I speak of course of Northampton Police. Northampton is the second town more racist in UK after Luton. Anyway not have solution I am born in the Eu and in my country live many English. and never I see we make any offence to this people. Now I live here and mi life and the live of my family is a nightmare. Solutions umh possible one is any day take Justice in my hands and go prison . Anyway my live is a prison now I not feel free.

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I agree that the government does a lot to perpetuate many of these negative representations. For children and young people though it’s worth pointing out that as they grow and develop, they also develop their sense of identity and their views about the world. So their prejudices don’t necessarily stick around for long and children, because of their developmental nature, have a greater capacity for change. they can be challenged in a sensitive way through dialogue and information. the Employability Forum published a report recently on children’s attitudes to refugees, based on research in schools. they found that there is widespread confusion and misconception among young people (as you’d expect). worryingly many children believed that asylum seekers and refugees are illegal immigrants (i’m sure that children aren’t alone in this either). but it also finds that contact does not have to be long-term to have a lasting impact on children’s views. One-off interventions that share first-hand experience, such as meeting with a refugee and being able to talk with them about their reasons for flight, have an overwhelmingly positive impact on attitudes and dispelling myths: http://www.edf.org.uk/blog/?p=20450
I think the same goes for yp’s prejudices more broadly about migrants.

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