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Racism in the UK

16 February 2012, 13:09

You wouldn't think that a multicultural society like the United Kingdom would ever have racism making headlines almost everyday in newspapers across England,but it does. Britain is seen by many foreigners as a mixed race society and had been for quite some time.

But is that all superficial ,a show for the cameras and media when the world is watching? But down deep something else is really going on we only know about and see when isolated incidents regarding race or of that nature happens?

Most recently vile ,foul-mouthed ,disgusting racist abuse were hurled at different occasions by English Speaking individuals against black and foreign passengers using the country's packed public transport services. Other British speaking people that were there at the time when these scenes played out, intervened  and said they were ashamed being British because of these people. Eventually a few of them got arrested by police for "racially-aggravated public order offences".

In August 2011 riots broke out in Tottenham,north-London because of a police shooting and killing Mark Duggan. David Starky (CBE,FSA), a British constitutional historian,called these subsequent riots as  'whites acting black'  because of their 'shopping with violence'.

Starkey goes further by saying: "What's happened is that a substantial section of the chavs that you wrote about have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture has become the fashion. And black and white, boy and girl, operate in this language together, this language which is wholly false, which is this Jamaican patois that's been intruded in England, and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country".

Was Englishman Starky being a racist or being factual regarding "gang culture" in the United Kingdom?

Some reports said that his use of "black and white culture" interchangeably as one being good and the other being bad,suggest that he was in fact a racist bigot.

However,there is flip side as to what he meant, and that is that a "particular form" of black culture, i.e., "the violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture" associated with Jamaican gangs and American rap music,was being highlighted by Starky, not all of it.

By the way in England "chav" is a vile word for working class white people and they were part of whom Starky condemned. Anyway some say Starky's body language and tone of voice suggested he is racist.Still others say he 's provocative in what he says at times and never really crosses the line.

Racism in England is nothing new. Its embedded historically in the UK. As a one-time imperialist, Britain invaded predominantly black and brown skin colour people by forcing its class system on them at will.

Whites under imperial rule were always superior to their black subjects. And looking at it today it seems that some in the UK wants to continue with that trend.

We recently had the murder convictions for that young black male,Stephen Lawrence, handed out following the Macpherson report. Since his murder in 1993, race hate attacks and killings in Britain accounted for nearly four fifths of all hate crimes that reached UK courts in 2011 according to the  Crown Prosecution Service.

Racism in sport is where Liverpool footballer Luis Suarez refused to shake the hand of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra before the match and where former England football captain John Terry,is being accused of using racial slurs to a fellow player Anton Ferdinand.

When the Crown Prosecution Service broke down the different types of prejudice for the first time, it showed that 48,000 racist attacks had taken place of which 12,711 came before the courts in 2011, which represents more than 83 per cent of the hate crime prosecutions.

Rose Simkins, the chief executive of the charity Stop Hate UK, says "football racism has highlighted the fact that people still feel it is OK to say racist comments" in Britain.

Other reports says the overall number of hate crime prosecutions in the United Kingdom had increased to 15,284 cases, of which 12,651 resulted in a conviction which is an increase of 11 per cent.

More than 86 per cent of those convicted pleaded guilty. Sill a further 565 cases of religious hatred are being prosecuted, while others included homophobic/transphobic and disability hate crimes. The Institute of Race Relations in England says the figures "are not a surprise" and success in following up hate crimes has been "patchy at best".

Britain has always been seen as a safe haven for immigrants fleeing their often war torn countries. Economic migrants, jobseekers and those looking to experience that which makes Britain Great felt that this country was unique.Was that all just a show by their Media?Is the reality of the situation a totally different story altogether in Britain?

Macpherson in his final report,following the Lawrence' convictions, made the recommendation saying
"that investigations of racially motivated crimes and having to accept a victim’s assessment of the situation that it was racially motivated". To some that in itself was groundbreaking for Britain.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society says racism "is essentially a holdover from ancient history, when humans lived in tribes and it made sense to view outsiders with hostility and fear".


Author Dr. Mark van Vugt wrote that "the human mind is shaped in a way that tends to perpetuate conflict with 'outsiders'...also known as the male warrior hypothesis."

Biologist Dr. Carlos Navarrete says racist thinking "also accounts for rivalries and outright hostility on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, school, tribe, gang, corporation, political party/faction, and the like."

Is the United Kingdom "sleepwalking towards apartheid" where fear and trepidation are the order of the day or are people just losing sight of what makes the UK a racially tolerant and welcoming society?

 

References:

 

1.Crown Prosecution Service.

2.Telegraph newspaper.

3.Author Dr. Mark van Vugt.

4.Biologist Dr. Carlos Navarrete.

5.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

6.Rose Simkins, CEO of the charity Stop Hate UK.

7.Independent newspaper.

 

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