Sunday, June 8, 2014

Media and politicians to blame for rise in racism

MULTICULTURALISM AT ITS BEST: Happy faces at London’s Notting Hill Carnival
THROUGH BLOOD sweat and tears early Caribbean migrants fought the prejudice that faced them the moment they stepped on to British soil.

From Brixton to Birmingham, Notting Hill to Liverpool, zealous activists such as the Mangrove Nine, photographer Len Garrison, journalist Alex Pascall, race equality campaigner Wally Brown, Claudia Jones, Neville Lawrence OBE and Baroness Doreen Lawrence dedicated their lives to standing up to blatant racism.

Pioneers like Tony Wade, Frank Crichlow and Trevor McDonald, fought with perseverance to succeed, challenging the ignorance that helped fuel hate against black people, through strength, tenacity and brilliance in their respective fields.

But in the 66 years since first wave of Caribbean migrants arrived, and despite the gains made – including ever-evolving race and equality legislation – Britain, according to a recent poll, is regressing in terms of race relations.

The British Social Attitudes survey, which has been carried out annually since 1983 by social research company NatCen, this week revealed that 30 per cent of 2,000 people polled described themselves as either “very” or “a little” race-prejudiced, a rise from 25 per cent of people – its lowest – in 2001.

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