Thursday, 29 October 2009

Racism , and does it really happen in schools?

Before I start to discuss this topic, this is the article that sparked it off.
In today's UK there seem to be many immigrants, however throughout the centuries there have always been immigrants. After all what were the Romans, Saxons, and various other races who have in the past invaded the UK. I'm not saying that the current ones are invading, the new EU laws allow free passage between EU countries, and around a year ago I remember seeing a comedian doing a "stand-up" about just this subject. Apparently more UK residents leave than we have immigrants. Indeed, of my Mum's family of seven siblings 3 of them live abroad, my sister's in-laws have lived in Spain for several years.
Anyway, my objection to this "surveys findings" is as follows. Yes, I agree that children under 11 may not know the meaning of the racial comments they jeer at classmates, however, they must have heard the terms used somewhere, and 9 times out of 10 they have heard elders they mix with using the terms. These elders DO know what the terms mean, and unfortunately the names do hurt the recipients. I know as I have been on the receiving end of misplaced racial comments throughout my life. I have a sallow skin that takes a tan really easily, and every now and again I will hear someone refer to me with a racial slur, they don't know that I was born in Derbyshire, or have British parents, and I know they are wrong in their slur, but even now they still hurt.
I have also heard neighbours dismiss the eastern Europeans who live in our little street with racial slurs. These slurs are incorrect as they pertain to the country of origin of the hardworking eastern Europeans. Another complaint is that they don't speak English, well, having got to know more than one of them, I have found out there is a very good reason for this. They work for a shipping company, who thoughtfully have provided translators for them. The upshot of this being that as they tend to drive most of the time they are working they have very little opportunity to learn English. The one's I have become friends with can speak their own language, Russian, German and a smattering of English, so who are we to belittle them, when the majority of English people can only speak English, and we also have a high level of adult illiteracy in the UK. Most Eastern European immigrants are here for a better quality of life, and are usually well educated.

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