Is there racism in Scotland? My gut reactions is to answer, “of course not” and yet, Learning and Teaching Scotland documents in its website case studies where racist attitudes seem to be prevalent in our society and in particular, in our schools. There is plenty of research showing a small but steadily increasing number of indicators pointing towards Scotland becoming a society less tolerant of its visible minorities. Ethnic Pakistanis constitute the largest visible minority in Scotland although they are less than 1% of its population. The Scottish Defence League is preparing an anti-Islamic march in Edinburgh within the next few days. Why?
It is possible that in times of economic crisis, the need to find a scapegoat might seem overwhelming, however, there is plenty of evidence pointing out that racism is passed on through cultural attitudes. It is crucial that we remain vigilant against passing on values that favour inequality and discrimination. The Scottish Government anti-racism campaign through its One Scotland website has plenty of good examples on how to tackle racism in its different guises.
Last year, I participated in a demonstration against right wing agitators in Glasgow. This year, my voice will be heard against them as well.