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Scotland “decades behind on attitude to race”

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Scottish Makar Jackie Kay has claimed that Scotland is decades behind England in attitudes to race. In a speech at the Edinburgh International Book Festival Kay said that it black and ethnic minority people in Scotland were more likely to be asked where they were from than the same communities in England. She also said Scottish broadcasting doesn’t reflect modern Scottish society and that there is ignorance about the history of Scottish involvement in the slave trade and economic links to racial exploitation.

 

https://www.scotsman.com/news/people/scotland-decades-behind-in-attitudes-to-race-warns-national-poet-1-4985812/amp?__twitter_impression=true

 

Kay, born to a Nigerian father and Scottish mother, also recounted being abused at a Burns Supper where she had spoken, being told to “get out”.

 

 

Do P&Bers agree that Scotland is behind in terms of race and society?

What are the experiences of black and ethnic minority P&Bers of this and do they agree with Jackie Kay?

 

 

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Growing up in Inverness there were about two black kids in our school. I remember someone got expelled from school for writing something racist on a Scottish flag in the common room one year, can’t remember what it was though. A lot of people used racist terms casually in conversations, probably without thinking they were racist. I’m sure that other Scottish towns of a similar size were the same, maybe it was different in a city with more of a varied.

I have heard it mentioned before by some Black Scottish people that they get asked “but where are you really from” semi regularly.

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Based on absolutely nothing but my perceptions, i’d say Scottish people tend to be more casually racist (see those morons in Ayrshire calling people black b*****ds, and the liberal use of a racist slur to describe Chinese food,) but English people tend to be much more likely to actually hold racist beliefs, and dislike people that aren’t Caucasian/English/Carling drinkers. 

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Find it baffling when people suggest that Scotland has to come to terms with its racist and imperialist past. Anyways, I’m just going to get the bus down Jamaica Street and head off to Plantation Square.

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Anecdotal evidence: I grew up in the Midlands of England, where there was plenty of casual racism mainly aimed at Indians and Pakistanis, but still noticed a big jump in racial prejudice when moving to the South-East. It made me question the unspoken assumptions I'd grown up with about Pakistanis, as I couldn't see what the supposed problems were with black people, Asians, the Irish, etc.

Scotland has always seemed weak sauce by comparison when it comes to racism, and I've rarely noticed malice behind the ignorance I've seen, although terms like Paki and Chinky seem to be making a comeback in recent years. None of us honkies will ever really know what life's like for non-caucasians, though, so you have to take people's word for their experiences.

(is "honky" really the most offensive term for white people? We have an easy life)

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Shes saying that Scottish people are more likely to ask where someone's from?
I do that all the time over here out of curiosity... and I get them also ask where I'm from.
That to me doesn't constitute being racist... I'm curious and like to know and learn about other cultures ... what their countries really like to live in and not take the medias word for it.
Never had anyone have any problem with me asking.

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Assuming that all No voters are racist then almost 50% of Scots are racist.

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12 minutes ago, bud1876 said:

Shes saying that Scottish people are more likely to ask where someone's from?
I do that all the time over here out of curiosity... and I get them also ask where I'm from.
That to me doesn't constitute being racist... I'm curious and like to know and learn about other cultures ... what their countries really like to live in and not take the medias word for it.
Never had anyone have any problem with me asking.

I think the idea is that people are liable to see somebody who isn't white and assume they aren't Scottish. Of course they, their parents, and their grandparents could all have been born in Scotland, and they'd have no connections to anywhere else. Got to be a bit shit to feel that, in your country of birth, a certain percentage will assume on sight that you're a foreigner (and in some cases, will still think so even after discovering the truth).

If you're white, you probably have the opposite - people assuming you're a Canadian native until you open your mouth.

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If you think it's a problem that Scotland is more white than England then you are a racist. 

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This whole “get out” part of that story. Is she claiming this was race based or is it the fact that she was in a room full of no doubt pissed up misogynists and she was making a #metoo response?

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As Makar she is in a great position to raise sometimes awkward questions. Doing it at the Book Festival means it will reach a large audience. But if I ask somebody where they are from I would expect to be told which part of Scotland so I hope she's not confusing our natural curiosity with something more sinister. We could pop in to see the adaptation of her memoir which is currently at the Festival to find out more, I guess.

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11 minutes ago, Melanius Mullarkey said:

This whole “get out” part of that story. Is she claiming this was race based or is it the fact that she was in a room full of no doubt pissed up misogynists and she was making a #metoo response?

Probably more to do with the audience not knowing what a hashtag is let along what #MeToo is. Surprised nobody has tried to cancel Burns yet for his shagging ability.

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My sister has a continual habit of asking any stranger who sounds or looks like they're not from 7 generations of Scots where they're from. Like a waiter or taxi driver. Not "been busy?" or "looks like rain in a bit" but "you're a bit different, what's your ethnic origin?". I can understand the curiosity if you get to know someone a bit, but as a first question to a stranger it's fucking rude imo.

Edited by welshbairn

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I don't recall ever being on the receiving end of racism (I'm white) so I think we should listen to those who have and take them seriously.

I have however been on the receiving end of abuse for being Scottish on a couple of occasions living down south. It wasn't very pleasant...

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Lots of folk of all races are racist. 

I've heard Indians saying that you can't trust Pakistanis, Pakistanis saying that all Sikhs are c***s, gulf Arabs slagging black Arabs and have been told to go back to my own country by a Welsh man. There are racist Scots, racist English and racist Nigerians. 

I'm pretty sure that the social attitude survey covers this and that Scotland is no more racist than the rest of the UK but that Glasgow was the most racist city. 

Why can't we all just get along? 

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2 minutes ago, coprolite said:

Lots of folk of all races are racist. 

I've heard Indians saying that you can't trust Pakistanis, Pakistanis saying that all Sikhs are c***s, gulf Arabs slagging black Arabs and have been told to go back to my own country by a Welsh man. There are racist Scots, racist English and racist Nigerians. 

I'm pretty sure that the social attitude survey covers this and that Scotland is no more racist than the rest of the UK but that Glasgow was the most racist city. 

Why can't we all just get along? 

Imagine all the people...

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