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Do You Hate me Just Because of My Colour?

It was a historical moment when America announced abolishing enslavement after the civil war in 1865, which was a big moment for black people to get the freedom they should have got. Moving Black people to the United States, exploiting their freedom and labour, made Black people become so-called slavery who was originally from the United Kingdom during the colonialism period back to 18 century. The slavery system could also be found in Australia and South Africa, which were both under British colonies and fighting for blacks right intensely after. If abolishing white Australian policy in Australia and racial segregation in South Africa are iconic landmarks for enhancing the right of people of colour in both countries, how about in the UK?

It seems like a trend that abolishing racism and discrimination towards black people is a politically correct thing to do. Most people and governments play their role perfectly in order to avoid racism, officially make racism illegal, and ditch any behaviour that might relate to racism, but what is underneath?

True or False? No racism would happen in our young generation's society, since we have done so many changes. This should ideally be true as to be modern society which is intended to be. However, sadly it is just an ideal, according to many young generations’ experiences in their lives. Do people genuinely abandon the thoughts of racism in their minds? Turn on the television, read the newspapers, and the answer is obviously a NO. Every day, every moment, racism could happen in this country to anyone and tons of them could not even be revealed to the public.

“My name is R, 24 years old. I am a 6-foot-tall young black man, which is always labelled with certain stereotypes. I rarely tell people about the racist experience I have encountered. Because it happens to me many times, I can’t even count it, so it’s not worth mentioning. “

Sarah Salway, a sociology professor who teaches at the University of Sheffield, mentioned that “Racism is unfortunately deeply ingrained in British society with roots in our colonial past and persistent cultural and structural factors that perpetuate racist understandings and behaviours across generations.”

Obviously, this country has not abandoned racism fully yet. The Guardian reports that young black men were stopped 20000 times in London during the pandemic.

The Home office shows that hate crime about race was up to 70000 cases in 2018-19. The statistics from the Ministry of justice 2018-19 also show that black children are 4 times more likely to be arrested than white children.

“When I go into a shop, the security usually follows me around in the shop, normally they would just stand by the door. This happens to me quite a lot,” R says. “During the Covid period, I went to Primark, the lady standing by the door let everyone in, but when it was my turn, she asked me to take my mask off and look at the camera. Yes, only me.” “Many stereotypes and racism-related behaviour happen to me very often which makes me feel “why? I did nothing!”

“One time, I was heading to the university, and there was a grey car in front of me, a young lady sat inside it. She looked scared and locked the door immediately when she saw me. Being called the N word used to happen to me too. I was driving, sitting in my car and waiting for the traffic light. An old couple passed the crossroad, and the old man of the couple shouted N word towards me. I got out of my car, I was definitely furious, and then his wife seemed scared and told her husband, “why did you say that?”. I don't feel like his wife saying that because felt her husband was wrong, probably just scared of me. Of course, I can't do anything to an old man. I can’t do anything. Drag him to the police station and tell the police he was being racist to me? Obviously, the police will kick me out of the station. I had no evidence! “

“Structural racism exists in different ways in the UK and the US, grounded in each country's history around race relations.” the other sociology scholar who teaches at the university states. She states the media has a large role in creating a division in society, also racism is grounded in colonial legacies that position people as 'different' along the lines of 'race' to maintain power hierarchies while others would argue that it’s related to political and media shaped stereotypes.

“I am Dan. I grew up in Manchester, a place which is really racist based on my experience. When I was young, my school only had a few black people, my teacher treated me differently. She told my parents that I had a problem with my hair. But it was just a normal haircut. This upsets me during my childhood.“

“They don't encounter racism in their life, so they don't care,” R says. Before Black Lives Matter, there were some campaigns fighting for blacks' rights, however, it didn’t catch many people’s attention like this time. “Some people share BLM posts on social media just to show that they are following the trend,” Dan says. “People didn’t really understand the situation and all the knowledge.” Black History is not in the UK curriculum as well. Lack of education is the reason for racism.

“I have experienced so much racism in the university, from professionals and students.” Micha, a 28 years old mature student at the university says. “The teacher implied to me “Why are you here?” I didn’t realise it was racism at the time because it was very under-covered, but eventually, you understand that this makes no sense. I have spoken to many black girls and discovered that I’ve been through racism. When I was young, I’d always just take it and tolerate it, but you are not the problem, they are the problems. “

“Things don't get better after I go to the university in a different city.” Dan shares. “I was being shouted ‘You fucking nigger!’ When I was on my way to attend my lecture, I was shocked and didn't know what to do since I was new here. When it comes to societies and clubs in the university with 90% white students, I was treated differently again, I don't get the position I signed up for just because students said I seem aggressive and make people down which is totally not true. Except for what I have experienced, it is really frustrating for me to see other black people who face racism too. “

People stood out fighting for Black people’s rights around the world this year, which Black Lives Matter spread from the US. Black people have faced many inequality treatments in many ways, including insults and violence.

“I have signed up for a petition to introduce Black history in school because we never learn about it.” Aron, a 23-year-old young black man who grew up in London says.

“I grew up in London, which is a very diverse city. I grew up with different races of people in school, therefore I didn’t encounter much racism in my life, but being shouted at by the N word did happen to me too. I would say racism is definitely a problem in the UK and it’s not in a violent way, you can perceive the hint but with no evidence.” Aron says.

“The BLM effects would bring some changes for sure, however, it is early to say whether BLM is likely to have a lasting effect,” Salway says.

Society is changing. More examples of media that focus on black history since the summer protests. Both sociology scholars agree it is important for people to share their experiences, cultures, and backgrounds. The curriculum should be changed to incorporate the full range of the UK's history, including our role in slavery and colonisation, including the history of ethnic minority lives.

The movement towards equality is complex and long, it needs to continue, and not be forgotten, but BLM alone will not change the historical legacies that have led to inequality. “I will continually protest, donate, and sign petitions, as long as I can I will definitely do it.” Dan says 

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Tags: Politics Equality Humanity BLM


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