I have written quite a few post on this topic before so I will try and NOT rehash what I’ve written but perhaps summarise my views while adding a few points; this considering that the topic is becoming a regular feature in the news nowadays which is unfortunate but NOT entirely surprising. So here goes;
- We need to understand that what we see now is an attempt to normalise racism by dividing it – and us by extension – into different forms, some based on culture/ethnicity and others based on religion. Some people for example are quite comfortable defending muslims against Islamophobic abuse/bigotry while they remain silent when we face antisemitic behaviour and the reverse. This unfortunately extends to the political establishment and is a reflection of different religious lobby groups that have become through their political influence a stain not only on our Democracy but also a threat to our national cohesion in fighting racism in all its forms “period”; part of the problem – which I eluded to in far too many posts – is the concept of us importing foreign conflicts or allowing foreign influence to stain our political eco system either willingly or unwittingly. The bottom line is for me is this simple fact; there is no such thing as “types of racism” there is/should only be 1 type that encompasses all forms of racist behaviour – starting by referring to all forms as “Racism” period – and we should all unite against it without lobbyist taking hold of the narrative or slicing it into chunks – which takes us swiftly to point 2.
- There should be a nation wide program that is politically independent which takes the lead on rooting out racism in all its forms not only from society – starting with family, to local communities, to education and finally yes to our political establishment. We need experts to drive this program rather than having people – like my good self – coming up with cowboy propositions that may well exacerbate the problem. So what is needed is a sustained effort that develops a long term strategy that has the capacity/structure to evolve over time rather than the course we’re on now which are merely reactionary/non-coherent policies/actions and everyone jumping in with their own 2 cents worth of potentially worthless ideas; of course you understand that I exclude this post from this “worthless” category, if you don’t mind 🙂
- Part of the effort for this proposed program has to cover the area of Integration policies and by extension Immigration policies. So the program needs to have direct influence in these areas which also impact our efforts in fighting racism. Another area the program should cover is clarity/consistency in terms of guidelines to differentiate between legitimate debate/free speech and outright racist conduct which in my view should be penalised.
Racism is no easy matter fix in a day or 2 nor can it be addressed properly in the media or online, but these challenges we face today on this issue can be an opportunity to face-up/challenge racism in all it’s forms otherwise it may well be one other element that has the capacity to destroy a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic society like ours from within. Let’s not allow this to happen whatever solution we come up with.