Recently I stumbled across a 36 minute BBC hosted debate in which a very important question was asked of the audience and invited members. "Is Britain a racist country?"
So to begin answering this question, let's make things personal and get anecdotal. My personal experience, growing up in Greater London, has some bearing on my perspective. My mum is a black woman, raising me on her own, both sisters left home while I was young so effectively I grew up an only child. I grew up in a very multicultural area. We lived in a maisonette, down a cul de sac. It was social housing, I lived on we call in England as a Council Estate. A large area with mostly social housing. My mum worked whatever jobs she could get her hands on. Cleaning jobs, various assistant type jobs. She even worked in a pharmacy at one point. My mother was a former soldier, and due to a rough upbringing didn't get anywhere in terms of education. It's also worth noting that she grew up in a very racist period in England's history. Born in the 1950s, growing up in the 1960s, and 1970s.
However, my country has changed dramatically since then. I'm an echo boomer or a Generation Y millennial - In English, that means I grew up in the 1990s. I was never denied any kind of education. I had the same opportunities as any other person in my area. The majority of my friends were white lads. I was never denied any kind of social interactions other than from bullies who didn't do so because of my skin color but because of my social awkwardness. They also bullied white kids.
I did experience a couple of racial slurs from time to time due to a couple of people thinking I was of Pakistani descent. If you know what I look like, you know I can pass off as many different nationalities. Now, this only happened a handful of times and is hardly representative of my upbringing. I had no issues and was never impeded trying to gain my education, a job, joining the navy due to race. My black friends and friends of an Asian background were never denied this either. We never needed classes talking about race other than history class which touched on the civil rights movement in America. Other than banter which I played along with throughout my life, my race has never been a benefit nor has it impeded my chances at anything. Yes, it has probably had an effect on my sexual marketplace value- I did once have a racial issue with an ex-girlfriend’s mother- but again, hardly representative of my life and I don't shit on people for having preferences. This is of course my anecdotal experience- your mileage may vary.
It's the current year! That means we must ask ourselves (again) if old blighty is systemically racist. I would answer 'yes' to this question- Britain is indeed a systemically racist country.
But who is being prejudiced against who, exactly? Heres the thing- you rarely hear from the mainstream media in this country about a racist incident, such as a racially motivated attack, or a business owner discriminating against a certain ethnic group. It does happen and I'm not going to pretend that it doesn't. Every country has a level of racism, sexism and more -isms. I'm not trying to say that it doesn't exist. However, in this country, we are overly tolerant. Going very much out of our way to prove we aren't racists. If you are a racist in Britain your opinion doesn't matter and you're probably going to be harassed and attacked for the remainder of your life if you're found out to be one. Not just that, but our media make it priority number one every time there's a racially motivated hate crime, to spread it on every front page, all over the tv and radio stations. New laws would probably be brought in, both main political parties would comment on it in the house of commons. It would be everywhere. Unless you are the victim, and you are white. In which case maybe you will feature in The Daily Mail, The Express and, if you're lucky, the holy grail of Sky News.
We also have to take a wee gander at job prospects, Affirmative action -otherwise known as positive action here in the UK- is very much legal under the equalities act and has been and is still carried out by the metropolitan police, and the BBC. Britain is so woke we're trying to end discrimination by discriminating even more, in a country that is 85% white.
We've also had a steady increase in the number of minority students in our education system here. The number of UK-domiciled blacks and minority ethnic (BME) students starting full-time first degrees increased by 9.1 percent in 2015-16 compared with the previous year. This makes an increase of 34 percent since 2010-11; by contrast, the number of white students increased by 5.5 percent over the same period.
The largest increase has been from Asian students. There was a 10 percent annual increase in the number of UK-domiciled students of Asian ethnicity in 2015-16, compared with an increase of 8.0 percent of black students and a decrease of 3.9 percent of students of Chinese ethnicity.
Overall, BME students were 29 percent of all entrants to full-time first degrees in 2015-16 despite these groups making up just 18 percent of the 15-year-old population according to the 2011 census.
I personally think that based on those figures I would suggest minorities have very good access to higher education in this country. A topic of contention in minority groups is that students often struggle to find work after complete degrees. This isn't just limited to minorities and to suggest that it is is dishonest. Students have, for the most part, have no life or work experience, which I why I highly endorse apprenticeship programs to attain your career goals or a medical or military career. Most post-university jobs I often see available are usually job agency consultant careers which suck balls as they often involve tonnes of cold calling. I also find that young people aren't pragmatic enough in their approach to education. Taking courses in art, philosophy and other useless subjects will not get you a job for the most part.
In the next part of this series I will cover arrests, prison and crime statistics, a bit deeper into the positive action programs we have, and representation in the media and politics.
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