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Racism in Barnet
Racism has dominated the news recently from a racist rant on a tram to John Terry and Luis Suarez. The women at the heart of the 'My Tram Experience' video which went viral was arrested, Suarez has been banned for 8 football matches & Terry is to be charged. Having slaughtered our interpretation of a sacrificial lamb have we simply solved the issue of Xenophobia? The simple answer is no, these flashpoints should be the ignition for a wider & frank discussion about race. It may seem like I'm over-doing the sheep metaphor but I thought a lamb-post would shed some light on this issue.
Most of us occupy a 'twilight zone of assumption' and we believe our areas are tolerant utopia's. But deep down in our hearts lies the hatred for the perceived 'other.' Is this the harsh truth or just the ramblings of an over-excited ethnic? I guess you have to experience it yourself. A friend of mine was taking the "N20" bus towards Barnet recently when she heard 5 youths using the phrase referring to an Asian girl as a 'Paki' & writing the word 'C**n' in the window behind a black women.
None of us expect to get flagrant blatant racist verbal attack on a bus in Barnet but I know others who have had their own 'Tram/Bus/Train/Street Experience.' Of course, one can argue this type of abuse is limited to isolated incidents but that's not the point. The underlying problem is that inherently a lot of people have pre-determined views on another human beings simply because of their skin colour.
This may seem like a re-cycled, regurgitated, clichéd argument to make but all you have to do is see the abuse footballer Patrice Evra received on Twitter to understand the severity of this issue. Often, closet racists seek a trigger to act on a perceived 'Injustice' & this is what is happening in society (all you have to do is Google 'The English Defence League" to see for yourself.) African-American psychologists Dr Kenneth Bancroft Clark & Dr Mamie Phipps Clark carried out experiments in the 1940's with children using dolls to ascertain their attitudes towards race. The psychologists placed a 'White doll' and a 'Black Doll' in front of 21 children. In the majority of cases (15 out of the 21) children chose the white doll over the black doll. The research founded is a reminder that if a racially motivated hierarchical structure has existed for centuries then 'the concept of racial superiority' becomes engrained within human beings for a very long time.
Of course times are changing. But commentators & news pundits still seem to undermine racism's cross-generational effect. I'm appalled that we as a country are not shocked that groups like the 'EDL' march through London chanting Islamaphobic slogans. It's upsetting to see people being insulted and intimidated on the street by racists. The most worrying thing of all is that it only takes a few triggers to push forward uncivilized agendas and views like this.
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