Analysis: This isn’t the true picture on racism: it’s far, far worse
OUR work with the community suggests that the 10 per cent increase in racism, that is reported for 2011-2012, underestimates the true level in Scottish society.
Victims of racism are often afraid to report race crimes because they believe that they will not be believed, or that it is the norm for certain areas, or that reporting an incident will cause problems where they live or work.
In certain areas such as bus stops, where verbal racial insults are common, the racism suffered is under-reported.
Some places where racism takes place, such as football grounds, are well publicised.
However, racism in the workplace is often not reported because victims feel that, in terms of justice, very little will be gained.
It is difficult to talk about the eradication of racism without knowledge of racism.
This knowledge should be taught by teachers who are familiar the customs and practices of the different people of the society.
Anti-racist education is important in our schools and should be an essential part of the education curriculum.
Racists should be made to understand, in all areas of our society, that if they commit the crime of racism then they will be reported and prosecuted by the authorities.
Although these figures show that there is an increase in the number of attacks on white British, the message we want to put out is that hate crime is wrong and we encourage the reporting of all types of hate crime as it is damaging to our society and the relationships in our community.
The more hate crime is reported, the higher the priority it will get from all stakeholders in tackling the problem.
• Foysol Choudhury is chairman of the Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council.
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