Show Racism the Red Card Scotland have been delivering a programme of anti-racism education to young people in Scottish schools in partnership with the Scottish Government Equality Unit and Police Scotland. The programme involves the delivery of the following workshops for young people to explore and understand contemporary racism: anti-racism education; moving around the world; Islamophobia; challenging racism and the bystander effect; and a hate crime workshop.
Prior to the delivery of a programme of education, the Red Card Team collects pre-data and on completion of the education programme, post-data in order to identify current attitudes and track changes in those attitudes, as well as to explore young people’s experiences of inequality. On the 13th of February 2017, the data analysis revealed that 29% of the young people we worked with had experienced racism.
This figure is 11% higher than stats for 2015-2016. However, what is more worrying is the sharp increase of experiences of racism between the 13th of February the 6th of April that indicates that 37% of young people we have worked with have experienced racism. This suggests an increase of 8% in just two months.
We then asked young people how stressful the experience was for them.
Pre-programme data indicates that 25% of young people found the incident extremely stressful, 39% found the incident stressful while 35% of young people did not find the incident stressful.
We then asked young people what they do, when they experience racism and this is what they had to say.
14% of young people said they just ignored it; 16% said they felt too awkward to do anything about it; 4% said they didn’t do anything; 15% said they felt upset; 8% said they safely challenged it; 36% said they told an adult; and 8% said they accepted it as a fact of life.
We then asked young people to share their experiences of racism and this is what they had to say:
‘Boy in P5 make fun of me and my dads culture’
‘People won’t stop being nasty and horrible’
‘They told me to go back to my country’
‘Someone called me black bastard’
‘Being called a Paki, being told not to wear a kilt because of my race’
‘A boy across my house was out and so was I and he was really mean, he was with his friends and he called me a paki and a brown bitch and I felt like crying so hard but I didn’t’
'Someone called me a piece of poo'
The figures sadly indicate a notable rise is young people’s experiences of racism. It is vital that we address these issues before we find them escalating any further. Racist attitudes are supported by misinformation, therefore education and the opportunity to talk openly and honestly about these issues is needed now more than ever.