Background Info

Like me, many have been horrified by the recent conflicts in America, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, fanned by hundreds of years of oppression and racism.

It is easy to think that this does not happen here but in fact statistics and personal accounts prove otherwise. When Black parents have ‘the talk’ with their sons or daughters, it is often about what to do when you are racially abused, attacked, or assaulted. It can be argued that much of the discrimination and racism faced by Afro-Scots is due to the poor levels of education on the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Scotland’s role, and how Scotland benefitted economically from this.

The current national curriculum also does not highlight the many prominent Afro-Scottish and Black British figures who have contributed significantly and positively not only to Scotland but to the UK as a whole.
I believe this has led to racial profiling, physical and mental abuse, and to Afro-Scots being less likely to be recruited after achieving a degree.

Is Racism Real? a 2017 report by the TUC notes that:

“for many years trade unions have consistently campaigned against all forms of racism and discrimination in the workplace. The TUC believes that racism is real in our workplaces.
The report shows that BME workers face many forms of racism and discrimination such as: verbal abuse; racist comments and jokes; bullying and harassment; physical violence; being singled out and treated differently; or discriminated against.

Our findings show that:

  • More than a third (37%) of Black or minority ethnic (BME) workers polled have been bullied, abused or experienced racial discrimination by their employer.
  • 19% have experienced discrimination such as being denied training or promotion.
  • 15% have experienced verbal abuse and 16% of BME workers have experienced bullying or harassment at work.
  • 43% did not feel able to report their experience of discrimination to their employers and 38% did not report incidents of bullying and harassment.”

I am calling for a commitment and pledge from policy makers for pro-active anti-racist action. In recognition of these historic times, a meaningful step that can be taken is the implementation of a thorough and robust account of Afro-Scottish history through the national education system. This would negotiate, rectify and recognise those real-life events and contributions that continue to shape and support our society today culturally, socially, and economically.

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