This post alone is not entirely centred around racism but i do try to cover aspects of why racism still exists within one part of the world: Britain. I do not claim to be an expert amongst this field of work but i am passionate about shining light to taboo issues and trying to persuade others to change some of their views and maybe when hearing a conversation on the issues to maybe think twice. Many of my opinions are based on my own personal observations. Being a white-British female, i have been fortunately privilege and have seen first hand just how this one factor can affect my; opportunities,life style and how others perceive me on first hand impressions to others of other ethnic origin. One thing i do know is that i have definitely been exposed to segregation, discrimination and prejudices but for being female. Im in no way comparing the issues of my defined sex to many of the historic social problems ones race faces. But one thing i do know is that both are social problems that need drastic social action to occur.
The silent R? racism.
Its somehow hard to believe that society was so accepting of racist movies, posters, basic social outings -i.e. separate rooms for whites and blacks. But what shocked me the most was how racism was rooted within a cultural enjoyment: film. From white actors covering their bodies in shoe polish, to producers having to cut scenes out with black actors in due to the North and south divide within America, is the reason why racism and segregation is still occurring. Past examples like these utterly inhumane and degrading ones are why so many small minded individuals are unable to see past the history and are going off what occurred then as basis for their norms and values and how to act, not now. Its hard to actually come to terms with the fact that STILL in 2016 someone discriminates another individual on the basis of their race,gender, skin tone, social class and age. Like seriously, what the hell is wrong with them? As many films are still racist.
What producers did was go off traditional stereotypes of a certain race and use that to attract the mainstream audience, why? cause thats what sold and made them money. Instead of producing films to subvert typical stereotypes and challenge conventional norms, which would lead to then forcing a social change in how racism still existed. Sadly many only saw the economic side to film. However what i realised is that many producers didn’t actually know they were being racist as it was the hegemonic ideology that was present in their society and how racism was deeply rooted within all aspects. Acts such as using a back actor to speak to a monkey and pretending to understand one another was seen as a usual form of comedy for many audiences, as typically audiences were middle class white individuals, due to the price of films. But didn’t in fact realise it wasn’t humour, it was pure and simple racism and this is why the silent R existed and still exists today. A racist society can only breed racism.
- The media.
Within the UK, there is one major culprit for this: the media. The media is a power vault of information that can fear monger and scapegoat that much, it almost controls the individual who consumes this information, and covertly brainwashes them. Instead of giving society decent news coverage on taboo issues on a large demographic scale,i.e. parental alienation and not showering us with celebrity gossip. It subjectively selects mundane issues that suppress our knowledge and keep society passive. Or on the other hand it creates moral panics around minority groups in society, as it did with many youth subcultures. This was seen with the skinheads as whenever you hear that particular youth subculture you associate both racism and criminal behaviour. They presented them to society in an distorted fashion, by claiming they were a danger to society .However the media seems to forget that the roots of the skinhead culture was a mix marriage of Jamaican culture and white working class London culture and it was in fact the later form of skinheads that re emerged in the 1970s that took on nationalist views and values(some were disgracefully racist). Some sociologist have argued that some subcultures formed as a means of resistance to this capitalistic hegemonic ideology that was persistent within Britain. This meaning that groups of individuals joined together through maybe feeling isolated, unable to re connect with their society and shared similar norms and values to the individuals within their group. This in turn allowed them to feel part of something wider and no longer feel a sense of seclusion.
Within the Uk, this is especially seen within smaller towns as well as larger cities. In my local area: Barnsley, just from my own personal observations, some citizens are quite reluctant to include others of non British descent and integrate with them, but why? I believe this is due to many social factors and institutions that uphold deep rooted prejudices against certain minority ethnic groups. The continuous uneducated argument of that ‘England is no longer British any more and ethnic groups are taking over’ comes up frequently whenever i try to distinguish my case of how immigration is a positive aspect for any country to have. Just to clarify within the 2011 census it was found that 87% of the population (48.6 million people) was born in the UK and 13% of the population (7.5 million people) was born outside of the UK. Therefore you can clearly see the difference between those percentages and the clear confirmation that ethnic groups are ‘not taking over’.
2.Society itself: Prolonged issues within society are another reason why racism still exists.
I always find it a little worrying when some patriotic individuals state ‘they were born and bred in Britain’, as their argument for why they’re British. Yes you may have been born in Britain alone but on the contrary, are you really fully British? The english language alone has origins of Latin and French. As when in 1066 William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England. Therefore the Normans brought with them the French language (words such as law, court, passion, love) that we still consistently use within our everyday vocabulary.
Again many of us brits adore indulging in a takeaway after a night out; kebab, pizza, chips etc … are any of these British? No. The kebab originated in Iran, the pizza originates in Italy, as the first known pizza shop opened in Port Alba in Naples and chips or ‘french fries’ originated in America. Therefore British culture is drastically multicultural and daily aspects of British life is centred around this. Many are ignorant to this fact and just seem to assume that these aspects are ‘British’. It was wasn’t for migration and integration of different ethnicities. We would not be blessed with such beautiful cuisines, clothing, antiques, book etc. Many of in fact we take for granted.
We all should try to unify and celebrate, at just how diverse Britain is, in comparison to other countries such as Russia who have The Russian National Socialist Party , which is a Neo-Nazi party and breeds and grows racism. Rather than segregating others who are born in Britain but who have parents not of english descent, immigrants and so on.
Thank you for taking the time to read to my post, let me know be email:firstname.lastname@example.org- if you have any further information on any form of racism or on how you have personally been affected by it? As i am working on a post to see how racist Britain still is.