Monday, 25 November 2013

Expect a pause in the St Andrew's Day Anti-Racism Weekend blogs
tomorrow as we catch up with the not unimportant question of the Scottish Government's Independence White Paper.  Meanwhile we remain grateful for the continued support of all of Scotland's mainstream political parties for the St Andrews Day march.

Willie Rennie MSP, Leader, Scottish Liberal  Democrats

As Scots, prejudice and intolerance run contrary to our values and beliefs. This is something that my parents taught me at a young age. It is something that I am teaching my own children and I know that parents across the country are doing the same.

We have made real progress in tackling racism in our society in recent years. The STUC and other groups have been at the forefront of efforts to curb racism and they deserve credit for their hard work. But we know that there is still a long way to go.

Education is key to eradicating the scourge of racism from our streets, from our schools and workplaces. This march is another opportunity to educate people and send a strong message that there is no place for racism in Scotland.

I hope that those joining us today will take this message back to their own communities. Take it back to the pub, to the football club, the local shop or takeaway. When we hear racist abuse, we need to speak up.

To those who would say that this is not their problem, I say you are wrong. This is everyone’s problem. I want to see a liberal, open, welcoming Scotland. Fifty years on from Martin Luther King’s speech in Washington it is down to all of us to ensure that people in Scotland are judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

Dr King’s speech was delivered in a different time and from a very different place. But the lessons from his work are as relevant today as ever.

Racist attitudes are not welcome in any part of our modern, liberal United Kingdom. Today we have a chance to take a stand for equality and shout that message loud and clear.

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