Monday, 10 November 2014

Our Future Free From Racism

2014 has been an amazing year for everyone living in Scotland – the passion and excitement of the Commonwealth Games gripped everyone and resulted in a record tally of medals for Scots. Glasgow, as the Games hosts excelled itself providing a safe, welcoming and friendly venue, and the international stance taken on equality – most notably on LGBT rights – set the tone for all future Games. A Game changer indeed!

And the mass participation in the referendum did Scotland proud -even if you didn’t agree with the result no-one could say that Scots approached their future half-heartedly.

Unfortunately not everyone in Scotland seems to share the vision of an open, equal, and fair Scotland. Last year nearly 5,000 racial incidents were reported to Police in Scotland. That’s 5,000 people, who for one reason or another took it upon themselves to abuse, frighten or harm their fellow countrymen and women, simply because they come from a different heritage. Sadly, most people recognise that the 5,000 reported incidents are only a fraction of the true extent of racism in Scotland – many more incidents are likely to have gone unreported.

Scotland has much to be proud of, but the continued presence of racism on our streets, is also a source of national shame. The true legacy of the Games should be a country that’s free from discrimination and bigotry. And just like we all stood up to support Scotland at the Games we should all stand together to defeat racism in all its forms.

Racism isn’t an issue that you can be neutral about. 

Alistair Pringle
Scotland Director
Equality and Human Rights Commission

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