The Ugly Face of Racism….Ours?

“How can anyone say that what is happening to my children is nothing to worry about when it is so clearly affecting them in a bad way? It is that attitude from the authorities that is stopping other people in the same situation from reporting what is happening to them. There is a difference between insensitive name-calling and deliberate vicious verbal abuse. In a small place like Carrickfergus where we are told there is no real problem with racism, I witness it every day. It is so bad for us that I am even considering leaving the area. To me the verbal abuse is a sign of the lack of tolerance for ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland and this must be addressed before someone is murdered just like Stephen Lawrence,” A Northern Irish mother of two black children speaking to the Belfast Telegraph.

Rather than being something to be ignored, experts have warned that verbal abuse is often the symptom of something more dangerous and therefore the seriousness of racist name-calling cannot be underplayed.
Jolena Flett, racial harassment adviser for the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM), warned: “Often the only thing that gets reported is criminal damage or a physical attack and often these are the end result of long-term verbal abuse being accepted as normal and not dangerous.
“However, in our work with clients it is often the verbal abuse that is a symptom of a more dangerous attitude that people are less than worthy of respect. It is this attitude that leads to assaults and damage, and it is when it is at the verbal stage that we need to tackle the problem before it becomes violent.
“Also the impact that constant verbal abuse has on people is devastating.
“They feel isolated from their communities and can affect their home life and their perception of their self-worth.”

Full Article

  • The twisted irony of it is that the scumbags responsible for this probably have no qualms about cheering on Premiership clubs with players like Henri, Drogba and Saha within their ranks or listening to rap.

  • Crataegus

    I really don’t understand why people decide to pointlessly attack someone based on their religion, race or colour. What is the motivation? Do people really need to think there is someone lower on the ladder than they that they can just kick? What purpose does it have, what gain? It gives an insight into some really nasty aspects of the human mind. It is tribal, insecure, and often brutal and not so much the wondrous work, enlightened and upstanding.

    People should embrace diversity, there is so much to gain by widening outlook.

    If I was given some wishes by a gene the first would be to end war and the second discrimination or would it be the other way around?

  • eranu

    i get the feeling that society in NI is quite backward when it comes to other races. even in 2006 our country is almost all white and alot of people just arent used to talking to a black person, pathetic but true! you can see the awkwardness in peoples eyes when they have to talk to a black or arab person in a shop etc. any other country in the west has had generations of other races living there. having other races round you is normality, not something new..

    some people talk about black people in an embarrassingly old fashioned alf garnett way. too often when someone cracks a slightly racist joke, everyone will laugh anyway. people need to start making fun of people who make a racist joke. they need to be made to look like old fashioned twats. its only when being racist makes you look like a dickhead that it will reduce. it wont go away because every society has a certain amount of dickheads no matter what you do !
    at the minute NI is in the 1970s, hopefully it can be propelled into the 21st century pretty quickly.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Crataegus: “People should embrace diversity, there is so much to gain by widening outlook. ”

    Within tolerances, I would agree. The problem is that when these tolerance get overly broad, you end up with a culture burdened by moral relativism, since, being so busy tolerating others quaint cultural practices, no one has the nerve to rise up on their hind legs and say something is wrong.

    Crataegus: “If I was given some wishes by a gene the first would be to end war and the second discrimination or would it be the other way around? ”


    Si vi pachem parabellum.

  • Johnkingii

    Having lived lived in Carrickfergus most of my life I can say that half the town is caught in a circa 1977 time warp where everyboby who is’nt a WASP should know their place this is especially prevalent in the public sector estates which dominate the central part of Carrick where life is based on three principles Flute bands, Rangers/Linfield and Alcohol.

  • pith

    I remember having a conversation with a good friend years ago when we agreed that if all the little protestants and all the little catholics could finally set their hatred for each other aside at least they could still
    hate “outsiders”. We were wrong of course – they still hate each other.