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Third Of Scottish Schoolchildren 'Experience Racism'

Monday, April 10, 2017

Depressing statics show "we are not all Jock Tamson's bairns" says union.

Shocking new figures reveal more than a third of Scottish children have experienced racism – and GMB Scotland say this busts the myth Scotland is more tolerant than the rest of the UK.

A study by Show Racism the Red Card [1], who have been delivering a programme of anti-racism education, show 37% of young people had experienced racism.

Worryingly this number has rocketed 19% since the same study took place last year.

Experiences recounted by youngsters in the SRtRC study included terrible racial insults, with one child even being told they shouldn’t wear a kilt because of they weren’t white.

Ude Adigwe, a GMB regional organiser who experienced first hand racism is Scotland's education system, said:

“These shocking figures show any idea Scotland is a haven of tolerance compared to the rest of the UK is absolute nonsense.

“Brexit and increasing levels of poverty have created fertile breeding ground for divisive racist poison.

"As disappointing as these figures are though, they are not entirely surprising.

"My own experience of childhood racism in Scotland has been deep and enduring.

"The irony is that, as a child growing into adolescence and then into my adult years, I have always been in love with the inclusive sentiments encapsulated by the wonderful, old Scottish proverb, 'We are all Jock Tamson's bairns'.

"Given these depressing figures, it seems that not all bairns are welcome in the land of Jock Tamson."

Nicola Hay, Campaign Manager at Show Racism the Red Card said:

“The figures sadly indicate a notable rise is young people’s experiences of racism.

“It is likely that the spike in racist experiences is a result of Brexit almost legitimising racist and xenophobic views.

“In addition to this, people living on the poverty line are likely to blame migrants, however we are losing more jobs to automation than migration – but you can’t deport a driverless truck.

“It is vital that we address these issues before we find them escalating any further.

“Racist attitudes are supported by misinformation, therefore education and the opportunity to talk openly and honestly about these issues is needed now more than ever."


Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at

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