Members of the local community had lots to say about racism during our oral history project. They discussed personal, social, community, employment and institutional responsibilities for promoting equality and challenging racial inequality and hate crime. Our research demonstrated that a racially tolerant community spirit requires more than just a piece of legislation or one person speaking up. It requires everyone to play their part, like cogs proactively moving to promote a socially cohesive society where everyone feels safe and respected regardless of their race, nationality or religion.
Once one cog in society stops moving, begins turning backwards or is removed altogether it begins to have a knock-on effect. Therefore, it is essential that everyone proactively plays their part in promoting equality and challenging racial discrimination. As a society we need parents and schools to provide children with the correct tools to enable them to understand different communities and for them to not feel threatened by peoples cultures and other differences. We need workplaces, educational institutions and public services to ensure they understand their obligations and that they correctly report, handle and investigate complaints of inequality. The Government must ensure that legislation and policies both promote and protect harmony amongst different communities and that they provide sufficient resources to investigate racism. This includes ensuring every community is properly represented when providing public services and funding. As individuals, we must also come together to support victims and to challenge everyday racism by speaking up, listening to victims to identify what resolutions they want, promoting the positive effects of migration and diversity, reporting incidents, supporting charities that promote equality and challenge racism, being more selective as consumers and questioning the decisions of locally elected MP’s.
Below are some quotes from our interviews where members of Wellingborough’s community commented on promoting Britains diversity and challenging racism.
“What I would say about the Act and, to be honest, about all subsequent equalities legislation is that it doesn’t necessarily change the hearts and minds of the population. And however good the legal framework is, there’s a need for continued vigilance and continued pushing forward of the fact that the diversity of this country is one its greatest strengths.” Andrew Scarborough (Interviewed 11 July 2017)
“…diversity is a good thing. Everybody gains from it but there has to be interchanged. The more you get to know people, other races, other cultures, the less you tend to hate them, put crudely.”
Andrew Scarborough (Interviewed 11 July 2017)
“England has a history of building up their superiority through the contribution from immigrant community and the native people.”
Sanjay P (Interviewed 31 May 2017)