Thursday, May 10th 2018

New Book on Racism in Scotland

No Problem Here: Understanding Racism in Scotland, published in March 2018, suggests the popular belief that Scotland is more welcoming to immigrants is a myth.

The new book offers research into historical and contemporary racism in Scotland. Drawing on the views of academics, activists and anti-racism campaigners, it argues that it is a “misleading fantasy” that Scotland is more tolerant of immigrants and refugees.

The authors of the book cited discrimination against Irish Catholics classed as sectarianism rather than racism, less visible racism due to lower levels of post-war immigration from the Indian subcontinent and the Caribbean, and the idea that Scotland is culturally different/less racist than England put forward by the independence movement, as the main reasons for this myth.

Neil Davidson, one of the book’s editors, and lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow said: "Our findings would suggest there is still hostility to migrants in certain parts of Scotland and that is not necessarily to do with skin colour - it is often directed towards eastern Europeans who are white, of course, just as the Irish Catholics were 200 years ago."

The book also highlights institutional barriers against black and ethnic minority people (BAME) in employment, stating that there is a 1.1% chance of getting a job in a large public sector organisation compared to 8.1% for white people.

However, the book’s authors do acknowledge that political debate around immigration at Holyrood was “healthier” than at Westminster and will share findings at Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia in Scotland.

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