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Are British racist?

Insults, statements of superiority in front of foreigners, and stigmatisation are some of the attitudes that have grown in the UK in recent years, while the number of immigrants in the country has increased. An special event will take place on the 30th January 2013 in London.


The football match between Manchester City and Manchester United a few weeks ago has not been remembered by the last minute victory from two goals to three. This football match again showed the worst side of sport, with physical and verbal violence in the stands and on the pitch.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly posting a racist tweet about a United player via his social networking account.

However the aggression that the defender, Rio Ferdinand suffered when targeted by a coin thrown by the public during the match, and Gareth Barry’s insults towards the referee, reflect one of the problems present within British society: racism.

These events took place a few days before the publication of a study that affirms that over the last ten years the foreign population in England has increased by some three million people, and according to the 2011 census only 45% of Londoners are “white British “.

The rise of a multicultural society fueled by people from all over the world, with different traditions, cultures and languages, comes amidst open debate in Britain about whether British society itself is considered racist.

A survey released by the company OnePoll on 2000 citizens, states that one in three Britons are considered racist. But the trigger of the situation is marked by the 87,000 incidents from 2007 to 2011 that have taken place in schools throughout the country, all of which have the common factor of being cases of discrimination based on race or culture.

Some experts question the importance that forms of communication and sport hold amongst the British public, and because of this, solutions will be thought of and discussed in connection with the increased incidents of racism in the country.  This discussion at the conference will fall under the title: “Do racists have a right to be heard?

This event will take place on the 30th January 2013 in London.  The event is being held after 2012 the Olympics which were characterised by the harmony of all nations participating and an English team made up of athletes from diverse nationalities that defined the British flag.

Some of the personalities participating in this day event will be Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, and Catherine Fieschi, Director of Counterpoint, among others.

The sessions will aim to determine if racism is entitled to be heard, and if we need to put a limit on freedom of expression in relation to discriminatory actions or statements, or if there is a risk that these attitudes are becoming the norm within society.

More information can be found on the event website.

(Translated by Amanda Flanaghan)

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