By Pheona Matovu
In this article, Pheona Matovu discusses the ongoing existence of racism in Scotland and the need to address the structures that perpetuate it. Matovu highlights the historical roots of racism in the slave trade and the dehumanisation of black people. She argues that despite the abolition of slavery, attitudes towards black people persist, leading to a lack of appreciation, underemployment, and discrimination in various areas of life, including education and the workplace. Matovu criticises Scotland's image of being a friendly nation and argues that policies and strategies to welcome migrants and refugees do not address the barriers to employment and opportunity. She emphasises the importance of acknowledging and changing systematic racism. She calls for those in power and decision-making to take responsibility for addressing racism rather than hiding behind the systems they maintain. Key Takeaways 1. Racism continues to exist in Scotland despite the abolition of slavery, and black people face discrimination and undervaluation in various aspects of life. 2. Black individuals often work harder to be recognised and rewarded for their skills and contributions and face barriers to employment and advancement. 3. Racism is present in educational institutions, with black students being undermarked and facing challenges in being fairly rewarded for their hard work. 4. Policies and strategies that project Scotland as a friendly nation do not address the systemic barriers to inclusion and opportunity black communities face. 5. The responsibility to address racism lies with the people who maintain and benefit from the systems that perpetuate it, and meaningful change requires reflection and action from those in positions of power.
"True progress towards a just and equal society requires acknowledging and actively dismantling the systems that perpetuate racism, and it is the responsibility of those in power to take meaningful action towards that end." - SEMPER Scotland Executive Team.