Far right and fascist political parties are growing in Europe. Some being openly racist. There is a growing prejudice against minorities. With people having a distorted perception of the minority groups they are negatively stereotyped and used as scapegoats for the country’s problems. In Austria the Freedom Party, which is anti-immigration and openly nostalgic of the fascist era, has entered the coalition government and in England the British National Party has won 3 council seats in Burnley, which was the highest poll since the 1970’s.
The group discussed that there is prejudice against minority groups in society because of the distorted perception of immigration. We agreed that there are some immigrants that come the UK and claim benefits but not all do and that there is also a lot of British people that take advantage of the system aswell. We found it difficult to think of ways to tackle prejudice attitudes as there will always be tribalism; “us” and “them” attitude and the real problem is that people are uneducated about immigrants and their lifestyles and work ethics.
I personally believe that British people need to be educated about minorities and not only about immigrants that have come to the UK, but about different cultures, beliefs and lifestyles in other countries. BBC news online did an opinion poll and found that ethnic minorities were more likely to feel they were the victims of racial discrimination than whites (BBC News, Online). There is a lot of ignorance towards minorities. A lot of people come to the UK because of problems in their country and I think the British public should be made more aware of these.
BBC News (2002) British ‘A Racist Society’ Poll. (Online) Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1993597.stm (7 December 2009)