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  • ...sometimes I actually don't use the word.

  • I don't use the word racism because it's so often misunderstood.

  • Being young and growing up in Britain,

  • overt racism was casual.

  • But you kind of got used to the fact that in any kind of public arena

  • you could be racially abused.

  • You said he was born in Manchester!

  • -Yes, yes.

  • Well he ain't a proper blackie then, is he?

  • Haven't heard that terminology for a long time, blackie.

  • Yeah, it reminds me of school.

  • I mean the ones I'm talking about, they're your proper blacks,

  • the ones that was born in a jungle, your natives.

  • I mean don't tell me they're educated,

  • half of them are still eating each other.

  • About three years ago, I was walking through White Hart Lane station,

  • I heard someone shout very loudly the N-word.

  • It's a word that I don't use.

  • I thought at first it was someone listening to an Eminem song

  • or something, and they were thinking they were Jay-Z.

  • So I just kept walking. The word was shouted again and,

  • "Who do you think you are?" Well, I know who I am.

  • So I looked round to see what was going on, in case it wasn't directed

  • towards me, I didn't think instinctively that it was.

  • And it was directed towards me, there was a woman in a flat,

  • looking out of the flat and she was screaming and yelling at me,

  • I said, "Why are you shouting at me and why are you shouting the N-word?"

  • "Because that's what you people call yourself."

  • I said, "You people?"

  • This was a woman who doesn't know me.

  • And has never seen me before, and yet she felt empowered -

  • not 20 years ago, not 30 years ago -

  • to use such terminology to refer to me.

  • And that's to show you that those overt forms of racism still exist.

  • I work with a lot of white, middle class people

  • who like to feel that they're not racist, sexist, homophobic

  • and all these other things, but they are.

  • They are - but they are instinctively and they do it

  • not knowing that they're doing it.

  • And...

  • when I'm there, they self-censor themselves

  • on issues of ethnicity

  • or issues that they feel that I would be sensitive about.

  • Does that mean that they've changed?

  • I means at least that they're thinking about them in a certain

  • kind of way, because I'm in their social space.

  • If I wasn't in their social space,

  • perhaps they wouldn't be thinking about it.

  • That's the problem with racism.

  • Yet even in human interactions, one is second guessing oneself as to,

  • "Did that happen because of colour?"

  • "Did that happen because of ethnicity?"

  • I like to go to the cinema and watch films.

  • I don't think while I'm enjoying that film, all those millions of people

  • throughout the world that can't see.

  • I have privilege. I have the privilege of sight.

  • That privilege of sight means that I don't think about those people

  • that don't have the same privilege.

  • Does that make me prejudiced?

  • I think in a way it does, it makes me prejudiced against those that cannot

  • see, but it's a kind of privilege and prejudice that seems natural to me

  • because the world is effectively made for those that can see.

  • I think the only way you eradicate racism is by changing

  • peoples beliefs and ideas.

  • And the only way you get to do that is through education

  • and information.

  • You can

  • punish people for their ideas or their beliefs,

  • but you might not change their views and ideas.

...sometimes I actually don't use the word.

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A2 UK privilege racism overt ethnicity instinctively racist

Why are people racist? | BBC Ideas

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