The vast majority of non-white adults in Britain say the nation is racist and that children must be taught about colonialism, new research has found.
A YouGov survey of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the United Kingdom found that 47 per cent of respondents believe there is “a great deal” of racism in Britain while 37 per cent think the country is “somewhat” racist.
The study was published on Friday after several weeks of heightened racial tensions around the world following the death of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd, which sparked Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and riots across many Western cities.
Nearly seven in ten (68 per cent) of the respondents said that they back the protests, with support varying from 57 per cent amongst people from a Chinese background to 82 per cent amongst black people.
According to the study, two thirds (65 per cent) of BAME people said they supported the removal of a statue of Edward Colston, a merchant and philanthropist born in the 17th century with business links to the slave trade, earlier this month. Thirty-one per cent of those backed BLM protesters’ unlawful destruction of the monument, while 34 per cent said they approved of the statue being removed “but not in the way in which it was done”.
Furthermore, a majority (56 per cent) said they would support “the removal of all statues of historical figures with links to slavery from British towns and cities”.
It is not just monuments to historical figures “with links to slavery” that have been vandalised since the start of the protests, however, with 13th-century Scottish ruler Robert the Bruce amongst other statues destroyed or vandalised.
A large majority (69 per cent) of BAME people polled in the study also said they back changing the school curriculum “to reflect more of Britain’s colonial past and diversity”.
YouGov described as “worrying” the fact that “virtually identical numbers of people believe racism exists in the country today (84 per cent) as believe it existed 30 years ago (86 per cent)”.
“Not only does this figure show that the issue is a problem in the eyes of an overwhelming number of Britons from ethnic minorities, but also that it does not seem to be reducing over time,” said Tanya Abraham, the pollster’s Associate Director of Political and Social Research.
This week in Britain saw Burnley Football Club fan Jake Hepple visited by police and fired by his employer for flying a “White Lives Matter” banner over a match at the Etihad Stadium after three white people were stabbed to death, allegedly by a Libyan asylum seeker, last week.
At the same time, a Cambridge University professor Priyamvada Gopal bragged the institution had promoted her following backlash from the public over tweets she posted asserting that “White Lives Don’t Matter. As white lives.”