Racism – It has no place in our society, end of


The BBC has the article about racist chanting at Nottingham Trent University on its web site – see link above

As a Nottinghamshire lad this saddens and angers me. People are not born racists they are conditioned to be like that by what they learn from those around them; that this is still an issue in 2018 is utterly appalling to me.

I think we all now realise that one of the consequences of the EU Referendum has been that to some it has made intolerance towards those who are non-white and perceived to be non-British something that is socially acceptable again. Well it’s not and those who peddle racism are a threat to us all.

Over the past weeks I have been looking into what I consider to be some dark and frankly racist views that have been held by previous generations of my own family. This seems a sadly appropriate time to publish what I had written as a stand alone but yet to be published blog posting. My point being that my family are from Nottinghamshire:-

Why was my otherwise kindly Grandmother anti-Semitic?

This may seem a odd question to ask but sadly it’s an aspect of my otherwise kindly grandmother, on my father’s side of my family, that has always troubled me.

She lived in the small Nottinghamshire mining community of Kirkby-In-Ashfield, ran/worked in a corner shop, lived in a council house and was I suppose a typical grandmother of her generation. She died when I was a young man in the early 1980’s. But the thing about her that has always troubled me as I have got older is hearing her make anti-Semitic remarks. Sadly, my Dad seemed to hold similar prejudices. Politically I would say she was a working class Conservative.

So what was the source of this anti-Semitism? A check of the census returns for Kirkby-In-Ashfield shows virtually no Jewish people live there now or indeed have done so the past 100 years, so contact with Jewish folk seems highly unlikely as she lived in that town most of her adult life.

She was a religious person, a regular C of E church attender and if memory serves she also refused to go into Catholic Churches. On that basis she must surely have been anti-Catholic too.

Was this anti-Jewish and Catholic thing simply a consequence of tribal religious beliefs handed down from generation to generation?

From a wider perspective I found this Wikipedia article informative:-


Interestingly in discussion with my friend Andrew he pointed to the exodus of Jews from Russia in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries (covered in the Wikipedia article above) as being a possible contemporary event that could have influenced my grandmother’s views significantly.

Sadly, I have the feeling that the views of my grandmother, whilst troubling to me, were not unusual for her generation.

My unpublished blog posting (in italics above) about my Grandmother and the BBC article are obvious coincidental. I have no reason what so ever to think racism is a bigger problem in my former home town and indeed in Nottinghamshire generally than it is elsewhere in the UK but what it does show is that racism needs to be challenged wherever it raises its head as it’s been with us for a long time and it needs to become socially unacceptable again.

One thought on “Racism – It has no place in our society, end of

  1. Phil Holden says:

    I’m sure your (our) friend Andrew is right about the Jewish influx affecting attitudes all those years ago. Indeed, it I believe it caused the British government to support a policy for a Jewish homeland so fewer would come here. The first idea for such a homeland was in Africa….

    So, whether we like it or not, immigration and immigration policy can affect attitudes. People will always be initially suspicious of others who are different. And our parents lived in a far more homogeneous society so such feelings can maybe be understood if not excused. I recall my own father referring to “darkies” in the 1960s: I’m sure he didn’t intend anything negative and he didn’t use this phrase beyond that decade. Indeed we both knew a grand old chap who could use the occasional unfortunate phrase he was brought up with.

    What is worrying is that our parents and geandparents generations didn’t know any better. And we (well speaking for myself) were brought up in that environment. But the Trent students have grown up in an acutely politically correct environment, at least at school. So what goes on here?

    That said I don’t agree that it has anything whatsoever to do with Brexit. Anyway, I thought it was supposed to be the bitter and prejudiced oldies who voted for Brexit not the brave young internationally minded millenials?

    I don’t think we understand the half of what’s going on here but, like you, I don’t care for it!

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