Should I carry the burden of being a racist because previous generations of my family were racists?

I’ve posted before about my Dad and Grandmother, on his side of the family, being openly antisemitic and how I put a stop to racism in my generation. I’m also proud of the fact that our daughter Jen will have nothing what so ever to do with racism either.

But the other day my mate Phil said to me, in relation to the BLM campaign and a debate we were having about it, that he feared that some folks could end up being blamed for the ‘sins of their fathers’. Not surprisingly having had racism present in my own family it made me wonder whether I carried their racism with me. The thought horrified me.

Of course some things do get passed down from generation to generation in many families such as – support for a football team, support for a political party, belief in a religion. Indeed, there’s often an expectation that such family habits are carried on and older generations will take their youngsters to see the football team they want their children to support. They’ll take their children to partake in ‘their’ particular religion and even send them to a school which which promotes the parental religious beliefs. And yes politics too. I once heard an elderly lady say to me that she was going to vote Lib Dem for the first time in her life but she could not afford for her family to know that! I did not ask if the family was Tory or Labour but it certainly made me think.

So if we can pass on sporting team support, religion and politics what else is being passed on? Sadly, I suspect that racism can often be such a hand me down and that’s why our education system should be set up in such a way to challenge generational racism.

Surely we want young people to be free thinking individuals who are happy to challenge long held family views on many things. That’s why I oppose religious schools as my view is that having a religion, or indeed not having one, is a decision for the individual not one to be directed by family expectations.

I rejected my Dad’s religion (CofE), politics (Conservative) and racism but I bought into his love of cricket and support for the same 2 football teams. You’ll notice I only made reference to my Dad there as Mum and I shared what I think are similar political views. I rarely had any political discussions with her but I’m pretty sure she was a Chapel Liberal at heart whereas I’m a Social Liberal without any religion.

The football slogan ‘No room for Racism’ is very apt but for it to really mean anything young people need to have the confidence to reject it when it’s present in their own families.

And this is why all schools should be non-religious

The BBC has the article on its web site – see link above

The fact that in this day and age the state encourages citizens to educate children in the religious atmosphere of the parents choosing is utterly bizarre to me. Religion is a personal thing not something to be passed down from one generation to the next.

That we end up with children being indoctrinated is bad enough but in a free society surely we don’t want up and coming generations to have closed minds do we? Surely it is wrong to try to force young minds to follow the same religious beliefs of parents/families.

Religion in Schools – Time for a fundamental change

I can’t be doing with religious teaching in schools of whatever kind.

Surely we are grown up enough in 2016 to leave youngsters to decide for themselves, when they are old enough, if they want to be religious and if so what religion they want to follow.

Schools are for teaching children life and employability skills not for indoctrinating them to believe whatever religious beliefs their parents may hold.

By all means, as part of broadening the minds of young people, teach them what the major religions of the world believe in and why, but also teach them about Humanism and Atheism too. That way they can go out into the world with clear and open minds adopting or not adopting a religion as they see fit.

End of exclusion by faith schools demanded

A campaign group which includes Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim clergy as well as secularist campaigners, has demanded ministers ban faith schools from excluding pupils because of their beliefs – and make it illegal for them to refuse to employ staff from other religions.

The Independent covered this story on 1st September.

A welcome campaign but a better step forward would be to to put an end to religious based education funded by the state.

Voters against faith school state funding – and so am I

A survey by Opinium suggests 58% of voters now believe faith schools should not be funded by the state, or should be abolished. Labour has called for cross-party talks on how religious education is conducted and monitored in the state sector following the Trojan Horse plot allegations centering on schools in Birmingham. Elsewhere, the BBC reports that Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, has agreed to meet parents with pupils at schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse investigations. Yesterday parents who had disputed the findings of Ofstedā€™s investigation held a small demonstration in Birmingham city centre. Police, government and city officials are drawing up plans to respond to future protests amid concerns they could spark riots.

Covered yesterday by:- The Observer, Page: 1, 14, 44 The Sunday Times, Page: 16 The Sunday Telegraph, Page: 31 Sunday Express, Page: 7 BBC News

I have always felt that state funding of religious schools is wrong but it all goes back to the Country having an established church. This will have to be tackled by Government at some stage and the idea of cross-party talks may well be a good start. Religion and a child’s education should not be mixed by the state. Religion has to be a personal choice of the individual in the modern world.

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.