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Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Racism campaign 'will not bring results'
Anti-racism demonstration
A study showed high levels of racism in Scotland
A campaign to tackle racism in Scotland has been dismissed as "cosmetic" by a Glasgow businessman.

Nasser Jaffray, who owns a string of stores across central Scotland, said moves to highlight the issue could not be a bad thing.

But he said institutional racism was the real problem for those in ethnic minorities north of the border.


I always thought that there was a higher percentage of racism then what the authorities always had us believe

Nasser Jaffray
The new anti-racism campaign was being launched on Tuesday by the Scottish Executive.

It coincided with the publication of a survey which suggested that one in four Scots admitted to being strongly or slightly racist.

Mr Jaffray, who has lived in Glasgow for 40 years, said he was "pretty alarmed" at this figure.

"I always thought that there was a higher percentage of racism then what the authorities always had us believe, but I am quite shocked to see that it is as high as 25%," said the 41-year-old Asian businessman.

More than half of those who took part in the System Three poll said that they would be worried if more people from ethnic minorities arrived in Scotland.

'Seriously offended'

And almost 50% said they did not believe it was racist to use terms such as "Chinky" or "Paki" in relation to food or shops.

Mr Jaffray said there was a time when people were "seriously offended" by the use of such terms.

"That is something that we have begun to live with," he said.

"But it depends on how somebody calls you a Paki at that particular moment.

Racism poster
An anti-racism campaign has been launched
"A lot of my friends say that, but I know for a fact that they are not being racist about it."

However, he said he was not too concerned about the racist individuals in society.

"What is more frightening is the institutional racism that exists within Scotland and that is something we should be tackling a lot more.

"I think that what the executive is doing is really not going to bring results.

"It is a bit of cosmetics more than anything else."

Mr Jaffray said that steps such as the introduction of an amended Race Relations Act in 2000 represented a more positive approach.

More representation

"That will monitor lots of job applications, both in the private and the public sector.

"We have got to see a lot more representation of ethnic minorities within these bodies and that's what will make a big difference," he said.

Jasmine Clark is one person who has suffered racism while growing up in Scotland.


This wide-ranging campaign aims to challenge overt and subtle forms of racism

Dharmendra Kanani
Commission for Racial Equality Scotland
The daughter of an Afro-Caribbean father and a Scottish mother, she said she was a target for abuse and even violence throughout her school life.

"I do get quite a lot of subtle racism from authority figures like police officers, security guards and shop keepers," she told BBC Scotland.

"You could think about it logically and say it is because I am easier to spot - I like to wear bright colours and my skin's a different colour.

"But I have had quite a few incidents of being hounded by shop assistants."

Dharmendra Kanani, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality Scotland (CRES), said the campaign was "sending out a clear message" against racism.

Good citizens

"This wide-ranging campaign aims to challenge overt and subtle forms of racism as well as to underline a positive message about the benefits of tackling racism and embracing diversity.

"Fundamentally, it poses a question about what it means to be a good citizen in Scotland.

"The effect of the campaign is to hold up a mirror to people's everyday actions and behaviour and underlines the responsibility every person has to strip out racism from their behaviour and therefore from the society of which they are a member."

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 ON THIS STORY
Glasgow businessman Nasser Jaffray
"I am pretty alarmed at the kind of percentages that they are getting"
See also:

24 Sep 02 | Scotland
03 May 02 | Scotland
21 Aug 01 | Scotland
21 Feb 01 | Scotland
11 Jan 01 | Scotland
03 Dec 00 | Scotland
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