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Half of London's ethnic minorities experience racism

A NEW study involving 100,000 Londoners has found that more than half have been victims of racial abuse, with two in 10 saying it happens regularly.

The findings of the study, carried out by Opinium Research, found that almost six in 10 thought certain jobs were effectively closed to BME Londoners and three in 10 doubted there could ever be a black prime minister.

Participants of all backgrounds were asked to describe their experiences and sense of identity.

More than 50 per cent living in Britain’s most diverse city shared that they had experienced discrimination, and many believed that the current migration crisis across Europe was fuelling the issue.

Nearly half of London’s BME community (46 per cent) say they have been on the receiving end of racist jokes or insults. Some 45 per cent have been insulted directly.

Over four in 10 feel they have been treated differently in public places like shops or restaurants, and 31 per cent were bullied at school or college.

A majority of Londoners (63 per cent) from all backgrounds thought racism was common, but 58 per cent believed it was mainly subconscious rather than intentional.

Two fifths (38 per cent) reported regularly witnessed or experienced someone making a racist comments but passing it off as a joke.

Asked who the culprits were, 52 per cent of BME Londoners said they had suffered abuse or discrimination at the hands of strangers, 34 per cent from work colleagues, and 29 per cent said their boss or management was responsible.

Three in 10 said fellow students were responsible, while two in 10 blamed neighbours and the police.

James Endersby, managing director of Opinium Research said: “While people do feel that the UK is a less racist place than it was twenty years ago, no better evidenced than through the election of our first Muslim Mayor of London, it’s clear to many that we still have some way to go.

“Our investigation uncovers the often blatant, however mostly subtle and complex, nature of ‘silent discrimination and institutional racism’ that is present in modern Britain today, with people from all backgrounds, ethnicities and religions of the opinion this is something to be confronted head on.”

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