Monday, 21 November 2016
Division and hate must not win- Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrats
We have made real progress in tackling racism in our society in recent years. The STUC and other groups have been at the forefront of efforts to curb racism and they deserve credit for their hard work. But the aftermath of the EU referendum shows that there is still a huge amount of work to be done if we are to tackle racism across the UK.
Scotland and the UK have proud tradition as safe havens for those fleeing persecution that dates as far back as the 16th century. It makes me angry that this tradition is now under threat.
The response from some media outlets questioning the age of children who are coming to the UK as refugees is the latest immigration storm. We should make no mistake. What we are facing here is little more than thinly veiled racism.
It is down to all of us who reject racist rhetoric to make the case for the UK meeting our international humanitarian obligations. We must work together to ensure that our country is open, tolerant and united. Division and hate must not win.
Education is key to eradicating the scourge of racism from our streets, from our schools and workplaces. This march is another opportunity to educate people and send a strong message that there is no place for racism anywhere in the UK.
I hope that those joining us on the march will take this message back to their own communities. When we hear racist abuse, we need to speak up.
Willie Rennie MSP