One of the problems, indeed dangers, with the anti-racism industry is that it is incapable of recognising any improvements in society.

The latest, “shock horror” story of racism came last week, following a Scottish Liberal Democrat Freedom of Information request into racist instances in schools that found 2,200 cases in the last three years, something their education spokesperson described as a “stubborn stain” on Scottish schooling.

In response Jatin Haria, executive director of Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, noted that any increase in numbers could be due to the IT upgrade to recording system but quickly noted that, “we have reason to believe that these figures are only the tip of the iceberg”.

As ever, 'more must be done', was the cry. More and better recording is needed. More intervention is essential. How else can we protect children from racism?

This “stubborn stain” of racist children led to calls of action from the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland. After all, mandatory recording is an approach supported by the United Nations.

As usual, there was nothing to tell us what these “racist incidents” were. Are mobs of teens arming themselves to rid their schools of black and Asian kids? How many cases involved violence? What age were the children and what was the context within which the racism occurred?

I ask, in part, because as far as I can see, the evils of racism have thankfully declined in Scotland and indeed across the UK, especially amongst young people, and our anti-racism industry appears to be unnecessarily exaggerating the problem and in the process racialising Scottish children.

If we look at the British Social Attitude Survey, for example, we find that racist attitudes have declined massively since 1983.

Back then, when asked about a close relative marrying a West Indian, 57 percent of the public said they would mind a little or a lot. By 2012 that figure had fallen to 22 percent. For the youngest age group, nine percent would mind a little and less than three percent a lot.

One could argue that this is not all there is to racism, which is true. And one could note that nearly three percent of young people in 2012 minding “a lot” is three percent too many. But at least let’s be honest about some of the positive changes that have taken place.

One of the otherworldly and deeply depressing aspects of this 'racist kids' idea stems from the oft repeated notion that, 'children are sponges' and the way to fight racism is to 'nip it in the bud' through the ever-increasing awareness of racism in society and in schools. Children are born free of prejudice, goes this approach, and it is those closest to them that influence how they think.

Not only does this deny the reality that there have been enormous changes in society, in the politics, culture and norms of society – after all if parents are forever breeding racist kids how have things changed so much, or at all? But it also confuses the behaviour of children with that of adults, with talk of the need for legislation and of racist incidents in schools being a matter of “human rights”.

Read any book on child development and this simplistic notion of the sponge-like child evaporates. You’ll also find that children are often very different from adults, often, surprisingly enough, very childish.

Children often call each other nasty names and young children, many of whom will help make up this horror figure of 2,200 racist incidents, do so with little, and I suspect, more often than not, without an ounce of racial prejudice in their minds.

Unfortunately, the anti-racist industry is getting worse and today, almost anything can and will be classified as racist behaviour in our schools, ever more closely monitored and fed back to us in a way that really does cast a stain over our society.

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