No to Racism and Division

Yes to jobs and education for all

The horrific killing of a 15 year old Nigerian,Toyosi Shitta-bey in West Dublin has highlighted the issue of racism as well as the central role that young people in particular must play in combating it. After the tragic death of Toyosi Shitta-bey, it’s time to draw a line in the sand and ensure such a senseless incident never happens again. Black and white school student friends and peers of Toyosi helped to organise and participated in a 3,000 strong demonstration in memory of the deceased school student, illustrating the sense of friendship, camaraderie and solidarity that the majority of working class young people who go to school in racially diverse and integrated schools, feel.
Nonetheless, racial abuse and bullying are both still a grave problem in schools. A TUI survey in April found that 46% of teachers had reported a racist incident in their schools in the previous month. The government who have cut support for students with English as a second language can certainly shoulder a significant burden of guilt for this recent increase in racism in schools. This increase needs to be solidly cut across and marginalised. The majority of school students, who themselves are anti-racist, holds the key. The silent majority of anti-racist school students needs to come together to become a vocal and organised group in each school, as part of a national anti-racist school student network. If anti-racist sentiment is organised on a school-wide basis, a campaign could be launched to make each school a racism-free zone. With an active group of school students consciously explaining to their peers why this campaign is important, the majority of school students could gain the confidence to speak out against racism in their school.

There’s nothing natural or inevitable about racism or division based on ethnic, religious or racial background. Despite the tremendous wealth and resources that exist, the capitalist system creates a scenario whereby an unnecessary struggle for scarce resources is manufactured. Unable to make massive profits due to the economic crash, the market system has created a scenario of mass unemployment. The privatisation policies of the establishment over years means that housing waiting lists are long and health and education services are inadequate and overcrowded. As well as creating the conditions for competition between people, the state drums up racism on purpose. For example, millions of euro are regularly spent deporting African immigrants in particular. This is an example of state racism whereby the government wants to detract attention away from its bank bailouts and savage cutbacks, despicably attempting to place blame on often penniless black immigrants instead. A strong anti-racism campaign of school students could also protest against deportations and other forms of state racism that attempt to sow division. Young people should reject the capitalist system that has offered them a miserable future of education cuts, unemployment, low pay and competition for scarce college places. Fighting racism means fighting for the right to a decent education and a quality job for everyone. Fundamentally this will mean a challenge to the system as a whole based on socialist policies of solidarity and democratic working class control, management, ownership and planning of the economy according to the needs of people.

Socialist Youth is in the process of establishing a broad anti-racist campaign of young people in schools, colleges and workplaces. Youth Against Racism (YAR) is open to any young person who wants to get active against racism – contact Eddie for more information – 0873141986


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