June 15, 2020
The death of African-American George Floyd whilst in police custody has sparked mass protesting across cities in the United States and in other countries, including the UK. The world over has been ignited with discussions on racism and police brutality. Last week we released a survey touching on this topic…
We asked all respondents, to what extent, if at all, do they think the societies in the USA, the UK and Gibraltar are racist. 38% think the US is VERY RACIST, 12% think that the UK is, while only 3% think that Gibraltar is. This is a significant difference in perception from respondents in regards to how racist each respective nation is.
The same pattern occurs when we look at respondents considering whether these nations are FAIRLY RACIST: 41% think the USA is, 54% think the UK is and 38% think Gibraltar is.
This is also a notable insight; approximately 4 in 10 respondents believe Gibraltar is a fairly racist society. That being said, the majority think the Gibraltarian society is either ‘NOT VERY RACIST’ (35%) or ‘NOT AT ALL RACIST’ (24%).
Comparably, only 11% of respondents think that the UK is not at all racist and 5% thought the same of the USA. This further emphasizes the idea that the Gibraltarian society was perceived as the least racist society by respondents.
We also asked respondents whether they approved or disapproved of removal of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston which was torn down during an anti-racism protest in Bristol. Interestingly, the same percentage of respondents (43%) disapproved of the removal, as approved of the removal of the statue but not in the way it was done. Only 9 in 100 approved of the statue being removed in the way it was done.
6 in 10 respondents believed that frustrations and tensions caused by the global lockdown meant people were more likely to protest against injustices, compared to only 3 that disagreed.
Startlingly, out of every 10 respondents, 7 said they had experienced or witnessed racism. This sort of statistic brings to light the extent to which racism is prevalent in our lives.
Due to the serious nature of this topic, we felt it warranted an ‘open comment’ section and we were pleased to see that so many respondents opted to have their say. We will not share all of them, but have tried to cover the full range of opinions expressed. Please note, none of the views are our own, but those of our respondents (they are provided anonymously):
‘I feel we are taught to be racist from a young age.’
‘History is history, whether good or bad, you cannot change it’
‘Education is key’
‘Don’t see the point of having a protest against racism here in Gibraltar, we lead by example, and tearing down statues shop windows etc is just an excuse for extremist on Both side of the political spectrum To destabilize our society.’
‘Gibraltar by and large is not racist although a few questions need to be asked regarding historic attitudes towards our Moroccan and Indian/Pakistani brothers. Now that would be an interesting survey…’
‘Data and statistics play an important role here. Is there a problem with police brutality? Yes. Are there a small number of bad apples in law enforcement? Probably. Is there deep rooted racism in the police force ?Unlikely.’
‘These statues are part of British history and part of our heritage whether good or bad and create from time sensible debates on what they represent…’
‘I believe we are all equal, and I know we are all different. We should personally accept who & what we are and enrich each other with our difference’
‘I once dated a black man, and for those few months, became acutely aware of the discrimination they face. From being followed around shops, to having to show his bus/train ticket constantly (but not the dozens of other white people around us) to the “looks”, constantly! It was a very uncomfortable situation.’
‘Racism in Gibraltar is subtle and almost hidden away. Moroccans and their Gibraltar-born children are looked down upon. Spaniards are particularly subject to unspoken intolerance - this may be because of politics’
‘I think the USA has a problem with police brutality which needs to be corrected. The demonstrations do not need to end in looting and violence. It seems that opportunistic groups are using the unfortunate and untimely death cause by unjustified police brutality for their own totally unrelated agenda. Also in the middle of a pandemic demonstrations , even peaceful ones, are likely to cause many unnecessary deaths which will result from increased covid-19 transmission due to the sheer number of people congregating in close proximity…’
‘It feels as though every so often an incident like this arises in the US but nothing ever changes as a result’
‘Any comments that in any way fail to endorse current 'popular opinion' are immediately regarded as racist so one can no longer discuss these issues’
‘Racism is everywhere, even Gibraltarians against the Spanish and vice versa is racism. Its sad that in the world we live in we cannot all get along. You cannot judge a race by the actions of one, yet we do.’
‘Whole countries cannot be labelled as racist. People are...’
‘I feel that this movement should be called ‘all lives matter.’ When you look at the death and arrest stats of latino’s and other ethnic minorities in America they are similar to those of the black community.’
‘Racism is an issue but overall I believe discrimination in most other sectors is still very much (and shockingly) a big problem in our society (gender equality, etc.) and together they create the overall growing frustration in society that can lead to huge reactions when key events such as this one occur’
‘There is racism in every society, it’s not just about colour. I’m a white female, I have been a victim of racism as an English child moving to Scotland. Gibraltar is racist towards immigrants, British included, they are treated differently from the indigenous population by the government.’
We would like to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in this survey, we hope this survey and subsequent results, have given you all as much food for thought as they have given us.