Anyone who experiences being discriminated against, treated unfairly, disadvantaged, made to feel humiliated, offended or degraded, because of their race, or a perception about their race is encouraged to report racism
. This includes, but is not limited to, harassment, victimisation and hate crime.
The University takes incidents of racism and racist behaviour seriously and encourages people to report these experiences
as well as situations where they may suspect race influencing the way they are being negatively treated without it being explicitly mentioned.
In this article we will look at the different forms that racism can take and offer a few examples of how it might be experienced.
Race discrimination: When someone has been treated unfairly because of their race, or because of the race of someone with whom they are connected. ‘Race’ includes colour, nationality, citizenship and ethnic or national origins.
If race discrimination takes place in any of the following situations it is illegal, and action could be taken:
· employment and training
· when providing goods and services, for example, banking, entertainment and transport
· any of the activities carried out by public authorities, such as the NHS, government departments, local authorities, the police and prisons
Examples of discrimination incidents on the grounds of Race:
· Direct discrimination: When someone is treated worse than another person in a similar situation because of their race.
- Example: You and your peer group, who happen to be of the same ethnicity, are treated less favourably than people of other ethnicities (without a lawful reason) when using the same facility or service.
· Discrimination by association: When someone is discriminated against because of someone they are with, or someone they know, because of the race of the associate.
- Example: You are refused entry to an event due to being with a group of people of visible ethnic minorities.
· Discrimination by perception: When someone is discriminated against because of the perception of their race.
- Example: An accommodation service provider refuses to accept your booking because you have a name belonging to a particular continent.
· Indirect discrimination: When an organisation has a particular policy or way of working that puts people of a racial group at a disadvantage.
- Example: You find yourself at a detriment due to the way in which a policy is written, or a service is provided.
Harassment: Unwanted behaviour which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or which creates a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
- Example: A member of a minority national identity, is working on a temporary contract, and keeps getting called racist names by work colleagues. Colleagues refer to it as just banter, but the member targeted feels insulted and offended by it.
Victimisation: When someone is treated badly because they have made a complaint of race related discrimination under the Equality Act.
- Example: You are supporting another student who has made a complaint of race related discrimination, and you experience a detriment because of that support.
Racist hate crime: As defined by Police Scotland, hate crime is any crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated (wholly or partly) by malice or ill will towards a social group, such as race.
If someone targets you, or someone else, because of a dislike or prejudice of your race, then you should report this to the police as a hate crime. Anyone witnessing hate crime can also report it, regardless of personal association.
Police Scotland will look at why the act or offence was committed. They will also look at the perception of the people involved. Police Scotland treats all hate crimes and incidents seriously and urge you to report them.
Examples of incidents include:
· verbal abuse like name calling or offensive jokes
· bullying or intimidation
· physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing or spitting
· threats of violence
· hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages or hate mail
· online abuse, for example on social media
· displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
· harm or damage to things like your home, pet or car
· throwing rubbish into a garden
· malicious complaints
Rationale for sources: Guidance from the Citizens Advice Bureau (Scotland), and the Equality & Human Rights Commission (Scotland) and Police Scotland have been utilised for alignment with equality legislation, and from Advance HE for a UK higher education industry perspective.
For any comments in relation to these definitions please contact the University Central EDI team, email@example.com.