NO to Racism
30 June 2016Pan is shocked at the outbreak of racist and xenophobic acts following the EU Referendum result and commits to redoubling its work to counter such behaviour and to support those affected by it.
Pan Intercultural Arts exists to promote better understanding and respect between people and to give everyone an equal opportunity to have a creative voice to express their dreams, their joys and their fears. We respect differences and celebrate the overlaps and links between people with differences.
In the wake of the recent referendum there has been a deeply disturbing phenomenon; an increased reporting of racially provoked verbal and threatening attacks. These attacks seem to target people of Black and Minority Ethnic groups, people speaking languages other than English, refugees and even in one case someone wearing a Refugees Welcome T-shirt.
It is as if the narrow victory for ‘Brexit’ has been seen as permission by some people to express their xenophobic thoughts, and to voice their prejudices and hatred.
While it is saddening that people harbour such thoughts and presumably have done so for some time, we at Pan recognise that all these attacks are unacceptable in every way and are a corrosive force which will destroy the fabric of our society of respect and equality.
Such attacks are terrifying for everybody, whether established members of society or vulnerable, newly arrived victims of war, torture, trafficking or oppression. This latter group makes up a large part of those with whom we work at Pan and we are concerned that their already fragile and traumatised lives will be made even less comfortable by vicious and inhumane attacks and the atmosphere of mistrust they cause.
There is a wound in our society at this time and it is necessary for everyone to work to recognise differences, understand people’s fears, rekindle humanity in our dealings and thoughts towards others and accept our inalienable right to be treated as equals.
Apart from the obvious fact that these attacks are illegal, Pan strongly condemns all such hate-filled behaviour and reconfirms that it will continue to work with all its strength to counter such unacceptable acts.
We appeal to everyone to challenge any behaviour of this type, to tell people their attacks are unacceptable, and to reassure those who are being victimised that the attackers do not represent our rich and tolerant society.
Let’s not be passive bystanders, let’s provide strong, confident and joyful alternatives, we are in difficult times.