Members of the Youth Connect South West team conducted some informal interviews with some of the young people they support in Bath, and asked them the following questions about racism, the climate crisis and Covid-19. Here’s what they had to say:
Do you think there is racism in Bath?
‘Yes – there is racism everywhere, no matter where you go. I’ve experienced this first-hand. I’ve been called a stupid Black whore on the bus, I filmed it, but the police did nothing.’
‘If you go to Bristol, you won’t see racism – it’s very multicultural. But in Bath, it’s very white. A typical white person will look at someone differently just because of their colour.’
‘I’ve seen someone be racist, because someone has disrespected them….so they’re being disrespectful back.’
‘I’ve got older Black siblings – I don’t think racism will ever end.’
‘A kid that was here earlier was called the N word.’
How would you tackle racism?
‘BLM made a very big impact. All these marches are happening, but people (in power) are using Covid as an excuse to not do anything about it.’
‘I think that people need to be educated more. Get people more involved in groups, to show we’re all the same.’
‘It starts from a young age when you start experiencing racism. They should teach more about racism in school, from year 1 upwards.’
‘Even when you have Black History month, you aren’t that informed. You don’t really hear about Martin Luther King. You might hear about slavery, but not about the person who abolished slavery.’
‘We should talk about the good and bad sides of history in school. You need representation.’
‘It’s the 21st Century, people should know it’s not ok to be racist.’
Climate Change – what is your view? Does it worry you? What should we do about it?
‘I think we need to do something about it, but I don’t know much about it.’
‘All of the big companies need to cut down a bit and stop using the sh*tty products they use.’
‘Get better transport for young people – remember the skyline that they were planning, get that to go ahead.’
‘We should reduce plastic.’
‘The scooters in Bath are good. They should be made more accessible for kids under 18’
Life in the pandemic – what should we do in Bath to tackle it?
‘I didn’t go out that much anyway. In the summer it was hard, as everyone wanted to go out.’
‘There’s not much we can do…’
‘It’s made everyone behind in school. Old people are blaming young people, but in the longer term the young people will be affected more.’
Schools shouldn’t have been opened. Different year groups should have been in on different days. They should have been told what to do, and then sent home to do it.
Are there any groups in Bath who are treated unfairly?
Young people – ‘they don’t need to hate on us, just because we’re young’
How can we improve this?
Bring communities back together, do actual community things. Play rangers and Fun Days – when everyone was together.
Even if it was Bingo with the young people and old people together.