Jill Reilly, Daily Mail (London), May 28, 2012
A third of Brits admit they are racist, a shock report has revealed.
The worrying figure emerged in a poll of 2,000 adults who were asked to honestly express their feelings about foreign nationals living and working in this country.
One in three admitted regularly making comments or being involved in discussions which could be considered racist.
Additionally, more than one in ten admitted they had been accused of being a racist by someone close to them.
And almost 40 per cent confessed to using the phrase ‘I’m not a racist, but …’ when discussing race issues facing Britain today.
Alarmingly, many felt their animosity towards foreigners was passed down by previous generations.
But the country’s immigration policy also emerged as a trigger for emotions which could be considered racist.
The true extent of the racist undercurrent within the country was revealed in a nationally representative study carried out by OnePoll in which 88 per cent of the respondents classed themselves as ‘White British’.
Anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate, said they were not ‘surprised’ by the poll results.
‘These are very disappointing findings. The positive way to look at it the majority of Britain’s shun this behaviour.
‘It equally shows there is a long to way to go to tackle prejudice in sections of society.
It’s disappointing – we know there is a long way to go and this poll merely underlines the fact.’
Yesterday a OnePoll spokesman said: ‘What constitutes being racist will always be a contentious issue.
‘What one person deems inappropriate the next person may not.
‘The opinions and beliefs of our parents and grandparents are bound to be a factor in the way we address other people regardless of their nationality or skin colour.
‘Likewise life experience and cultures we have grown-up in are inevitably going to influence our beliefs and the language we use.
Other factors which many feel stir up anti-foreign emotions was the environment or neighbourhood people currently live in.
Life experience was also hailed as a reason.
The study also found one in five accept the fact people around them make disparaging remarks about different ethnic groups – and are not bothered by it.
Age-wise, the over 55s were found to have the biggest chips on their shoulders, with the 18-24 age range close behind.
The younger of these two brackets were also more likely to admit making racist comments or partaking in behaviour which could be deemed racist.
The Government’s immigration policy was slammed by many of those who took part in the study.
Seventy one per cent said they felt the ‘open doors’ approach to foreign nationals was leading to an increase in racist feelings.
As many as one in six demanded Britain close its doors to anyone who is not a UK national.
Just over four out of ten said they felt a strict number of immigrants should be allowed in at any one time.
A OnePoll spokesman added: ‘It’s alarming that so many people are just accepting the racist behaviour around them.
‘Nobody should feel an outsider in their own community.
‘The findings did show that immigration policy was fuelling the fire for racist behaviour amongst some adults.
‘But immigration and race are two separate issues although these findings show that many believe one is a consequence of another.’