Over the past couple of weeks BBC Three have been airing a series of programmes dealing with Racism – by considering racial tensions both here in the UK and in the wider world, the series asks how prejudices affect modern life.
Reggie Yeates: Race Riots USA
(originally aired 29th September 2015, BBC Three, available via iPlayer, available with BSL)
From the BBC:
A year on from the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, Reggie Yates examines the position of African-Americans in US society.
Brown’s death, in addition to other incidents of police brutality, shocked the world and led to sustained rioting in Ferguson. Reggie visits the small town in America’s Bible Belt and discovers that the events of August 2014 have politicised a new generation of young activists. He seeks to find out from the citizens of Ferguson whether the community can ever be healed. Reggie looks at new police recruits being trained but goes on to discover how African-Americans are still being discriminated against.
KKK: Fighting for White Supremacy
(originally aired 28th September, BBC Three, available via iPlayer, available with BSL)
From the BBC:
America’s most infamous supremacist group – the Ku Klux Klan – says they are in the midst of a revival, with a surge in membership and cross burnings across the Deep South.
Film-maker Dan Murdoch meets the leaders of the Loyal White Knights, who claim to be the largest Klan chapter, to witness first-hand their secretive rituals and hear about why their members choose to wear the infamous hood.
The Klan says they are not violent. But when a 21-year-old white man walks into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and massacres nine black worshippers saying he wants to start a race war, the danger of the white supremacist ideology becomes a terrifying reality.
The film follows events as protests erupt and Black Power groups, including the New Black Panthers, take to the streets to preach their own agenda of black supremacy. And when the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panthers organise rival protests in the South Carolina capital, the two extreme visions of America violently come face to face.
Is Britain Racist?
(originally aired 5th October 2015, BBC Three, available via iPlayer, available with BSL)
From the BBC:
Racism has never been more socially unacceptable in Britain – three quarters of Britons claim they have no racial prejudice whatsoever. Journalist Mona Chalabi investigates whether these statistics provide an accurate picture.
To find out what is happening on Britain’s streets, three reporters are sent undercover to test the public’s prejudice. The results are surprising.
The programme looks into people’s unconscious behaviour, discovering what British people really think about their neighbours of different races and religions. And Mona puts her own beliefs under the microscope, discovering some uncomfortable truths. Finally, she asks a hugely significant question – can people be trained to lose their prejudice?
Clips: Racism in Britain
Links: Presenter Mona Chalabi has written a Comment is Free article for the Guardian titled: We’re all racist. But racism by white people matters more which discusses some of the issues brought up in the programme.
We Want Our Country Back
(due to air 6th October 2015, 9pm, BBC Three, will be available on iPlayer soon after)
From the BBC:
In recent months, Britain First – which says it wants to ban all trace of Islam from the UK – has emerged as a new name in far right politics.
With a 29-year-old-woman, Jayda Fransen, as the face of the party, and with an online following bigger than any other UK party, Britain First says that it is ready to become a household name and credible force in British politics.
Film director Miles Blayden-Ryall joins deputy leader Jayda and leader Paul Golding (ex-BNP press officer) as they embark on their first public national campaign to garner support.
With seemingly huge numbers viewing the provocative videos they produce and backing them online, they say that the British public is ready to turn out in huge numbers for them and that, as a result, the authorities view them as dangerous and want to shut them down.
Blayden-Ryall is with them on the streets of the UK as they attempt to rally big numbers around their cause, in the face of growing opposition.
But do they have any hope of succeeding? Have the British public really become so intolerant that they will get behind a party with such extreme views?
Extracts from these programmes could be useful for PSHE classes considering discrimination and civil rights, as well as to Politics teachers looking at extremism and the far right.