Race, culture & religion

Mimicking an accent – racist bullying?

Community Race, culture & religion Mimicking an accent – racist bullying?

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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  • #8870
    Avatar of missjus
    missjus
    Participant

    I work in a boarding school and I am worried about the general attitude to racism here. I am about to leave for a better job which is making me even more concerned about the pupils I am leaving behind. I have been searching on line for a document or a respected source that states that constantly repeating what someone says in their accent is racist bullying. I know that racist bullying was defined by MacPherson’s 1999 report as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”. But I would really like to cite a document that specifically states my case. Any advice very gratefully received!

    #8873
    Avatar of peach311
    peach311
    Participant

    Hey missjus,

    Thank you for your post and reaching out for some information.

    Schools that ignore racist attitudes or go as far to deny its existence are sending a dangerous message to young people. Our society depends upon the children of today growing up to be adults who are prepared to speak up against racism. For that to happen schools need to be educating children on the many and varied ways racist bullying happens such as mocking/mimicking someone’s accent which you have rightly identified.

    The MacPherson definition continues to be a guiding force in how racism is defined and discussed and we know from our research that 34% of young people reported being bullied for prejudice reasons. In terms of how to help your students better understand that mocking an accent can be racist bullying I would recommend they have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Racism as a starting point:

    Racism: the Ultimate Guide

    We also have a category on racism with a wealth of information from support guides, articles and interviews with young people talking about their experiences. Part of the problem is that people find it hard to quantify whether or not they are experiencing racism as you’ve highlighted, as everybody has a different threshold of what they consider to be bullying. Everyone’s experience is valid and we want people to know they have a voice and a safe space to share how they feel and deal with racism however it presents itself.

    -peach311

    #21144
    Avatar of brocklee
    brocklee
    Participant

    When I visit the south (USA) I find myself picking up the accent! I don’t mean to be disrespectful but I don’t know why it happens. Is this rude??

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