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Anti-racism Journalist of the Year: Aged 10 and under winner

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Still harming and killing mockingbirds?

Charis Chan, St. Mary’s School, Cambridge

Statistics issued by the Home Office have found in 2022 there were 155,841 reported hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales. This was a staggering 26% increase in comparison to the previous year, also the greatest rise in hate crimes since the year ending March 2017.

Having come from Hong Kong, settling in a new country is not easy. The 2021 census recorded 117,714 Hong Kongers residing in England, 3,715 in Wales and 1,982 in Northern Ireland. In contrast to the 68,860,345 UK population, the total number of Hong Kongers is 123,411, barely making up even 1% of the UK population. How are you meant to feel consoled when you are just a grain of sand compared to the whole country?

According to a Metropolitan Police report, there were 457 reported hate crimes against what they classify as Chinese in 2020. While deep-seated aversion and abhorrence may have been caused by the origins of COVID-19, even people of vaguely East-Asian appearance with ethnic roots in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam etc are targeted.

It is not just “ordinary” people who get targeted by racists. Firefighter Edric Kennedy-Macfoy was a victim of a violent attack: swearing and shooting the 28-year old with a stun gun. Cases within the London fire brigade have provoked an independent review that found it as “institutionally misogynistic and racist”. One black firefighter had a noose put above his lockers, yet again, this is just one
of the countless cases.

Along with suffering the brunt of this, people’s mental health are also affected. Some in these public sectors have confessed to feeling suicidal due to bullying and harassment. An NHS staff, Nurse Aldarcio Jr Velasco, from the Philippines revealed he was yelled at and experienced aggressive behavior from a patient.

In society’s eyes, if you are the dominant race in the country you are in, no one will question your identity. Can we change those deep-rooted ideas and accept diversity? Until humanity can fully assume the injustice many face due to race crimes, the world, let alone the UK, is still full of these hurdles.

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