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1XTRA NEWS: THE REAL TALK OF THE STREETS
How urban do you feel?
Trevor Phillips
In some areas under 1% are black
The countryside is a no-go area for black and Asian people says Commission for Racial Equality boss Trevor Phillips.
Many ethnic minorities feel they don't belong outside towns and cities, he told the BBC.

And he describes the way black and Asian people feel unwelcome in rural parts of Britain as "passive apartheid".

So is he right? Are people in the countryside hostile to black and Asian people? Or do ethnic minorities have an exaggerated fear of how they'll get treated in rural areas?
How do you feel in rural areas? Do you live in the countryside? Tell us your experiences - and whether you reckon Trevor is right.

truth
would a countrybumpkin feel comfortable in an inner city area? no. doesnt matter what race cos that's where poverty causes tension to run high. people who live in the countryside have different values.. it would b better if people can just cherish the differences between everyone instead of critisising them.

Messy One
Hey Cameron - why the hell should "making racism go away" be the responsibility of 'ethnic minorities' - firstly it's not them that have the issues and secondly, why should they endure prejudice to 'change the minds' of those who live in the countryside. Prejudice is just that - pre-judging a group of people based on some kind of stereotype ... those people are going to think what they think about non-Whites whether they live next door to them or not !

caitlin
I live in the lake district and am a white girl. I am from london and my family are mixed race. It is a rarity to see an ethnic minority here as most of the people are traditional and rural.

rach t
i think racial discrimination is out of hand, every1 is the same and should all get on. people in the countryside should get out of their old ways and move forward into this century.

anna
ok, so im only 13, but i live in a rural area, there aren't many black people but, we are definately not racist, some are my best friends, i think that Trevor Phillips is stereotyping us, its all wrong, well at least in east yorkshire. he can campaign for racial equality, and i support him, but don't call us racist, because there are not many other races who live there - when its soo not true.

Jamie
As i live in Norfolk i can understand where Mr. Phillips is comming from. I myself have no problem with ethnic backgrounds. But in saying that, having lived in Norfolk all my life i would have a problem living in major citys in the UK (im white by the way). I just feel that i wouldnt fit in. I not trying to swing the debate here im just saying that problems always come in two. I want more people with ethnic backgrounds to live here. But what i want and what other people want are two different things...

WASEMA
I agree with Trevor Phillps. I live in Wolverhampton and commute to Cheshire daily where i work. although it is a round trip of 100 miles per day i would never live there in a million years. Don't get me wrong it a beatuiful place BUT the people think and live differently, if you are non-white you need a strong character to stay sane as there is no reflection of self. i find them unfriendly whether thats due to fear of the unknown or mis-conception of black people but yet Cheshire is now a new dumping ground for aslyum seekers!
i am a project coordinator which is about health & soical care and employment within disadvantaged groups, they don't stand a chance of really achieving as the people within Cheshire are not into disrupting their comfort zones but they will give you the lip service if it is an advantage to them but even then they think twice as they don't really want non-whites in this traditionally rich white area.

Caz
Im 16, black and was born in London, but am now living in Scotland, when i first got here i was shocked at the lack of black or asian people. Because my mum and step dad are both white i often feel out of place at home and school, and so its heaven when i get to go back to london to see different races.

Dan Pollard
I'm white and I live in the center of Norwich. It's true what the reporter in Rakheath is saying, black and asian population here is low which, in a way, makes me feel uncomfortable.
Seeing only a few black people in the city center is a story too familiar. I don't think black or asian people don't want to live here, but never have the need to. Big cities like London are popular settlements for ethic diversity which makes the residents more comfortable.
Solomon's statement is true, some people I know feel uneasy around black people because they've had so little communication with them. Hearing the racist remarks they come out with is fuelling my dislike for Norwich, I'm afraid to say.

Clare
I am a white woman married to a black man, living in Sussex. I have to agree with the comment that to call someone 'coloured' is seen as polite. Growing up by the seaside we had 1 black kid at our school, we just didn't see many other races at all. But we were always brought up to refer to people of any other race as coloured and this was respectful.
I have family in villages in Somerset and I and my white friends have been viewed with as much suspicion by walking into a pub where we are 'outsiders' as anyone else might. My mother, who has mixed-race grandchildren, would be terribly hurt if she felt that by calling my husband or any other black person 'coloured' that she was being offensive.

Cameron
Commission for Racial Equality? the only way racism goes away is when minorities go to the rural areas and change views through their everyday life. not commissions that, believe me, create more animosity.

Terryl
I'm from Antigua and I go to school in Canada in a small town outside of Toronto. The people are small minded and ignorant. I have been called names just for walking down the street, people looking at me as if i'm not human etc. It's sick i can't wait to finish school and move to the city people there are way more better than people in these small towns.

Mark
A blinged up young black guy walking through a country village will always look out of place and be treated with suspicion but then so would a similarly dressed Caucasian. Most rural people have more conservative views than their urban counterparts but would happily accept minority groups into their midst if they were willing to integrate into their way of life and society. However, something as simple as the way they choose to dress would make them unapproachable and unwelcome to many rural dwellers who value the traditional and slower changing way of life in the countryside.

trina
I don't blame people from ethnic minorities not wanting 2live in the countryside. I live about 35miles south of London and the ethnic minority really is the minority. As a mixed race girl I have been subject to racial abuse on more than one ocasion. People round here have little knowledge of other racial or cultral backgrounds and therefore have many prejudices. If there was more awareness of other ethnic backgrounds round here then we would be more welcome and more ethnic diverse people would want 2live here!!!

Solomon
I grew up in london (24yrs old), due to the nature of my degree, I had to travel to remote areas of the country for industrial placements. 6 months in North Wales and another 6 months in Scotland. Two different locations, but one thing in common, your more likely to get picked on, if your skin complexion is darker. Name calling, people clutching onto their hand bags, paranoid behaviour etc. I experienced it all. You have to be strong-minded to live in such an environment, if not you'd probably go insane. Trevor Phillips, your statement is right.




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