25 September, 2005

Racism

A couple of nights ago I went back on to the streets to interview a couple more homeless people. Whilst we were there we heard of the divisions between homeless immigrants. A fight broke out and it was all about race. This surprised me as race had no hold in a homeless community. It didn't matter where you were from, your colour or religion didn't matter one iota. Now it seems there is a resentment growing among the homeless that too many foreigners are using and abusing the homeless system. When I asked why they thought this the answer came back on several levels one was that casual jobs like sandwich boarders now where foreigners and if they tried to work the wages where less than the minimum wage. The other was that it's seems that day centers are being used by immigrants who are not actually homeless when I asked how can you tell they said look around at the faces you see tonight sleeping on the street and see how many turn up at the day centers. One person said I can't even learn to use a computer anymore because its always booked up by someone from another country.
I know that racism has always been at our doorstep in everyday life but to hear about it from homeless people does shock me. but is our system really being abused by immigrants or are we just being hypocritical of people that want to learn. What I would say is that race should not play any part in today's society whether homeless or not.


1 comment:

Marian said...

Jaimie,
At the end of the day homeless as you know are only humans... homeless people are not exeptional to the rule... as long as education is not widely available (ie:race is a political concept not a home truth for a start) to combat negativity racisme will always infiltrate any form of society.There are many immigrants using the day center I work for,some coming from europe some from very far, its important to talk to them to understand the reasons to why they arrives in the first place however I will NOT worry si much I know it is just a matter of time for all of the homeless people to stick together again no matter their ethnicity.
Love u all