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Racism/Racial Tensions at Oxbridge

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Oxonians beware: DO NOT MESS WITH THIS GIRL.

Nothing wrong with arsenic in your toothpaste, gives it a nice metallic tang, reminds me of the water back home...
i've been abroad to switzerland (not the most mulitcultural country), seeing as all my family is the south west i do not have extensive UK travel. Outside the SW i've been to wales, oxford, york and yes london. I've been to N and S wales and apart from cardiff have not found it that multicultural, oxford a bit more, york samish as oxford (although i was only there for a day so probably not fair to judge). Been to touristy bits of london and hence havn't really been much exposed to its mulitcultural side...

well I'm sure you'll get lots of opportunity for that at University :cool: :smile:
Reply 42
i'm from devon and at the age of 18 have never spoken to a 'black' person, although one of my friends is chinese and another white south african thats as multicultural as it gets. At my school (including 6th form) out of about 850 people (including staff) there is NOT 1 black person, although as said before there are a few chinese.
However this does not mean just because you've never met a black person you are racist.

Slightly confused about the inverted commas, but if I make my offer, I will hunt you down on facebook, and be the first black person to speak to you (what pressure :p: )
Reply 43
I think the racism idea holds about as much ground as the 'we look down on you if you are not upper class.' From when I've been in Oxford I've seen quite a few black people, Chinese people etc (I saw loads of Chinese tourists last time I was there). I think they are a bit more voyeuristic in the South for want of a better word, as like there was like a police car that stopped and went in McDonalds and everyone in the street stopped to watch in awe, whilst I was like tch nothing spectacular or intriguing for a Northerner lol. The only possible thing you could have I'd guess is just people who've come from areas with virtually no ethnic diversity and so they might give you a funky look (who cares anyway?).

I wouldn't take it as an issue in Oxford, if you wanna go there then I'm sure you'll have fun. Like someone said, I'd guess people would diss your American-ness more. Oxford is getting increasingly more diverse and to be honest at a place considered an institution of intelligence I would hope you wouldn't find someone idiotic enough to be racist
Reply 44
Slightly confused about the inverted commas, but if I make my offer, I will hunt you down on facebook, and be the first black person to speak to you (what pressure :p: )

Thanks i think :p: , i'll add you to my list of stalkers:biggrin:
Thanks i think :p: , i'll add you to my list of stalkers:biggrin:

Don't be worried about the arsenic in your toothpaste.. Queen_A is a world class stalker. BEWARE I tell you!
Reply 46
What slip ups?

Just silly drug dealer stereotypes etc.
Troy :0)
Just silly drug dealer stereotypes etc.


That's anywhere though alie?
Reply 48
i am mixed race and come from a school where in my year there were no other black people in year though there was one other mixed race person in my year (both primary and secondary) while t secondary school there were quite a few asians. For me this has meant that all my friends are white and i guess the effect it has had on me is that i dont find my race an issue and hope that this will continue at oxford, it certinally didnt seem to matter at interviews.
However, i think it is worth noting if you go in shouting about how you are black and had a hard life and so on, people will give you a hard time. You should always be prepared to put up with some grief as somepeople are just plain stupid and if you just put them right and show them you are just a normal human being then they would probably back off. People who have had little contact with black people may be a little wary but it is fair to say you can assume most people arent racist. (having said this i know that one of my friends who moved to a public school with very few black people has said that they are very racist behind closed doors, but would be unlikely to say anything in public unless a black person offened them)As a minortiy you will also have someone making a joke at you, in the same way that blonds or people with glasses do but it is likely to be harmless and not really meant to offend.
Basically you shoulnt let your race influence going to oxford as although there may be some prejudice (i have heard stories of a black girl being mistaken for a cleaner because of her colour) it should not shape you time there which would hopefully be an enjoable experiance
(i have heard stories of a black girl being mistaken for a cleaner because of her colour)

They probably knew really, but just felt threatened.

P.S. I'm surprised that the supposed 'cream of the crop' in world education would be so ignorant. But then again I'm not surprised, it is England we live in after all.

P.P.S In America, they (in many circles) don't even think there are black people in England!

True stories.
Reply 50
Yeah what redshoes says - I guess it helps if you're quite witty and assertive too, cause then you can tell em where to get off and make them look like the stupid pricks they are
Reply 51
Oh...loads of people made the point that you're almost certain to get some anti-American stick, and unlikely to get any racist stick. That's my experience from my sleepy London suburb anyway...
Reply 52
while i obviously don't think of it as a process of checking boxes, i'm quite glad that my friends group contains people from relatively diverse backgrounds, and i am somewhat concerned that going to oxford will result in interaction w/ a much more narrow demographic.
As regards the North East- i've seen black people on trips to major cities, etc, but i am afraid to say that i could probably count the amount of black (or even asian) people i have spoken to (and know their names) on my hands...

On the other hand, despite the first few times, when i think my mind was all like "wow, their skin colour is different, must not appear racist by staring" (gimmie a break, i was all of nine), it is now such a non-factor that i really don't care.

Sorry if this makes no sense/ gives offence, its friday night, im slightly drunk and thus my normal, seeing-insults-before-they-are-read mind isn't working as it should.
Reply 54
Well see I don't get really how anyone can think like 'omg they have a different skin colour' even at the age of 9, cause I've just always been used to being in a multi-cultural environment. I understand what you mean like but couldn't really imagine it. I doubt any student would be like that though I mean they have a TV don't they - its not like its some strange occurrence. I think its almost a shame though that some areas have like no idea about others and can 'count on their hand' as you say. Little contact means little understanding of how similar groups are and leads to conflict (all the racism in this world I'm a firm believer is simply out of fear of the unknown and enhancing your own group esteem). Like I said before though I doubt students with the brains to get in Oxford would be a problem at all, and other than family/peers I personally wouldn't give one if others thought anything bad of me, like most other people I think
Reply 55
To address a remark about rarity of black people in Britain, there are ONLY 900,000 black people in Britain out of of 60m.

Actually there were 1 200 000 in 2001 according to the census, but I see your point. A lot are concentrated in big cities too of course, mainly London.
Little contact means little understanding of how similar groups are and leads to conflict

I don't agree. Race riots have occurred in areas of the UK which have been multi-cultural for a long time.
However, as to your question of racism in the American education system, yes it exists. But as you said since there isnt a lot of Black students or tutors at Oxford, whereas in American Universities there are a considerably greater amount of Blacks in academia and as students.

Their lacking is really what I am worriedn about.

America is HARDLY the beacon of racial equality if our educational system is what you are 'worrying about'! Hurricane katrina certainly highlighted this. You have huge levels of racial segregation and a weak underfunded public education system.

Lets be clear, the SAT score deficit is huge between black and white/asian students in America. They are no more successful than the students in the UK. The only reason top American colleges have a higher number is because they have quotas for 'ethnic' students, IE latino and blacks with far lower SAT requirements relative to asian or white students.

At Oxbridge you have to get AAA minimum nearly always and very often more. Of the 22000 students obtaining this only around 50 black students in the country get it, similarly to the low proportion of black students getting >2300 in the SAT in America.
We in the UK do not socially engineer or have quotas. All students at Oxford get in exclusively on academic ability AND grades independent of colour or religion. Those black or mixed raced students there, like myself, are not part of any quota or liberal facade of equality, they are they because they rightfully earned their place like every other student in spite of the governments own failings.

For this they can be proud.
Reply 58
The debate on race issues is all very interesting, but the OP was just asking about himself fitting into the environment. Oxbridge is a very white middle-class environment in the UK, and that does give it a different feel. It has a lot of history to it and there are a lot of strange traditions. The social activities are more likely to play to what those kinds of people want to do, and people will certainly not be as politically correct as people at other schools, and they will discuss uncomfortable topics. However most of the above problems would be encountered by a white american anyway, because it is simply a very different culture. In my, admittedly limited, experience from the interviews, visiting, and people I know there you are unlikely to be snubbed. At least not intentionally so. And also the stuff bluefuture said might contribute to people having a lot of respect for black students there, as it is undeniably harder to come from that kind of background.
Oxbridge is a very white middle-class environment in the UK, and that does give it a different feel.

This is certainly true and you do notice it. But there are a lot of Asian and oriental students there.