Beneavin College says: No to racism and class discrimination

The show racism the red card initiative has given us an opportunity to reflect and re-examine our understanding of the term “racism” today.We live in a small village in north city Dublin and it is our home. It is a place we have grown up in and made great friends, a place where the youth clubs are bustling every evening.We have football teams with lads capable of giving David Beckham a run for hismoney. We are a multicultural community and we are proud of where we come from.The problem for us is that our  home town is often discriminated against because Finglas and Ballymun (where most of us come from) gets such bad publicity in the media.Being labelled because of where you come from affects our families a lot. During a class discussion recently one of the lads explained how his mother gets depressed about it,stating that she said she is “just trying to make Finglas a better place everyday”. This is what we want; in fact we are all excited about “LiFT Ballymun Youth Arts Festival” approaching, where young people get to shows case their talent. This proves that we produce a lot more than drug dealers and thieves.Only last week a small group of us were in town and we got chatting to a group of girls our own age. As soon as we said we were from Finglas one of girls said “you must be drug dealers”.They said we are ‘southsiders’ and we don’t mix with ‘northsiders’. At the time we laughed I thought thst was just a funny phrase people used. However the girls genuinely did not want to talk to us after they found out where we are from. I found this hard to believe, there was no problem before we mentioned where we were from.We struggle with this discrimination on a day to day basis and it is not just coming from people our own age. If one of us walks into our favourite shops in town the security man nearly falls over trying to get to us so he can watch every movement we make, just because of our accent or the way we dress. It can make shopping a very uncomfortableexperience.Perhaps the issue lies in ignorance, some people thinking their better than others. People today need to realise that you cannot judge others by what they look like or where they come from. We know how it feels to be discriminated against and we would like peopleto recognise that a lot of good comes out of the so called “northside”.Ireland is a multicultural society and some people are beginning to accept differences in skin colour, religions, cultures etc. We want this acceptance to grow, we have spread theword in our school and we hope our generation will spread the love. After all we hate being treated differently for being from Finglas and Ballymun so why would anyone want to inflict that same pain on another person?? It makes sense…no?It’s time everyone understood the true meaning of racism. We believe racism comes from prejudice. We would simply describe prejudice as ignorance or not understanding someone that is different to you. Then it leads to stereotyping and labelling and growsinto something horrible. Our goal in Beneavin College is to cut this cycle short by embracing all cultures, having an attitude where we want to learn about others and we hope for a result that shows racism the red card. 

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