Saturday, 27 October 2007

How effective are anti-racism gigs and CDs?

There are many anti-racism campaigns in our part of London, take the annual Respect music festival (not to be confused with the Respect political party!) or Rise or Kick it Out, a campaign that uses people in football to challenge racism and work for positive change.

This week, a new CD was launched in Barking by another campaign called Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR).

The 29 track CD features artists like Lethal Bissle. What is interesting – if not frightening – is that, according to a local paper, the project was initiated following reports of levels of racism in UK schools and reports that the far right British National Party is trying to recruit school children.

Campaigns like Rise and LMHR claim to use music to fight racism in the community. A lot of resources are put into these campaigns, but just how effective are they?

Would a racist go to a Rise gig in East London, for example, and come out of the concert a ‘changed man’? But then again, a racist is unlikely to go in the first place.

Perhaps such concerts and CDs work for ‘potential’ racists? They could go to such a concert or listen to such CDs and then they could be won over the other side of the fence and abandon their potentially racist side?

Which ever way you see it, such campaigns are good for highlighting the evil of racism and that it is not welcome in our society. They also bring about community cohesion.

1 comment:

Rosalind said...

I suppose there needs to be a countervoice to racist remarks,to show that many people do not support those views, and are opposed to them.