A fifth of our way through the 21st century, you’d expect that our understanding and tolerance of our fellow human beings would be improving.
However, a recent report shows that the number of charges for hate crime is increasing in Scotland. Racial crime rose by 4% in 2019/20; crime related to sexual orientation is the second most commonly reported hate crime and increased by 24%; and disability related charges increased by 29%.
We recently observed Holocaust Memorial Day, annually we help to Show Racism the Red Card, and we know that much good work is going on to counter anti-Semitism and racism and to promote diversity.
In February we celebrate LGBT History Month, with the theme: Body, Mind, Spirit. Sadly, people in our LGBT community are:
• more likely to experience a range of mental health problems, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, selfharm, and alcohol and substance misuse;
• at a greater risk of experiencing hate crime compared to heterosexual people, with certain LGBT groups found to be at particular risk, including gay men, young people and those identifying as LGBT from black and ethnic minority groups; and
• less satisfied with their life than the general population. Particularly in our current situation, as we struggle to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns, it’s important that we show greater understanding and tolerance of our fellow human beings.
As Gandhi said: “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”