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Making our Cornish society richer, fairer, stronger, brighter

You can read here a recent article, No One Is Free Until Everyone Is Free by Mark Wilson, which started out, frankly, being pretty defamatory of the Cornish cause in general but then, with a little help and good-will, was re-written as a much more balanced and thought provoking piece on the possible inter-relations of nationalism, anti-racism and racist abuse in Cornwall. The title, by the way, quotes Fannie Lou Hamer of the US civil rights movement.

In a chilling coincidence, while this article was being debated, the very same long-suffering institution in Cornwall which the article discussed, which seems to have been made a scapegoat or lightning rod over recent years, was again targeted by cowardly runts spraying absurd hostile graffiti. God knows those targeted deserve some peace and quiet to pass traditions on from grandmother to daughter, grandfather to son, just the same as every one of the rest of us. 

So what is the situation regarding racist incidents in Cornwall ? Looking at statistics of reported racist incidents by police force in England, Wales and Cornwall, and the population within each force's jurisdiction, we can calculate the ratio of incidents per capita population in each police force's area. Then we can rank them in order, where "good" is the least number of reported incidents per capita. If we do that, Cornwall and Devon comes 18th out of 43, worse than Lancashire or Greater Manchester, better than Gwent or Kent (Leicestershire coming out best, City of London worst). It'd be daft to rely on statistics to assess the real decency of everyday conduct, but clearly 18th is not good enough for Cornwall. Without wanting to slope shoulders from a position of ignorance and dump the blame elsewhere (cos we Cornish have already had enough of that sort of slander ourselves from outside Cornwall), although Cornwall & Devon police have not broken down stats by county (sic), evidence suggests that large urban centres outside Cornwall may be hot spots, such as Plymouth. Recent figures about racist incidents reported in schools imply something similar - and underline the importance of helping young people learn how to deal fairly with diversity in their minds and actions. 

These figures probably ignore the elephant in the Cornish room, namely racism based not on colour but culture, but in any case there's no room for complacency in Cornwall. Justice demands that everyone in the Cornish movement do as they would be done by, at home or abroad, and encourage in their own and others' hearts the smelting of intolerance, moulding it into the will to engage with the differences of others in ways which will make our Cornish society richer, fairer, stronger, brighter.

The above contributed by a CRB reader.

Interesting to note that following the large scale condemnation by the Cornish movement of the first round of racist incidents at Quenchwell  the thin façade of Cornish nationalism has been dropped by the eloquently described 'cowardly runts'. Their true colours, white anglo-supremacist and British nationalist, can now be seen by all. I call on the all those in the Cornish nationalist movement to maintain and strengthen the unity against fascism.

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