Column: Understanding Scotland’s slavery links is important


In my column in the East Lothian Courier I write about how “racism afflicts every society and Scotland’s no different.”

“Many constituents have been in touch about the events unfolding in the United States and, indeed, there were even some local demonstrations about them.

“It’s both frightening and tragic and I’ve co-signed letters to the Government and supported motions seeking action.

“Racism is sadly deep-rooted in the USA, predating even Gifford’s famous son, John Witherspoon, signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

“Compounding that is institutional racism within many law enforcement agencies and a gun culture that’s lethal.

“As Justice Secretary, I met many US police officers. They were invariably pleasant but I’d hesitate to approach an officer there, let alone ask the time or directions.

“But racism afflicts every society and Scotland’s no different. We need to ensure that there are robust laws and that those who espouse abhorrent views are challenged.

“Though the issues here may be less marked than south of the border, let alone the United States, they do exist and therefore action needs taken.”

Read the full column at the East Lothian Courier website here.