The United Kingdom, the small island that colonised the better part of the world; an empire on which the sun never set. Indeed Australia in its membership with the Commonwealth is still part of this heritage with Queen Elizabeth as head of state.
You would think a nation like the UK with political and economic interest in so many other nation states would be expert at diversity, at least within their own borders. Yet in this year’s UK franchise of X-Factor, finalist Cher Lloyd speaks of the modern day racism she endured as a Romany traveller.
Cher lived in a caravan with her parents, she wore hand-me-downs and was bullied with racial slurs like ‘pikey’ by her classmates. They lived in constant fear of the a brick being thrown through the glass window of their caravan by locals who didn’t want them there. The family sold pegs and scrap metal in a subsistence that barely afforded Cher a teddy bear at Christmas.
Now as a 17 year old finalist on X-Factor she states:
“I hate that people can say you’re a pikey and it’s not even considered racist. Romanies haven’t had much of a chance to speak up or be in the public eye - I want to make a start.”
Keep singing girl, we’re listening.