There are numerous reports in English schools of Polish immigrant children having negative attitudes toward black students. Ania Heasley, who runs an employment center for Polish immigrants is repeatedly asked by immigrants for work or living situations in which they will not have contact with black skinned people.
A high percentage of immigrants from Eastern Europe are coming from rural areas that historically have been deeply prejudiced against Jews and people who are “different.” These rural immigrants are suddenly thrust into a multicultural, post-industrial world in which one must not merely interact with diverse people, but live with them and, perhaps, even wind up marrying them. Most of these immigrants simply do not grasp the multicultural dimensions of modern societies since they bring rural homogeneity with them on the long road toward economic opportunity.
I recall my father, who was raised in rural Russia at the turn of the century, telling me of his first encounter with a dark skinned person. He was on a ship sailing through the Dardanelles when he saw the dark skinned man on another ship. I asked him about his reactions and he said, “When I was a little boy if I did something wrong, my mother would say that far, far away there is a land in which people have black skins, and if you misbehave they will come and eat you. I never really believed such people existed, but, then I saw the man with a black skin.” It may well take a generation before children of these Polish immigrants adjust to the new realities of their lives in England.
Information from Manchester Guardian