Poles Struggle With Multiculturalism in England

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

  • Amalia

    It’s all well and good talking about the Poles from rural areas who happen to be biased against the blacks ( not ment to be derogatory), but do take into consideration that, firstly, not all of them immigrants come from the countryside-some of them are students taking up a summer job just for peanuts and if they come from Warsaw like myself, are well used not only to seeing blak but also yellow as well as cappucino-coloured people on the streets.
    Moreover, the Brits, who’ve been living with them since 1960s do not quite accept them fully (think of BNP, Notting Hill, and kids chanting -if u want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Libs or Labour, and the quest for British identity Brown on annual Fabian Society’s meeting)).
    Furthermore, you’re treading on thin ice when you are speaking about Jews (some of us were prejudiced, others saved their lives risking their own-try reading more before you write).
    Last but not least, Poland does not entirely belong to Eastern Europe- we have ties with East allright, but also with West. And Eastern Europeans are not homogenous: there are Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Latvians, Estonians, and Poles.
    I am Polish.