Kids In The UK Are Lightening Their Skin To Avoid Hate Crimes
By Parker Diakite
Skin lightening is increasing among black youth in Britain in an effort to avoid racial abuse as the number of rate hate crime against children reached a 3-year high.
The latest study conducted by the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children found that police recorded more than 10,000 racially motivated crimes against children between 2017 and 2018.
That number is now a fifth higher than it was just three years ago and is growing at a rate of about 1,000 new crimes a year, as reported in CNN.
Children advocates say that kids as young as 10 are lightening their skin to avoid harassment.
“I’ve been bullied ever since I started school,” one 10-year-old girl told the organization. “The bullies call me nasty names, and it makes me feel so ashamed. My friends won’t hang out with me anymore because people started asking why they were friends with someone who had dirty skin.”
The child admitted to using makeup “to make my face whiter so that I can fit in.”
Hate-based attacks against minors across the United Kingdom increased by 22 percent between 2015 and 2018.
The findings reflect an overall rise in racially motivated crimes in the UK, which jumped significantly after the Brexit vote. More than 70,000 hate crimes were recorded in Britain and Wales in 2017-18, increasing 14 percent from the previous year.
“Childhood bullying of this nature can cause long-term emotional harm to children and can create further divisions in our society,” John Cameron, who heads the NSPCC’s Childline service, told CNN.
The report noted that while crimes based on a person’s gender, religion, sexual and gender orientations are also on the rise, racially-motivated attacks still account for a large chunk of the U.K.’s hate crimes. Crimes based on disability rose 30 percent between 2016 and 2018, while religion-based attacks increased 40 percent, according to the report.