Hard-hitting racism film still under wraps

4th June 1999 at 01:00
A controversial video, aimed at combating racism on the white working-class estates near where London sixth-former Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993, has still not been seen by its intended audience.

Routes to Racism, which contains footage of white racists talking about "Paki-bashing," was launched more than two years ago. Greenwich Council, which commissioned the video to tackle racism in the black teenager's area, can't afford to show it, says Roger Hewitt, the producer.

Writing in this week's TES, Dr Hewitt, of Goldsmiths College in London, claims cuts are preventing youth workers from showing the film to disaffected working-class teenagers in south-east London.

Dr Hewitt said: "The hardest job of all is to get into the minds of these potentially dangerous young men. There is still a major problem with racial harassment and violence and this resource, which was ready two years ago, is sitting around unused by the very people it was intended for."

Dr Hewitt says that politically correct and crudely designed multicultural policies further alienate bitter and angry young people.

Government figures show a fall in national spending on the youth service from pound;319 million in 198990 to pound;239m two years ago.

Greenwich admits there have been delays in showing the video to young people, citing the reorganisation of its youth service . The council says it is being widely used by schools and teachers as part of in-service training and that all new governors are expected to watch it.

Platform, 19

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