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The Runnymede Race Debate: Do racists have a right to be heard?

30 January 2013


The RSA, 8 John Adam St, London WC2N 6EZ
Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 6:30 PM to 7:45 PM

London’s Olympic summer projected an image of a nation at ease with itself, united in diversity. And yet a slew of incidents in recent months on the football field, twitter and beyond revealed a more sinister picture, belying any easy assumption that we are living in a post-racial age.

In light of such developments, we will be asking a panel of high profile public figures – “do racists have a right to be heard?”

This event, held in association the RSA and Trust for London, follows research carried out by the Runnymede Trust and projects supported by Trust for London with potential perpetrators of racist violence, which has found that many institutions and practitioners are fearful of engaging with racists.

Should racists participate in the public arena, so as to be openly challenged on their views? Or by abiding by sacred liberal values and the rights to freedom of speech, do we risk normalising repugnant attitudes? Should those who espouse racist views be shunned or reasoned with? Is it time to re-assess the limits of free speech? Is zero-tolerance the best defence, or does it foster resentment, drive racism underground and store up trouble for the future?

Speakers at this year's Race Debate include Sunder Katwala, director, British Future and Catherine Fieschi, director, Counterpoint, and the debate will be chaired by Rob Berkeley, director, The Runnymede Trust

Please click here to book your place

To see the 2011 Race Debate plesae click here