Dundee City Council leader John Alexander has admitted racism is “alive and kicking” in the city.
Mr Alexander, along with Fairness and Equalities Spokesperson Lynne Short, discussed the Black Lives Matter campaign, and recent incidents of racism in Dundee.
Mr Alexander said: “The reality is, I think we’ve all got to face up to the fact that racism is alive and kicking in modern Dundee, modern Scotland.
“It doesn’t have a place, it isn’t acceptable, but it’s there. And, the more that we can speak about these types of issues, speak up about these issues and how unacceptable it is, the better.”
He said while Dundee was know as a “very tolerant, opening, welcoming city”, incidents such as the racist defacing of a mural painted in tribute to American man George Floyd showed there was a minority in the city who hold unacceptable views.
Mr Floyd died in an incident which attracted worldwide attention, after being restrained by police.
A mural of Mr Floyd by local artist Symon Mathieson – known as SYKE – had a racist symbol painted over Mr Floyd’s face and the word “black” daubed over, meaning it simply read, “lives matter”.
“It was appalling, absolutely abhorrent, that in 2020, in Dundee, in what I consider to be a very welcoming and open city, that that kind of behaviour still manifests itself, so it just illustrated for me, a few streets away, within five minutes of where I live, that there are people there who continue to hold those racist views,” said Mr Alexander.
“So, all it does is clearly illustrate why we need to talk about these issues; that racism exists, sexism exists. And it’s right that people stand up and are counted.”
Ms Short, who represents Maryfield, said extremists were found in every society, and it was important people condemned these actions and reported them to the authorities.
She said: “If it’s vandalism, if it’s racism, then it’s reported to the police and the police will take that matter forward.
“It’s incredibly important that they are called out.
“Hopefully, eventually, we will get to that point where you don’t need an equalities spokesperson, because we be all equal, no matter what our sexual orientation, our skin colour, etc.”