Welsh language use branded 'racist' and ‘excludes minorities’, report finds

20 August 2021, 13:17

The report was carried out by the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union
The report was carried out by the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. Picture: LBC/Alamy
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Arts Council of Wales is “systemically racist”, according to a report it commissioned itself, which says Welsh language requirements exclude minorities. 

The publicly-funded body commissioned £51,000 worth of research which branded the organisation’s policies “racist”, along with those of National Museums Wales, a conclusion both bodies have accepted.

The report further added that both the Council and National Museums Wales uphold “white supremacist ideology” by limiting opportunities for minorities.

Both organisations have now accepted the findings of the report.

The findings come after Welsh arts groups and professionals appealed for a report on racial inclusion at these organisations as they raised concerns that “Welsh meant white” and that “Welsh could exclude Black and non-Black people of colour”.

At the moment, the legislation followed by both organisations outlines the need to treat Welsh as equal to English and with equal prominence.

The Arts Council of Wales’s policy states “the Welsh language skills of all staff are assessed annually through self-assessment,” while National Museum Wales assesses whether Welsh language skills are “essential” for specific roles.

The report by the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union stated that a feeling of exclusion “links to the concept of ‘Welshness’ all together, which often disregards Black and Non-Black People of Colour as the ‘other’ – there is a notion that if you are not white, you cannot be Welsh”.

Concerns were raised by some participants canvassed for the report that “Welsh language policies in current applications can exclude Black and non-Black people of colour”.

It also stated that policies on promoting the Welsh language could lead to exclusion of non-white people.