AFTER a visit by the First Minister to St Albert’s Primary School in Glasgow’s Pollokshields on Friday, a photograph of her with the children was posted on social media. Sadly, it seems there is no level to which racists won’t stoop, in this case targeting the school’s beautifully diverse pupils with vicious racist abuse.

As a proud Scottish-Indian who is part of an ethnic minority, working in the First Minister’s Glasgow Southside constituency, and who regularly receives similar abuse, I felt the need to speak up for the children and speak out against the online abusers. Following this, I, too, was targeted by them.

I’m not unique when it comes to being subjected to racism – I’ve had it all my life. This made me feel embarrassed to be ethnic and made me question which culture I belonged to.

Reading the racial abuse towards the children was extremely difficult. It was disgusting. These are young children who are at the heart of their innocence of their childhood.

While I can’t change the fact I was exposed to racism from a young age, we have the opportunity in Scotland to not pass the same prejudices on and avoid repeating the cycle of racism by creating an anti-racist future.

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Social media has become a platform for people to hurl abuse without fear of repercussions as they cowardly hide behind their fake profiles.

Over the years, it seems that racism has gotten progressively worse and Scotland is not innocent in this. To be told that I don’t belong in Scotland because of the colour of my skin is a very strange feeling.

The narrative that every person born in Scotland must be white is fundamentally false. I was born here and have an Indian heritage, and I proudly represent both of my nationalities and cultures.

Having Indian heritage doesn’t make me any less Scottish than someone that only has Scottish heritage.

Being a woman and a woman of colour working in politics is challenging to say the least. Misogyny and racism are rooted deep in the world of politics, and it’s not spoken about enough. Everyone knows about it but not enough is being said or done, which explains why fewer women enter this type of career. In the last year, I have been a target of online racial abuse and it doesn’t get any easier to read.

Politics is about debate and difference of opinions. However, people choose to resort to nasty, racist bile that gets thrown around far too easily.

It’s so important to call this online abuse out, especially when you have a platform to do so. What is devastating is that these children may not have social media but might hear of the horrible abuse they’ve received which may have a negative impact upon them.

The staff and children are worth a million of these racists and should be proud to represent their ethnic backgrounds and feel safe to express this pride.

I’m very proud that I work in Glasgow Southside, the most diverse constituency in Scotland, which a range of multi-cultural and ethnic people call it their home.

Racism has no place in Scotland, and I feel it is incumbent upon all of us to call it out and try to educate misinformed racists in the hope we can eradicate it from our everyday lives and allow our children to prosper in a prejudice-free country.

Nikita Bassi is social media officer for the SNP BAME Network.