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HomeUK NewsSunak reveals he ‘experienced racism as a kid’

Sunak reveals he ‘experienced racism as a kid’

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Prime minister Rishi Sunak has shared insights into the challenges of growing up facing racism and the efforts his family made to ensure he assimilated into British society, including enrolling him in additional drama classes to eliminate any accent, The Guardian reported.

“You are conscious of being different,” Sunak told Anushka Asthana, ITV News’ deputy political editor. “It’s hard not to be, right, and obviously I experienced racism as a kid.”

In a conversation for the special segment Rishi Sunak: Up Close – Tonight, detailed by Asthana in the Times, Sunak reminisced about the distress of witnessing his younger siblings being subjected to racial taunts.

Such experiences, he expressed, carry a unique sting and pain. However, Sunak observed a hopeful shift in societal attitudes, suggesting that his own children might be spared such ordeals.

Sunak also spoke about his family’s emphasis on integration, particularly highlighting his parents’ desire for him and his siblings to seamlessly blend into their surroundings without letting their Indian background become a hindrance.

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His mother, in particular, was particularly conscious about her children’s accent. “One of the things my mum was obsessed with was that we didn’t speak with accents and we would speak properly,” he said. “So, she was keen for us to try to do some extra drama.”

Reflecting on the broader issue of racism, Sunak said, “I think any form of racism is simply unacceptable.” He also mentioned the UK’s reputation among global leaders as a model for racial harmony and equality.

The idea of an ethnic minority individual becoming prime minister once seemed unattainable to Sunak, who cited the lack of similar role models in his youth.

The programme, which airs on ITV1 and ITVX, offers a glimpse into Sunak’s formative years in Southampton, his family life, and his journey to becoming the leader he is today.

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