Sunday, 13 May 2012

Pop: Don’t segregate and profile us! That’s our job!


The whole Trayvon thing in America has become as big if not bigger as the fuss that was made over Stephen Lawrence in this country. Somebody dared to hurt a person who wasn’t white and now us evil and mean ‘privileged’ members of society are expected to feel bad as if it’s our fault that racism exists. As if by not caring about the skin colour of the person presented to us, we’re being racist. I completely understand that there are cases where race plays a part in the death of innocent people but that doesn’t make the crime worse than any a crime with any other motive. It shouldn’t matter more if you’re a black person than if you’re a person who has blonde hair or blue eyes or whatever. 

Somebody has murdered you and that’s wrong. And yet still we all put more emphasis on a crime if somebody with darker skin is affected by it, people throw their arms in the air and claim ‘this is wrong!’ as if by doing that they’re fighting for the rights of every person who doesn’t look like a front bench conservative politician. They say things like ‘People have to learn that they can’t kill black people and get away with it,’ and nobody bats an eyelid. It’s often said in news articles that if Zimmerman had been black he would have been arrested. What about if Trayvon had been white and Zimmerman had shot him, would there have been marches up and down America then?
But as much as I could complain about this for hours, this is not my problem today. My problem is with a line I read in an article from the independent.

Daryl Parks, one the family's solicitors, said he had held meetings with the Society of Black Lawyers on how profiling affected people in the UK.

To prevent profiling, he held a meeting with an all black society. To talk about the problem of segregation and racism he spoke to an organisation which promotes anybody who isn’t white in society. A society for white lawyers would be considered racist so a society for anybody who isn’t white is just as racist. Even more worrying about this organisation is one of its community links. Operation Black Vote is a hate filled racist campaign seemingly led for the most part by a man called Simon Woolley. I’ve had correspondence with him in the past and was planning to make his delightful website one of my future inequality spotlights.
This is what I sent to him…

'At our core Operation Black Vote exists to ensure we have greater racial justice and equality throughout the UK.'

This is a claim made on your website.
So I was wondering what you do to help white people? Considering you are fighting for equality and racial justice surely you are fighting to make sure that all races are equal, rather than just fighting for those people who are a member of an ethnic minority. Because a small look at your website makes me think that you are a racist organisation along the lines of the BNP fighting for the rights of only specific people and therefore discriminating against me based on the fact that I'm Caucasian.

I eagerly await your response as to what you do for white people.

And this is what I received, very promptly I might add.

 You know when Dr Martin Luther King was fighting for racial justice for African Americans  they called him a racist too.
Women's organisations often address inequality for women, thankfully they are not called sexist, but too often when organisations such as ours seek to address those inequalities that hold people back for no other reason than the colour of their skin, we are called racist.

There are thousands of examples of race inequality  but here's one  that I hope helps you better understand what we are trying to change. A Black man is being interviewed for a top local authority job. As the panelist discuss the merits of the man along with the other candidates, one of those judgings states, '...Mr X-the Black man- was very  very good. Shame he's Black !'

I'm sure you are a very decent and fair person,  but some individuals and the culture within many  institutions are not.

Lastly, our small organisation often  goes into schools to talk with  white and Black studnets  about being the very best they can. Then we talk about our democratic institutions.  I also  speak at large Union rallys to mostly white people imploring them to be strong and demand equality for everyone. My focus, however, Claire is about tackling race inequality. It's not one or the other.

Hope that helps, have a good weekend.

The first thing that I would like to point out is that I find women’s rights organisations highly sexist and believe that they are holding our country back by a large amount where equality is considered.

The second thing that I would like to point out is much more fitting with my overall point. If a person doesn’t get a job and happens to be black, the first thing that racists like this gentleman think is that it must be because of their skin colour leading them to quote situations like the one above. The only person who has made a judgement based on skin colour is the other black man. There is no evidence that anybody on top boards is racist or that they chose their employees based on skin colour. It is just as likely that the reason fewer people from ethnic minorities are on top boards is that social demographics tend to mean that there are less well-educated people from these groups. I haven’t had a particularly good education, just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean that I should get a high paying job anyway. If I went for a job interview for a bank and couldn’t add up, it isn’t sexist to not give me the job. 

The third thing that I would like to point out is the thing which I find the most disturbing. You may have read the email and noticed that he isn’t too outwardly racist here, maybe you think that I’m overreacting. 

Now read it again and check the way he writes white and black.
Note which one he capitalises, and which one he doesn’t. 

I’m not knocking this too much; it helps with a character profile I’m developing for a future novel. But it does show the inherent racism of certain groups in society who believe they have been wronged in the past and therefore deserve special treatment. The way to fix this isn’t pandering to them but rather to start to fight for equality with no condition. The attitude that it’s okay for civil rights groups to be black orientated or minority orientated is the most damaging racism that exists in our country today because we allow it to go on.

The government works with organisations like the one for black lawyers, they listen to them and so the racism gets worse because black lawyers are suddenly being given special treatment. They have a step up in life that somebody like me wouldn’t get. It breeds hatred, it breeds the kind of attitude that means a black politician is looked on as less capable because of the potential reasons why they got there. 

This attitude is seen in feminist culture as well. It is sexist to have an exclusively male organisation but it’s absolutely fine to have the girl guides because ‘girls need somewhere safe away from boys.’ It’s an absolute hypocrisy and it all comes down to people wanting more power than everyone else around them, childish point scoring. 

Racially profiling, segregating or discriminating is wrong whoever does it. There shouldn’t be one rule for one skin colour and a different rule for the other. If members of ethnic minorities want true equality then they need to stop singling themselves out and trying to get special treatment over everybody else. Black people are more than capable of racism, it’s time as a society we start realising that. 

But then us white people, we do love playing divide and rule don’t we?


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