Monday, 21 August 2017
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
It creeps up in many forms - from the way people are spoken to, right to the lack of people of colour in leadership roles.
The other day a friend said something that left me gobsmacked. She said: "I don't believe white privilege exists." Really?
She is a socially aware, vocal person of colour, so for her to say this was totally unbelievable.
Her reasons were the usual: "I know so many black people who have more than me."
"White people also work hard."
"My white boyfriend had to go work for his dad because he couldn't get a job."
I let her continue. I realised that her perception of white privilege, like so many others, is warped by her own circumstances.
When you are not struggling to find a job it is easy to think white privilege is not real. Similarly, when you blame every little hurdle on white privilege the real issues get overshadowed.
Not all black people are taking your job, and not all white people get things handed to them, but don't think for one second that this means white privilege is not real. I have experienced it in the little things.
Here are some of the things I have heard people saying over the years:
· There is often a tone of condescension and impatience when addressing people of colour in some office.
· I even once encountered an intern who spoke down to me, his manager, because I was Indian. When he spoke to the white people in the office his voice was all sugar and honey.
· I spent months appealing to my boss to make changes to a project, bringing forth research and plans on how this would improve it. Nothing happened. A new, white employee (who didn't even work in my department) made the same suggestion, and it was implemented within in a week.
· I worked with two equally incompetent employees. For some strange reason the black employee was fired and the white employee was allowed to finish his contract. That made no sense to me.
And this is just surface level stuff.
We haven't even gotten to the issues of limited people of colours in Managerial roles, the degree of disrespect for BAME or how this all intensifies if you are a woman.
These little things are the tip of a very big, complicated iceberg, I do think that it's time we acknowledge them - it can be a catalyst to affect change on bigger issues. We have to recognise white privilege in every form so people can stop thinking it no longer exists.
Sunday, 13 August 2017
This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Sunday, 9 July 2017
Monday, 16 January 2017
Sunday, 15 January 2017
- Don’t befriend just anyone. A rule of thumb is to only befriend people you know in real life. Use Facebook as an extension of your existing circle of friends.
- What you share electronically stays in cyberspace forever, therefore don’t share or post anything you don’t feel comfortable with
- You can now ask to pre-approve or review photographs or posts you are tagged in (Privacy settings – Timeline and Tagging).
- Be considerate of your friends’ privacy as well – don’t post anything about them or their photographs without asking them if they are comfortable with the post. Photographs that could potentially cause embarrassment should definitely not be posted. Be careful of how you and your friends portray yourselves – sexy and drunken photographs should not be on Facebook.
- Don’t post anything such as addresses or cell numbers that make you easy to find.Remember some people lost their jobs because of what they post on social media!
Wednesday, 11 January 2017
An unusual experiment in Sudan showed it was possible to alter people's attitudes with a mere 27 minutes of FGM messaging sneaked into a 90-minute movie, a team from Switzerland and Sudan wrote in the journal Nature.
"The movies significantly improved attitudes towards girls who remain uncut," they reported after two experiments involving thousands of participants.
The team said the findings suggested that "changing attitudes through entertainment could contribute to the abandoning of cutting".
FGM is a practice common in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, in which a young girl's clitoris and labia are partially or totally removed.
The underlying belief is that this will reduce libido and keep a woman chaste.
The procedure – often performed under unsterile conditions – can lead to severe bleeding and urination problems, cysts, infections, painful sex and childbirth complications.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut. Over two million join their ranks each year.
The WHO has categorised FGM a violation of human rights. But efforts to convince traditional societies to give up the practice have run into difficulty mainly due to "incompatible attitudes" and "cultural conflicts".
Campaigns against FGM are often perceived as attempts by outsiders to impose their own values on communities whose history and culture they know little about.
Some groups which practice FGM believe they are doing it for the child's own good, as it is perceived to boost a girl's marriage prospects.
In their experiment, the researchers sought to tap into such differences to stimulate debate.
They created several versions of a movie in which members of a fictional, extended family disagree about whether its girls should be cut or not.
The message was not the main plot, and was designed not to come across as judgemental or preachy.
It portrays, instead, how hard the decision can be for parents who want the best for their daughters in a society where the practice is an accepted part of growing up.
The FGM message comprised less than a third of the running time of the movies, which were screened at community buildings such as schools.
Tested afterwards, people who saw the films showed "large, robust and significant increases in positive attitudes about uncut girls," the researchers concluded, when compared to people who saw a version of the movie featuring the same characters but without the FGM sub-plot.
Something to think about!