Odd one out - Do you feel discriminated against?
Race discrimination was supposed to be a relic from the past, but as we see in the highest office in the most powerful country in the world, it's very much alive and very much kicking. So don't be too surprised.
I don’t want to spend much time on Trump because it is difficult to imagine how a man with such minimum emotional intelligence or social decorum can occupy the seat of president in what is regarded as the ‘most powerful country in the world’. He has, however, troubled the waters so much that it is impossible to have a discussion about colour, race and ethnicity without referring to him.
His rhetoric of division and hate and white supremacy has given rise to a new dispensation when white people are no longer afraid to declare or own their racism, and political correctness, regarding skin colour is now unmasked and out of the window.
It is now a daily occurrence for at least two videos to emerge on a daily basis showing the beating or violent arrest of a black person in America. Yesterday the highlight was two cops on horseback leading a black man who was on foot with ropes. Déjà vu anyone?
In the United Kingdom racism is far more subtle than use of words such as ‘infestations’, ‘go back home’ and ‘animal’.
Here, the Princess of Sussex is vilified for guest editing a magazine which celebrates women across the globe whilst her sister-in-law is celebrated for posing on the front cover. If she had just posed on the front cover, mind you, there probably would have been something wrong with that. So for choosing to go beyond just her looks and engage with her brain and emotion she is criticised.
She is pitied against her sister-in-law constantly. Kate is presented as perfectly snow white whilst Meghan is likened to the Kardashians by another racist impresario, Piers Morgan. Her subtlety, grace, quiet confidence likened to the crassness and showmanship of the Kardashians. A belittling attempt to deny all that we can see is beautiful about her. The question has to be why? And the only answer that comes to mind is her heritage. I am sure there are moments when her own sister in law must cringe in embarrassment at the hypocrisy. But I don’t know Kate, the situation might suit her just fine.
Media hosts talk about how she has risen from the hood to the palace and therefore undeserving of her position. She should bow and differ and humble herself to them. Follow their dictation to belong and be accepted. But she is her own person, independent, intelligent and emotionally astute, determined to walk her own path and define her own legacy. How can she not be at loggerheads with an establishment built on the need to subjugate others and suppress individuality.
The British media continues to defend the action of Danny Baker calling his action controversial rather than what it is actually is, racist, when he presents the son of the duchess coming out of the hospital as a chimpanzee. One can imagine her joy at the birth of her son. He is a gift. He is perfect as any baby is to their mother. And he likens her to a chimpanzee. No wonder she refused to have the press at his christening. I don’t blame her. I would have done the exact same thing. And of course they get mad at that. They call her names, a diva, difficult.
British society operates like a machine in ‘Images of an Organisation’, (Morgan 2009). It is one in which all the parts play an exactly defined role in order to keep order and have the system work in the way it is designed to. It does not allow much room for cognitive diversity.
When there is high uniformity and low cognitive diversity the behaviours include hierarchical, conforming and controlling behaviours. (Reynolds and Lewis 2017). Meghan at the highest point of society threatens that balance.
Choi, (2011), discusses how the decision to change is predicated on the benefits being offered. One has to wonder if it is indeed worth the effort. How will the decision to change the wellness of the person of whom it is being asked. If Meghan changes to suit the British media and lose herself, will it be worth it. She has obviously decided that it would not be worth it. See (Armenakis, and Bedeian, 1999); (Armenakis et al., 1993); (Eby et al., 2000) (Holt, Armenakis, Feild, and Harris, 2007); (Jansen 2000).
This stance will place her in constant conflict with the establishment but she is afterall a black woman, And strength is her name.
I take this long winding look at Meghan to say if a member of the Royal family is treated with disdain based on her heritage how much more do we then experience racism on a daily basis. Subtle but constant, a constant push to make you acknowledge that you are less and they are more, a demand that you must try harder to belong, you can’t be yourself. Confidence and self-belief, a sense of self- worth, that cannot be yours.
Now the concept of ‘Unconscious Bias’ is all the rave. Even Prince Harry talked about it as he watched how his people treated his wife. Of course as a member of the Royal family he cannot come out guns blazing accusing anyone of racism. But that is exactly what he meant.
‘Unconscious Bias’ as far as I am concerned, is an excuse for white people to excuse their racism and prejudice. When one notices their ‘Unconscious Bias’ what do they do with it? What then? Ignore it? That is a time to have a look in the mirror and acknowledge the prejudice, call it and define it for what it is and take the necessary steps to deal with it and stop it.
Racism? Yes I see more of it now than ever before. The answer for me, is to know myself, accept myself, bend when I need to but never bow or break. Losing oneself to fit in is never worth the sacrifice because the group you want to belong to are themselves imperfect.