I posted this thread long before the publication of the #SewellReport. Having read it, it’s clear that disproportionate focus on ‘+ve stories’ at the expense of playing down the widespread impact of structural racism was a key objective of the Commission.
The more ‘political’ statements in the report, are clearly crafted to suit a particular ideology and are a weak attempt to steer discourse away from the realities of racism. Yet so much of this is shoddy - (I wonder who proof read it before publication?)
I’m seeing unqualified statements (making sweeping generalisations), confused statements (understanding of racism, structures, systems, experiences), dodgy analysis. E.g. in a section titled ‘Perceptions & Realities’, the report says:
I’ve experienced racism my whole life, but was in denial about how it impacted me professionally, until I was subjected to the most shameless blatant action. + didn’t fully understand structural racism, until I led a major review uncovering it. I wonder about the #commissioners?
I’m not denying the existing of enablers, ideologues, those seeking acceptance, & my general dismay at the #SewellReport, but think perhaps the spectrum of thinking extends to commissioners who are denial, struggling with their own understanding.
I always understood the manifestation of racism in systems, structures, impact of history (I was talking about all this at school when I was a teen), but in my mind I may have equated my own experiences to the actions of individuals, & the other stuff not happening to me as much.
A basic lesson in logic, for those that need it (1):
‘My experience of racism in the 70s and 80s is different to today’
DOES NOT imply 1. Other people’s experience is different 2. Other people’s experience is better
I’ve heard white men who are strong allies in the fight against racism, believe they are doing the right thing in not standing for leadership positions, to make way for people of colour.
Maybe they are, or maybe not..
I would like to encourage them to think differently...
If its a position that will almost certainly be filled by a white man (look at the ad, pack, team diversity, recruitment approach), far better for it to be you, if you are going to champion equalities, dismantle structural & cultural barriers, open the gates to greater diversity.
Perhaps by you stepping into that role, we can accelerate change? Perhaps if you don’t, we’ll still be having the same conversation about lack of diversity next year, next decade...
I’ve been thinking a bit about the Meghan and Kate relationship, how they were treated differently, and reflecting on my own past experiences. This thread is really a message for white women who are close to women of colour... 1/
You may be my best friend at work, we may confide in each other, and I may draw your attention to how I’m being treated differently. But I need you to do more than just empathise. I need you to do more than just leave it up to me. 2/
I need to have your active support, not do whatever’s easiest for you. I need to feel that I’m not just dealing with this on my own. I need you to challenge what’s happening. 3/
Which policy areas require long term investment, planning, infrastructure, expert understanding and should therefore be largely ring fenced away from politicians, politics and short term policies, and perhaps be governed by independent specialist bodies with greater powers ?
Is there a way to limit political populist input into these areas? Perhaps to strictly limit politicians to budget priorities rather deciding on the “how” decisions (constant chopping, changing, inefficiencies, wastage, morale destroying, dismantling of good practices & systems)
Reconsidering these aspects are as much a part of our broken political system. A failure to think long term, focus on retaining short term power, needing to be voted in by an electorate that can be swayed by populist choices, unrealistic, undeliverable (& ineffective) policies.
..there were no websites, FAQs, online chat support, call centres, multiple ways to contact service providers, processes designed to be ‘efficient’ & anticipate every eventuality through flowcharts & scripted responses.
Once upon a time... staff were not trained to become robots in a customer service machine. They were allowed to think, apply common sense, problem solve, take ownership rather than re-direct customers to another silo in the machine.
I should add it requires you to actively think about your recruitment processes, who you are targeting & how, your personal biases, attitudes, beliefs. Be active in reflecting about that - we all have unconscious biases, & are all tempted to recruit in our own likeness.
eg about 15 yrs ago, I was recruiting a performance mngr to my team. I was acutely aware of my bias in favour of a white man with a background & way of thinking similar to me: a maths grad who had an analytical /business modelling role in the private sector, like my early career.
In this case it wasn’t about my bias for another Asian woman, but about other aspects of “likeness”. I did actively question my bias with my colleagues, but in this case he was the best person for the job. Not a decision made automatically without personal reflection.
I know I keep on about the lack of humanity, but it’s just one ridiculous nonsensical decision after another. This is what happens when employees are... theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/j…
...expected to follow scripts, tick lists, meet perverse targets which function in isolation without consideration of impact or connection to other objectives / the whole system, and turned into automatons rather than human beings able to think & properly assess cases sensibly.
The ability to think is lost, and removed from the equation, in the mistaken belief this is reducing error.