How do we eradicate racism
“A memorial statue falls, and they’ll turn up in numbers, a black man falls, and they return to their slumber.” — Josh.
Embed & Educate ourselves
If people want to take action within the system, the psychiatrist Suman Fernando concluded that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups who wish to fight racism must become involved in British institutions pushing their way forward if necessary. Still, once they are involved, they must (in order of priority).
Be constantly vigilant and not mistake words for actions.
Push the frontiers of anti-racism as far as possible, making alliances with anyone who wished to cooperate.
Be prepared to confront racism, thoughtfully and realistically.
I would urge that we all continue to educate ourselves on our history, not be naive that one person’s ancestry isn’t intertwined with our own. Go out and experience a range of cultures, to weave into your lifestyle and erode the harboured prejudices. We have to be aware that our perception of a person’s identity or identities are based on our assumptions of others; as a result, we must be mindful of our unconscious bias through immersion, understanding, and acceptance of differences.
Design a ‘Colour Blind World’
Concerning government policy, there has to be explicit ‘equity’ built into the legislation:
The police force’s ability to stop and search based on section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 is useful to protect our society, but the abuse of power is wrong. What we need is better governance at a local and national level, with corrective measures that can be brought in as a strict guardrail.
Anti-racist workshops should become a part of our civil service, the police force and parliament to begin eradicating the prejudices which the individuals that protect and govern our society have.
We must call for leadership positions in government to recognise that there is an imprint of racism/ widespread prejudice within the system. Actions for resolution can be achieved similarly to H.R. 40 in the USA; a study should be undertaken to assess the effects of the empire to the present day and recommend appropriate remedies to the affected population within the U.K.
The above examples are institutions and policies that can be changed. However, the subtle stigmatic language that the state uses for BAME groups continues to result in differential treatment which is leading to a negative perception. This, when compounded with the media over time results in what we have now, a modern-day caste system.
Change the future business culture
In the world of business, maintaining the conversation is vital; we can take action right now. We have a prime opportunity to recognise the injustices present and express a dedication to a course of action as part of a ground-up and top-down initiative by employees and H.R.
This can be done by undertaking respectful discussions, forming employee resource groups, training on preventing harassment and discrimination and creating real actionable channels where employees feel safe speaking up about racial issues.
Embed anti-racist core values into the company, not just an isolated social media post to show the world that you stand in solidarity. While it’s helpful in the short term, this does not change the future. Implementing human-centred values will get closer to anti-racist practices than anything else, establishing an empathic lens to understand the needs of your employees and customer.
Think beyond diversity, to inclusivity, a diverse workforce is paramount including leadership as well but only it only goes so far. A focus on racially-categorised employment statistics can be short-sighted and even counterproductive. Inclusivity ensures that opportunities and development are equally available to anyone that wants to progress if necessary. It’s about levelling the playing field and bringing in a true meritocracy.
For the people seeking new employment, I suggest choosing to work for companies that enable you to be yourself, make this part of your selection criteria. By forcing this natural selection, we will in time incite change.
The actions taken when no one is looking are the ones that define us.
There is no explicit way to remove bias from individuals’ minds. Maybe short of a lobotomy. It’s tough to change a belief when what we are consuming is only perpetuating it. For the privileged reading this. Stop expecting BAME people to make a case for structural, institutional and everyday racism in society. Racism will not be solved in a day and may require another generation of protests; hard conversations and the total solidarity of our country. I urge us not to forget that this is a problem like I have, don’t let this be another wave that we ride out on social media until everything becomes ‘normal’. The ethnic penalty of a bygone era has to end.
I implore you to take the time out to understand the untold, hushed history of our world. Open the eyes of the people that are not aware or looking away. We are all human, and the ability to empathise is one of our greatest assets, but to do so we have to understand who we are empathising with and the fragility of the lives that are at stake.
Let us be the change that needs to be seen.
Below are just a few resources I have come across to educate myself; I would ask you to do your research as well, for the betterment of humankind.