As you can see, it’s been a long time since I have posted anything. I just stopped writing to tell you the truth. Writer’s block you ask? Nope. I have just been lazy. I had a glance at my blog page and I saw how pathetic and empty it looked. This is wrong! Suppose somebody was looking for the next big thing in writing and they looked and saw my dry, content empty page. Lawwwd.
Here I am February 2017. About 10 days before Valentine’s Day. I’m still in the UK and here I will be for a while. No carnival 2k17 for me this time around. I miss the sun and I need a good dose of vitamin D now. Did you know that Vitamin D is supposed to boost your endorphins? That’s why I think that Brits especially Londoners are some of the most miserable people I have come across. Lack of sunshine! No, I am not going to my sunny paradise across the pond. After being employed for close to 8 years in one place, I decided to leave. Why? Exactly for the reason that I was employed. I was becoming a plant, a Bonzai tree, firmly rooted in one place. My face did not fit. Just like the Bonzai, I was as out of place as one in a field of Snowdrops.
So I’m now job hunting. It’s been shit! I could blame loads of things, the end of the industry I am in, the uncertainty of financial markets, Brexit, terrorism, Donald Trump, Tim Peake, Made in Chelsea. I never said that what I blame has to be true. That’s how senseless my search has been. So far in my search I applied to a very reputable department store, that “celebrates” diversity, cares for its employees, encourages self-development of the individual, etc, etc, etc. I prepared and read up about the said department store, went through their online assessments and amazingly I passed. After another round of this type of assessment, I was eventually shortlisted for an interview at their central London store. I arrived well dressed, prepared and in time for it. I saw that another candidate very casually dressed in jeans, a jacket and brogue-style flat-forms had also been shortlisted. After a 45 minute wait, we were taken up to a room to do a further assessment and interview. After completion of the assessment, I was selected to be interviewed by the Assistant Manager. My Spanish flat-form heeled co-candidate had HER interview with the Department Manager.
The interview I had was pleasant as it seemed that the Assistant Manager and I clicked. She even said that hoped to see me start the following week! Great! By the time I reached home and logged on to my computer, I had been told that I was unsuccessful. Ah yes. I asked for feedback on my interview. I’m still waiting for this.
My next employment attempt took place within an international specialist firm. My really dear friend gave me a heads up by passing on my CV. To avoid any sort of conflict of interest, my friend could not and did not interview me. She left it to her non-professionally qualified colleague and another senior manager to do so. I was given another assessment and then asked the usual interview questions. I was told that I would hear from them later. Nothing. I still have not heard a word. My friend couldn’t get feedback and neither could I.
Another corporate interview which had me doing actual work within their premises for over four hours ended with the same result. And frustratingly – NO FEEDBACK though requested!
No, I don’t think that it is me. It IS them. Dare I say it – Institutional racism and prejudice, is alive and kicking. It’s going to take generations to remove this poison from this society. Legislation, threats of violence or even an economic sanction will not drive out this attitude in the culture of the dominant.
It is amazing how pro-slave trade propaganda justifying Black incarceration and ultimate exploitation, is still the rationale behind rejecting the difference in skin colour and hair texture. Would you say that a Tiger is superior to a lion or vice versa? They are both cats with specific characteristics that Nature has given in order for them to survive in their environment and it’s these adaptations that make us marvel at their individual beauty. Regardless of the shades of our skin or the characteristics of our physical features pertaining to our ethnicity, we are the same species – human beings. We all breathe, eat, excrete and reproduce in exactly the same way. How does the texture of hair or shade or lack thereof determine superiority? It is ridiculous yet this is the world that we willingly accept or I should say, we are trained to accept.
So apart from this momentary rant what do I intend to do about this situation? I’ve decided that I need to call out people and tell them that their “invisible prejudices/racism” is actually invisible because I and many others like myself have been silenced into not calling out the perpetrators. The thing is, I’ve been trained to feel guilty about pointing out this attitude, I have fallen for the dodge tactic of “white hurt guilt”. How could I blame my white friends and colleagues that have black friends, partners and even children that they are to blame for this system of “white privilege” and negative black stereotyping? But they are, even if they are unconscious of doing so.
The world as it is, is acceptable, as long as they are not openly expressing any racist or prejudiced sentiments. But that’s only part of the problem. The real problem is that those of the dominant culture are comfortable with the status quo that permits an uneven playing field and a privilege which facilitates dominance over all others that are not a part of this exclusive club. So my contribution is to aid in the dismantlement of this dominance by declaring that I do not accept the status quo and I will not hesitate to say so. I have no guilt. The guilt is theirs.