The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Stop Making Excuses …

Two years ago, after a project I started called America In The Raw, I was giving a talk when an attendee – a senior marketing exec – asked how I could help them better understand African American culture.

After pointing out they were asking a WHITE, BRITISH male who had only been living in the country for over a year, I said the best thing he could do was hire some young African Americans and put them in positions of power.

To be fair to him, he was genuinely appreciative and enlightened by my suggestion.

To be unfair to him, it was another example of the oppression people of colour continually face from those who are too blind, ignorant, prejudiced or lazy to stop their ways.

Recently I discovered a friend of mine – who is African American – missed out on a promotion because “there were some concerns over his ability to lead” … despite the fact he has successfully led a team for almost 10 years.

If this industry wants a chance of staying alive then may I suggest we stop obsessively inventing ‘processes, language & proprietary tools’ [that generally ends up making exactly the same work we’ve been making for years or, in some cases, makes it even worse] and start giving talent who doesn’t look, think or act like the incumbent a chance to actually move us forward culturally, creatively and commercially.

Without judgement. Without barriers. Just encouragement and thanks.

Rant over.

13 Comments so far
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Beautiful tribute to your father yesterday. It seems shocking it is 21 years. I hope you were OK Robert.

If your post yesterday made me sad, the post today makes me angry.

How dare they say that and not give details for that opinion. I suspect it is because there are no details, especially when you add in the factor that they have witnessed your friend, their employee, successfully lead a team in the company for years. There is a legal case to be explored here. I do hope they do that before taking their talent elsewhere.

Comment by Lee Hill

Thank you Lee. It seems incredible to me too.

And yes, we are encouraging him to take legal action but he fears the ramifications on his career down the line may mean it does more harm than good. So he gets hurt again, which is double the fuckery and evil.

Comment by Rob

Guessing you’re talking about DB. What makes the situation more pathetic is the people who have stopped his rightful progression begged him to stay when he was offered a better gig last year. He showed loyalty to them and they showed him racist contempt. But, as you would say Robert, I have a plan.

Comment by George

Yep, DB. But let’s face it, people of colour face this bullshit every day. So good you have a plan mate – I hope it is making his present employers hurt as much as letting DB’s talent be rightfully respected and rewarded elsewhere.

What makes me especially angry is that he is not allowed to talk about this being a prejudiced act. Not just because it could cause harm to future employment but because the majority of white people fail to recognise that it doesn’t matter if they don’t see their actions as prejudiced, it is whether the other person was left feeling that way.

More than that, white people cannot judge what is or isn’t racist when they created it, cultivate it and continue to lead a life of privilege.

Seriously, isn’t it enough we caused it, without wanting to claim we‘re the only ones who can judge what is/isn’t racist behaviour as well? I mean, how sick do we want to be. It’s why I find it especially sickening when people like Trump, Piers Morgan, The Daily Mail, Philip Scofield – and so many other media people, let alone the general public – fail to recognise their racist behaviour because they choose to not accept their view is clouded in comfort, privilege and entitlement.

I am so angry but that won’t change shit. The only thing we can do is take action to change this shit.

Comment by Rob

Nailed it.

Comment by George

“Seriously, isn’t it enough we caused it, without wanting to claim we‘re the only ones who can judge what is/isn’t racist behaviour as well? I mean, how sick do we want to be?”

The way the media are dealing with the Harry/Meghan situation proves your argument perfectly.

Comment by Pete

But it is important to speak up when you witness others experiencing racism. Racists don’t accept the opinion of people they view as beneath them, but they may listen to someone who looks the same as them.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Brilliant point Mary, I suppose I’m just saying white people like to think they are the ones that get to define what is or isn’t racist … and it’s based on their perspective of life, which won’t have faced anywhere near the level of prejudice people of colour have – and continue to – face. But yes, they have a duty to act and scream about it when they see it … not because it will make a racist change their mind [though we can hope], nor because it is simply the right thing to do [which is it] but because so much of the prejudiced shit people of colour face happens in the shadows and in small acts and this may be the best way to push that shit back before it is able to take a hold.

Comment by Rob

Can I just say how proud I am of you being so direct about this issue. So few people in senior positions speak up about this issue and when they do, they use soft language that is designed to cause no corporate harm or change. I wish there were more leaders speaking out like you are speaking out.

Comment by Pete

I’ve done nothing. Certainly not enough.

But I will.

Comment by Rob

The rant will only be over when it’s not necessary.

Comment by John

it has always been a racist as fuck country but trump has made it worse by letting racist cunts think treating others like scum makes them more patriotic. same with boris and every other politician who uses fear to fucking get what they want.

Comment by andy@cynic

C-word alert. Justified.

Comment by DH

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