Black Lives Matter

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Black Lives Matter

Post by loringa »

I have started this thread as a means of moving this important subject away from the humorous thread where it originated a few days ago. I don't know if the moderators would feel it appropriate to move the related posts.

It strikes me that we have 3 or 4 distinct sets of views on this subject, only some of which (thank goodness) are represented on this forum. Right of arc we have those who are, deep down anyway, white supremacists who genuinely believe that white people are inherently superior in some way or another to black people; I doubt there are any of these on the forum. Whatever one's individual views on the institution of Christ's Hospital, it is largely successful in educating its charges and I have rarely, if ever, come across an educated white supremacist.

Next we have the 'I'm not racist but ...' folk who probably believe what they say but see black people as 'others'; people who are fundamentally somewhat different from 'us' and interact with them accordingly. There are a lot of these people around and they are not necessarily wicked, but they simply can't separate something as minor as skin colour from those things that really can divide people. They tend to be the same folk who cannot differentiate between Zionism and Judaism, or Islamism and Islam.

Thirdly we have those who genuinely do not believe they are racist but just don't 'get' the concept of white privilege and who don't see that things need to change. These people would never dream of treating people differently because of the colour of their skin but invariably do. They will often tell you how many black friends they have as a means of demonstrating the liberality of their views. There is probably a bit of this in me, indeed in most of us to be honest, however much I strive to avoid it.

Finally, at the left of the arc there are those who genuinely get it; who accept that there is a problem, that they may even be part of the problem, and not only acknowledge the idea of 'white privilege' from which they have and continue to benefit, but similarly understand the institutional nature of racism, including in the United Kingdom. I include many of the young people of my daughter's generation in this group.

At the end of the day, things do have to change, both here and abroad. I have never actually been to a country where everybody is genuinely treated the same from cradle to grave, regardless of the colour of the skin, and some countries are better, or at least less bad, than others. The United Kingdom, however, is our country and thus somewhere where we can have some degree of influence in changing it for the better.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by Katharine »

Rather than replying on the other thread, I'll post this here.

When I was in Ghana, there was still a relatively unpopulated middle belt of the country. The slave traders, of all ethnicities, raided inland from the coast. The captured slaves were held in places like Cape Coast Castle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Coast_Castle and Elmina Castle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmina_Castle I was living in Cape Coast so these were the two I knew best. I moved there 50 years ago and at the time there was very little information on display in either castle. I do remember one debate in the school I taught at about the part the Africans played in the slave trade, but it was obvious it was news to some. These girls all came from educated families, I imagine the vast majority had literate mothers as well as literate fathers - very different from my previous school in the far north of the country.

I think things are very different now, with the Ghanaian government encouraging African Americans to return, and both castles are now included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

As to discrimination, skin colour cannot easily be hidden it is apparent as soon as you meet someone. You can be poor, you can have a Yorkshire accent, you can be Catholic, you can be gay, you can be all of these at once but in many social circumstances these may still be "hidden disabilities" even in face to face encounters, being black or otherwise visibly different in skin tone in nearly all instances of face to face encounters cannot be hidden.

Those of us who aren't visibly non-white will not have been shouted at in the street, in the playground, or in our jobs for being a Black / P / N / whatever B*st*rd - that's our white privilege right there. You men you will never have been shouted at in the street to "Show us your t*ts love" or "Get back to the kitchen" - that's your male privilege right there. When someone described me as a Mathematician to the Defence Attache in Islamabad his response was "Did she manage to pass her O level then?" (I have an Oxford degree in the subject)
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by loringa »

Katharine wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:21 pm Those of us who aren't visibly non-white will not have been shouted at in the street, in the playground, or in our jobs for being a Black / P / N / whatever B*st*rd - that's our white privilege right there. You men you will never have been shouted at in the street to "Show us your t*ts love" or "Get back to the kitchen" - that's your male privilege right there. When someone described me as a Mathematician to the Defence Attache in Islamabad his response was "Did she manage to pass her O level then?" (I have an Oxford degree in the subject)
Well put - this thread was initiated to consider white privilege (and recognising white privilege) in the context of the BLM movement but I totally take your point about male privilege. Interestingly, when I first read your post, I understood it to mean that you were introduced as the defence attache's specialist mathematician rather than your being introduced to the defence attache as a mathematician. I am pleased to say that my world view is obviously different from the DA's; I rather hope he was Army or Air Force!
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by Katharine »

Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I was there as a British Council wife, rather than as a mathematician. I did manage to find some teaching, both private and at the American school.

The DA was a Brigadier so presumably Army! It was such a contemptuous comment that it really struck in the craw, as if no female could possibly do more than add two and two in her pretty little head.

I’d been reading about people posting “All Lives Matter” as a response to “Black Lives Matter”, which is probably why I posted as I did. Until everyone is treated absolutely equally regardless of ethnicity, gender or anything else discrimination will still be alive.

I believe CH currently alternates male and female Senior Grecians. What about the outstanding candidate who is the wrong gender for their year? The SG who has just finished said on Speech Day that both his grandfather and his mother had held the post, had he been a few months older or younger he couldn’t have followed them.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by sejintenej »

loringa wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:54 am
Finally, at the left of the arc there are those who genuinely get it; who accept that there is a problem, that they may even be part of the problem, and not only acknowledge the idea of 'white privilege' from which they have and continue to benefit, but similarly understand the institutional nature of racism, including in the United Kingdom. I include many of the young people of my daughter's generation in this group.
What a pity you did not refer to "the other end of the spectrum" instead of a reference to a certain vocal member of this forum. Othewise OK

At the end of the day, things do have to change, both here and abroad. I have never actually been to a country where everybody is genuinely treated the same from cradle to grave, regardless of the colour of the skin, and some countries are better, or at least less bad, than others. The United Kingdom, however, is our country and thus somewhere where we can have some degree of influence in changing it for the better.
[/quote]
I think MID A might concur with me on this - I saw no prejudice in Brazil; I worked with a Japanese and worked for and drank with a several generational Italian and the customer in whose office I worked was certainly very black. I was told there is prejudice but in 19 years saw none.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by graham »

sejintenej wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:12 pm What a pity you did not refer to "the other end of the spectrum" instead of a reference to a certain vocal member of this forum. Othewise OK
Does this refer to me? If so I will wear my designation of "vocal" as a badge of honor. But, for what its worth, Loringa's use of ends of an "arc" was internally consistent, so I fail to see the issue.

Thank you Loringa for starting this thread. I am no expert in the myriad issues facing Black and other minority groups and do not claim to have answers but know we need to be actively invested in seeking them. Threads like this, where those from different generations/perspectives/political persuasions etc can discuss these issues, are very helpful.

I am hesitant to suggest this as I can guess at the reaction but I will go ahead and do so anyway. It may be helpful to introduce a new term to the discussion to help frame some feelings that inevitably arise. The term is White Fragility. I can sense sejintenej's blood pressure rising as he reads this. But, it is not meant to be confrontational and, instead, is supposed to put a name to feelings that inevitably arise when white people start discussing these issues and to explain why recognizing them and their detrimental effects can be negative. I found these ideas difficult and time consuming to consolidate and I am not sure I have 100% internalized them. But understanding them has really helped me to engage more proactively in discussions about racial topics. The following is a short, helpful guide: https://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua. ... gement.pdf.

If you don't want to read it, the take away messages are that
"Racism is the norm rather than an aberration. Feedback is key to our ability to recognize and repair our inevitable and often unaware collusions"

and

"...there is no face to save and the jig is up; I know that I have blind spots and unconscious investments in white superiority. My investments are reinforced every day in mainstream society. I did not set this system up but it does unfairly benefit me and I am responsible for interrupting it. I need to work hard to recognize it myself, but I can’t do it alone. This understanding leads me to gratitude when others help me."

I offer this as a window into the perspective I bring to this discussion. I think there are perhaps some minor differences between the way that these issues play out in the USA, where I am based, and the UK. But in general I think the problems are very similar.

There are lots of discussion points on the other thread that can probably be answered here - I know PeA left lots of questions to my posts that I should probably try to respond to - hopefully he can port some over here so we can discuss further. In the meanwhile I want to briefly offer some thoughts on sejintenej's point below..
I think MID A might concur with me on this - I saw no prejudice in Brazil; I worked with a Japanese and worked for and drank with a several generational Italian and the customer in whose office I worked was certainly very black. I was told there is prejudice but in 19 years saw none.
Brazil is absolutely struggling with systemic racism. It is entirely possible that you didn't see it because of timing - the following report https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article ... nce-brazil discusses how Brazil was majority Black until the 1930's, at which time an influx of White Europeans began to change the racial profile and led to an increasing disparities between White and non-White Brazilians. Perhaps you were in Brazil during the upward phase of this change?

But, at the same time, does one need to see the prejudice to accept it is there? Racism is not just skin-heads yelling slurs. If anything, this is the least of the problems. The bigger issue is in the insidious, invisible racism that results in White-dominated power structures within our institutions that then propagate their likeness from generation to generation. Brazil is actually a great example of this. According to the report I link to above, 45% of the Brazilian population identifies as Black, Brown or mixed race. On average, those individuals earn 20-25% less than White individuals of exactly the same educational background and the middle/elite class is almost entirely white. Note almost entirely - I am sure there are some Black/Brown folks in the middle / elite classes but one would expect the proportion to be 45%, give or take. The fact that the true proportion probably does not fall within a reasonable margin of error tells us directly that racism of some form exists. Again, not white folks calling Black folks names, but systemic racism - racism that excludes a body of the population.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by Pe.A »

Katharine wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:21 pm Rather than replying on the other thread, I'll post this here.


As to discrimination, skin colour cannot easily be hidden it is apparent as soon as you meet someone. You can be poor, you can have a Yorkshire accent, you can be Catholic, you can be gay, you can be all of these at once but in many social circumstances these may still be "hidden disabilities" even in face to face encounters, being black or otherwise visibly different in skin tone in nearly all instances of face to face encounters cannot be hidden.

Those of us who aren't visibly non-white will not have been shouted at in the street, in the playground, or in our jobs for being a Black / P / N / whatever B*st*rd - that's our white privilege right there. You men you will never have been shouted at in the street to "Show us your t*ts love" or "Get back to the kitchen" - that's your male privilege right there. When someone described me as a Mathematician to the Defence Attache in Islamabad his response was "Did she manage to pass her O level then?" (I have an Oxford degree in the subject)
Facing racial prejudice (innocent or more sinister) or the fact that some people in the general population are idiots in this respect, is certainly not pleasant, but is different to asserting that the 'system' is inherently racist which is what a term like 'white' privilege and 'systemic' racism implies (Correct me I have missed something). In the UK, 7% of the population are Asian (3% for Black) but there is a significantly higher percentage of representation in areas like Law, Medicine, Business etc. I don't think that a disparity in numbers necessarily implies active or complicit racism. For example, Prime Ministers in the UK have always been (apart from maybe Disraeli) from ethnically 'British' backgrounds - definitely no 'foreign' sounding names. Is that due to discrimination in the system, or just numbers. The current Prime Minster's inner cabinet is composed of a lot of people from Asian backgrounds. They might have faced racial prejudices (innocent/sinister), but I doubt they would claim that the 'system' was fundamentally stacked against them.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by Pe.A »

Katharine wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:17 pm Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I was there as a British Council wife, rather than as a mathematician. I did manage to find some teaching, both private and at the American school.


I believe CH currently alternates male and female Senior Grecians. What about the outstanding candidate who is the wrong gender for their year? The SG who has just finished said on Speech Day that both his grandfather and his mother had held the post, had he been a few months older or younger he couldn’t have followed them.
Exactly - astute observation. That's why 'quotas' don't work long term.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by Pe.A »

graham wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:07 pm
sejintenej wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:12 pm What a pity you did not refer to "the other end of the spectrum" instead of a reference to a certain vocal member of this forum. Othewise OK

I am hesitant to suggest this as I can guess at the reaction but I will go ahead and do so anyway. It may be helpful to introduce a new term to the discussion to help frame some feelings that inevitably arise. The term is White Fragility. The following is a short, helpful guide: https://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua. ... gement.pdf.

If you don't want to read it, the take away messages are that
"Racism is the norm rather than an aberration. Feedback is key to our ability to recognize and repair our inevitable and often unaware collusions"
White fragility? Urgh! Graham - How long have you lived in the US for? I'm curious. Tbh I wanted to give up after "A structural understanding recognizes racism as a default system that institutionalizes an unequal distribution of resources and power between white people and people of color"

I have almost given up understanding what the term 'racism' is supposed to mean anymore. It's not as simplistic to assert that racism is a default system. Cultural misunderstandings (for me, at least) don't necessarily count as racism, for example. Then it's the default implication that this 'problem' is by definition a 'white' one, as if people in general can't have preconceptions/prejudices related to background. Then there is the problem of defining 'white'. I noticed that the author's surname is Italian. There are groups who get lumped in as 'white' who not that long ago in the US experienced marginalisation at different times e.g. Irish, Italians, Jews etc, although this was exacerbated through cultural/class reasons. What's this author's solution to combat this innate racism? Be 'extra' nice to people from different backgrounds? People can spot the fakery. There is a film I watched a couple of years ago 'Get Out!' which skirted the topic.

I think MID A might concur with me on this - I saw no prejudice in Brazil; I worked with a Japanese and worked for and drank with a several generational Italian and the customer in whose office I worked was certainly very black. I was told there is prejudice but in 19 years saw none.


Brazil is absolutely struggling with systemic racism. It is entirely possible that you didn't see it because of timing - the following report https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article ... nce-brazil discusses how Brazil was majority Black until the 1930's, at which time an influx of White Europeans began to change the racial profile and led to an increasing disparities between White and non-White Brazilians. Perhaps you were in Brazil during the upward phase of this change?
Brazil is a tricky country - probably the trickiest country in the Americas. Yes - migration in the 1930s was designed to offset the racial demographics, but the report misses the point that a lot of the migration from Europe was also due with the 'industrial/infrastructure' initiatives of the period which needed (semi) and skilled labour. It's also odd how the report notes that this migration was exclusively European in character and barred Chinese etc, when a significant portion of the migrants were Japanese. Again, culture/class issues come into it since Chinese tended to be unskilled migrants.

But, at the same time, does one need to see the prejudice to accept it is there? Racism is not just skin-heads yelling slurs. If anything, this is the least of the problems. The bigger issue is in the insidious, invisible racism that results in White-dominated power structures within our institutions that then propagate their likeness from generation to generation. Brazil is actually a great example of this. According to the report I link to above, 45% of the Brazilian population identifies as Black, Brown or mixed race. On average, those individuals earn 20-25% less than White individuals of exactly the same educational background and the middle/elite class is almost entirely white. Note almost entirely - I am sure there are some Black/Brown folks in the middle / elite classes but one would expect the proportion to be 45%, give or take. The fact that the true proportion probably does not fall within a reasonable margin of error tells us directly that racism of some form exists. Again, not white folks calling Black folks names, but systemic racism - racism that excludes a body of the population.
I agree in part - nobody should doubt that in a country like Brazil, racial prejudices are certainly present and can be influential - but a lot of things are down to culture/class, education and general economics, as well where in the country a person lives. I also disagree with your assertion that "one would expect the proportion [of brown/black folks in the middle/elite classes] to be 45%, give or take." With respect, it's a little bit basic. There are too many 'it depends' factors.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by rockfreak »

The current response of the rightwing politically correct brigade (and yes there is such a thing) is to decry complaints from minority groups as "identity politics". I've never bought this idea. It's a way of divide and rule. Emmeline Pankhurst led an identity group that was half the population. Martin Luther King one of perhaps a quarter to a third of the US population? Some identity groups! It would be nice to think we could bracket everyone under ""the dispossessed" or "the discriminated against" claiming back our right to a decent life from the Establishment (whatever it consists of at any given time). But I look at the people running this country at present and I know that they are simply in it to keep their own tribe in power. I've been on a couple of anti-austerity marches which have been absolutely massive and which will have flagged up more than any other demo the way that our society is now riven, and yet this government has taken absolutely no notice whatsoever. At this moment it's difficult to know quite what to do to make anyone's voice heard. I can't remember a time (except perhaps Mrs Thatcher's early years) when a party was so openly and happily at war with the people.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by graham »

Pe.A wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:13 pm White fragility? Urgh! Graham - How long have you lived in the US for? I'm curious. Tbh I wanted to give up after "A structural understanding recognizes racism as a default system that institutionalizes an unequal distribution of resources and power between white people and people of color"

I have almost given up understanding what the term 'racism' is supposed to mean anymore. It's not as simplistic to assert that racism is a default system. Cultural misunderstandings (for me, at least) don't necessarily count as racism, for example. Then it's the default implication that this 'problem' is by definition a 'white' one, as if people in general can't have preconceptions/prejudices related to background. Then there is the problem of defining 'white'. I noticed that the author's surname is Italian. There are groups who get lumped in as 'white' who not that long ago in the US experienced marginalisation at different times e.g. Irish, Italians, Jews etc, although this was exacerbated through cultural/class reasons. What's this author's solution to combat this innate racism? Be 'extra' nice to people from different backgrounds? People can spot the fakery. There is a film I watched a couple of years ago 'Get Out!' which skirted the topic.
Yes, this is the kind of response I hear often. I'll respond in parts. Let's first define racism. The dictionary definition of racist is "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race." This is your typical Nazi/KKK/James Watson type racist. But, this is a very active definition - one can claim to not be racist because one does not spout the kind of crap these people do. But one can be passively racist - not saying it oneself but not seeking to stop it and perhaps even (unconsciously) benefiting from such views. Therefore, many people adopt a slightly different definition of being racist as "One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea." It is very clear (though you will dispute it) that the distribution of resources and opportunties, on the whole, benefit whites proportionally more than Blacks and that Blacks are, for example, subjected to a greater degree of police attention and violence than Whites. We Whites benefit from this system, whether we like it or not. The system is racist - not necessarily by intent but in impact - because it produces disproportionate opportunity to Whites. We benefit and thus we participate in a racist system. It's not a value judgement - its just the way it is.

The problem absolutely is a White one, because whites dominate and have the power. Do you remember that terrible film with Michael Douglas and Demi Moore called "Disclosure"? There's a great quote in there. "Sexual harassment is not about sex. It is about power. She has it; you don't." You can and probably will argue that there are situations in which Black people hold power over Whites. But, in the majority, Whites hold the power in Westernized countries. So, structural racism is a white problem.

Yes, there are all kinds of white people and some have been subjected to (sometimes severe) prejudice - always by other white people. But, this is a red herring. It distracts from the issues that affect our Black fellow citizens on a day to day basis. The kinds of innate racism you refer to are not the focus here. the focus is the structural racism within our society and that requires very much more than just being nice to folks - you can still support racist policies while being nice.

I think you miss the point of Get Out - it is very much a direct commentary on structural racism.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by sejintenej »

graham wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:31 am
The problem absolutely is a White one, because whites dominate and have the power. Do you remember that terrible film with Michael Douglas and Demi Moore called "Disclosure"? There's a great quote in there. "Sexual harassment is not about sex. It is about power. She has it; you don't." You can and probably will argue that there are situations in which Black people hold power over Whites. But, in the majority, Whites hold the power in Westernized countries. So, structural racism is a white problem.

Yes, there are all kinds of white people and some have been subjected to (sometimes severe) prejudice - always by other white people. But, this is a red herring. It distracts from the issues that affect our Black fellow citizens on a day to day basis. The kinds of innate racism you refer to are not the focus here. the focus is the structural racism within our society and that requires very much more than just being nice to folks - you can still support racist policies while being nice.

I think you miss the point of Get Out - it is very much a direct commentary on structural racism.
No!!! It is far from a solely white problem and as an example the law in Malaysia marginalised the extensive Chinese population in favour of ethnic Malays.
From friends who have worked there even foreign ethnic Chinese are marginalised in China and I know that outside Chine ethnic Chinese are marginalised by their kind if they marry westerners. The daughter of an ethnic Chinese friend married a Viet and he is not "approved of" by the family - merely tolerated..
In the office where I worked in Ghana there were many cases where staff did not want to work with staff members from other tribes and as for the sole Nigerian - they would not speak to him.
Next to Biafra - that was based to a certain extent on religion but was also partially tribal
Think of Kenya and the war between Kikuyu and Masai
When I got married I was informed that my mother was turning in her grave because my fiancee was of the wrong religion.

Racism is international and not just white.
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by graham »

sejintenej wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:10 am No!!! It is far from a solely white problem and as an example the law in Malaysia marginalised the extensive Chinese population in favour of ethnic Malays.
From friends who have worked there even foreign ethnic Chinese are marginalised in China and I know that outside Chine ethnic Chinese are marginalised by their kind if they marry westerners. The daughter of an ethnic Chinese friend married a Viet and he is not "approved of" by the family - merely tolerated..
In the office where I worked in Ghana there were many cases where staff did not want to work with staff members from other tribes and as for the sole Nigerian - they would not speak to him.
Next to Biafra - that was based to a certain extent on religion but was also partially tribal
Think of Kenya and the war between Kikuyu and Masai
When I got married I was informed that my mother was turning in her grave because my fiancee was of the wrong religion.

Racism is international and not just white.
David, Thank you, my wording was poorly chosen. Racism absolutely exists in other countries and among other groups. The example of Chinese in Malaysia is a strong example and there are countless others.

What we have predominantly been discussing here in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement is the impact of institutional and systemic racism on Black Britons and Americans. Discussing this topic is not meant to imply that racism does not exist elsewhere, and the fact that racism exists elsewhere does not negate that this is a problem in our societies.

I suggest that, in the context of our shared societies, Anti-Black racism is a White problem because White people dominate the power structures. Black Britons account for 3% of the population but apparently only make up 1.5% of senior management positions. Fewer than 1% of professors at British institutions of higher education are Black. That these numbers are not representative of the population is straightforward to see. The question I pose to you is: Why are the numbers this way? My position is that systemic racism - preferential hiring of qualified Whites over qualified Blacks for these positions, lack of career advancement opportunities for Blacks, relative to Whites as well as myriad other biased practices - is this cause. There are alternative possible explanations. What position do you take? And what, if anything, do you think should be done to deal with this?
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by sejintenej »

graham wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:53 pm Racism absolutely exists in other countries and among other groups. The example of Chinese in Malaysia is a strong example and there are countless others.

What we have predominantly been discussing here in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement is the impact of institutional and systemic racism on Black Britons and Americans. Discussing this topic is not meant to imply that racism does not exist elsewhere, and the fact that racism exists elsewhere does not negate that this is a problem in our societies.

The question I pose to you is: Why are the numbers this way? My position is that systemic racism - preferential hiring of qualified Whites over qualified Blacks for these positions, lack of career advancement opportunities for Blacks, relative to Whites as well as myriad other biased practices - is this cause. There are alternative possible explanations. What position do you take? And what, if anything, do you think should be done to deal with this?
I correspond almost daily with Americans from across that country; even within the USA cultures are extremely varied and many that I have encountered have been very different from most UK cultures. Hence I think we have to consider the two countries differently and the US is so vast with so many different national origins. Most of the family of a Ukrainian friend have gone to the US and are part of a Ukraine community - not an American one because there is no single American community. By contrast I have worked face to face at various times with educated Americans from California, Florida and New York and they had the manners and ideas which would fit perfectly in London business - and a few actually did. OTOH discussing Bayou Creole - totally the opposite.

I assume you read what I wrote about the Jamaican applying for a job in Leytonstone?

To me a major factor is culture.
A company I know well was founded in the early 1600's by thre e men. Of course they had multiple descendants. It grew both organically and by takeover and there was and is intermarriage between the descendants of the original three and the descendants of those who founded and ran the taken over companies. I can speak only for the original three; one was the grandson of a Hugenot who fled France and all three were/ became Quakers. Quakers have a reputation of reliability and service. Until the 1990s that company's chairman has always been a descendant of one of the original three. He had, of course, served in the Army (Welsh Guards), in the Olympic movement and other public offices**. Although his family became C of E the concept of service was just as strong in him and other descendants as in his forebears.
Incidentally it was one of that family who fought for me and another pupil when the HM at CH (probably Seaman) decided to insult Her Majesty by refusing to allow me to answer a summons to Buck House. He had taken the voluntary oath of alliegence (? sp) and promised to arrange for me to take it - a requisite throughout the family and friends
**Because I was not making the expected progress I was hauled before him and lectured before he sent me off to another company to be employed! (I declined the move!) That is how the family looked after its own and friends.

I mentioned the Chinese. One overseas Chinese family I know of; the pressure on the children to do well and become highly qualified is immense but then the rewards were great.
Another emigrated to the USA. Of the four children one became a mining company owner and was also a qualified Federal auditor. Another became the youngest even person to be a qualified UK actuary - I think she was 19 at the time. She died many years ago. The third also died early. By comparison the fourth (who my wife went to school with) is a mere successful horticulturalist but her daughter and her husband are vice presidents and part owners of a company they built up and was just admitted to the "big board". Yes, they do employ non-Chinese but never marry.

This culture exists elsewhere; Indians and I suspect especially Sinds. I dealt with one Indian businessman who was almost bankrupted by circumstances beyond anyone's control. I was not worried because I knew that other businessmen of his persuasion would and did pay his debts because he was one of them. They still remained a very tight knit community - a matter of culture.
The Emir of Sokoto, a Moslem, adopted this culture amongst his subjects whilst Nigeria was part of the Empire. In consequence it turned out that those he had fostered and sent to university in England took all the top jobs because they were the best qualified. This was to cause problems possibly even now.

I had to deal with UK employment agencies and the rep for one of the biggest told me that employment agencies are involved in 10 to 15% of new hires. The rest come from word of mouth. When such a high proportion of jobs are filled by friends, relatives and other acquaintances how can there be widespread mixing? He had to find people who would fit in with me though he did not really know me well; I suspect that he would only put forward whites.
In fact where I finished up were were a real hotchpoch. Amongst the final 25 I think we had 15 nationalities, several colours including black and different religions including Moslems. My secretary was the only one not at least bilingual and at least two people spoke five or more different languages. Differences simply didn't matter; almost all the girls were invited to the wedding of one of them - an 8 hour Sikh ceremony - that was how the office operated.

The UK is beset by widely divergent cultures. There are those like Cadbury and Peabody who strive to help their employees and those around and those like the Indian man who ran a highly successful sweatshop in the midlands. We are beset by language; I understand that there are schools in London where incoming pupils speak over 100 different languages; we need to do a France and make the use of Oxbridge English and only Oxbridge English compulsory from birth because until everybody speaks the same language we will always be a nation of different peoples. THEN we can start to create a homogenous society

Even within white British of apparently British ancestry I have seen stupidity. There is a branch of a huge nationwide and I think multinational, a branch of which had a viewing platform over;looking the London Olympic site. Talking to a manager before the Olympic games he was expecting to be overrun by people who had come to the games - understandable. I then asked how many of his staff could speak a foreign language;he thought that there might be one "downstairs" who spoke an Eastern European language and that was all!. A very British clothing retailer in Regent Street had signs in Japanese all over but had no Japanese speakers. By contrast a friend runs a small French wine domaine; all his staff speak English, most Spanish and I know of some who speak Polish and Russian. He employs a Chinese for the language.

Talk about not-so-good examples! We need to set our own house in order before we tell others to behave like us or should we copy the often violent ways of the Jamaicans?

Don't worry; I have already put on my flak jacket.
A lot of money is tainted - taint yours and taint mine
Foureyes
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Re: Black Lives Matter

Post by Foureyes »

There are all sorts of prejudices, even within apparently cohesive communities. I was once asked by a Jewish friend to write a biography of a person well-known in his community. I did a lot of preliminary research, including a very long visit to the man himself, who was very interesting and likeable, and had led a very adventurous life - in fact, an excellent subject for a biography. What I discovered, however, was that what outsiders consider to be one Jewish community is, in reality, split into two main groups, in the UK at least, with one considerably larger and more influential than the other. My proposed subject was a member of the minority group. Some of the remarks made by some members of each of the groups about the other group were mild, but some were, to put it mildly, vitriolic and unrepeatable. This question of differences arose in almost every interview and in the end I declined the commission on the grounds that I would not be able to avoid becoming involved in religious questions, which I would not begin to understand, so it was better not to become involved at all.

Lest anyone think that I did so for anti-semitic reasons, I should add that I remained very good friends with the original proposer until he died recently - of CoDiv-19. He had lost his wife two years ago and when he died neither of his sons were allowed to be with him for infection reasons. A tragic end for a very pleasant and decent man.

David :shock:
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