Thoughts of yesterday – The need for Equality and Diversity in 2013

We are developing a society in ways that people thought were unimaginable, the virtual reality and the meta physical reality, the gap narrowing between perception and reality and in the name of physics the potential is profound and limitless. Yet 2013 as previous years presents us with similar inconsistencies together with our inability to learn from the past to inform the present and future. The keys to the colours are just as relevant today as they were to Nelson Mandela, Malolm X, Kwame Nkrumah, Richard Wright, Marcus Garvey et al.

This year we have seen racism re-visit football, not in the guise exclusively from fans and supporters but also officials, players and staff. This has resulted in dialogue between Kick it out, Black Police Association, Football league, UEFA etc. We were witnessed to the circus surrounding handshakes, cultural relativism from Uruguay to the inherent science of racism…monkey chanting in Serbia. The captain of England embroiled in a high court investigation, clubs standing by the players offering minimal punishments and the press ridiculing Peter Herbert who represents the Black Lawyers federation exploring the Rooney rule. Maybe the inter cultural learning / equality and diversity training in and out of football clubs proposed as mandatory will do the trick!

No time has race and culture been a social and political construct than today although I reckon most people see it as a fixed ‘construct’. War on terror compliments this picture on a macro level emphasising difference whilst the circumstances surrounding Mark Duggan and many other young Black men struggling for survival and recognition whilst making sense of their ongoing profile on an embedded level on a micro level . The examination of data poses us real questions, why systematically are young black men disproportionately incarcerated, why in USA are more young Black men in jail than in higher education. Is it time to explode the myth of genetic pre disposition and read Franz Fanon and study consciencism. This recognition of the complexities of a post colonial world reinforces the need to offer a more joined up approach offering a real life culturally relevant sustainable solutions connecting human and environmental equality.

Keeping with sport Caroline Wozniacki’s hit the headlines at the end of the year for mocking her friend Serena Williams in an exhibition match in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ms Wozniacki thought it would be fun to mimic Ms Williams whilst hitting with Maria Sharapova. She put towels in her bra and in her shorts accentuating her buttocks and breasts. This joke at Ms Williams expense can be heard up and down the land, the joke was not just felt by those at Sao Paulo or Ms Williams but many Black women whom have had special attention due to their physical characteristics…this stereotype along with others have been used consistently to undermine, mimic and reinforce superiority. I would love to support the idea of a joke but we have to be very careful when laughing at others’ physical characteristics.

One final point is the benefits of living in a cultural pluralistic society, Amit Singh as a British Sikh has joined the English Defence League who is committed to peacefully protesting against militant Islam. Further complexities and ambiguities of life in a post colonial, capitalist society is the case of Christopher Jones in Stoke who was charged by police for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour which was racially aggravated, basically he was acquitted for using the “N” word, this word is so emotive still and becomes the rationale and a metaphor for the fear and insecurity over discussing race, power, culture and ethnicity. Mr Jones a lover of hip hop said he uses the term as endearment, Jones said he had more black friends than white ones and added: “I can be sat with a black friend and I will say ‘What up, Nigger?’ and it’s a term of endearment”(Guardian, 04 Dec 2012).

In summing up this blog it is clear their is much to be blogged and attention has to given to all areas of our life; education, criminal justice system, sport and leisure, media, politics, marketing, employment, food, culture, health to name a few categories I will be attempting to grapple with in reference to equality and diversity. Here at Unity in diversity we are committed to exploring new ideas and formulating new approaches in ensuring local and global environmental and human equality. We will consistently present information, commentary in a manner that equips communities to recognise and affirm their past as a means of naming your world. We aim to de politicise and de sensitise Race and promote the importance of cultural diversity for human kind as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense, it is the common heritage of humanity and should be recognised and affirmed to the benefit of present and future generations

(UNESCO – Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity – article 1).

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