Over the past few weeks many of us will have seen the horrifying video of George Floyd, an African American man who was killed whilst being arrested by police in Minneapolis on the 25th of May. Since then, a whole host of protests, riots, petitions and demonstrations have swept through our lives and our social media streams and has sparked what is coming to be seen as a revolution of modern society.
But what does this mean for you?
Whether you are a business owner or an employee, it is ultimately the responsibility of each and every one of us to nurture a working environment in which everybody is treated equally, as human beings. The philosopher Jean Paul Sartre expressed the idea that the nature of mankind is what each man makes it. In other words, the actions of each of us, individually, contributes to the creation of human society as a whole. If each of us takes the initiative to improve ourselves, we become the first falling rocks in the avalanche of societal change.
If you have never been on the receiving end of a racist comment, joke etc. then there is no way of understanding fully the psychological impact that can have on a person. It can damage their self-esteem or cause them to become anxious and uncomfortable. It is the responsibility of a business owner to ensure that each member of staff is able to perform to the best of their ability in the role they have been employed to do, therefore racism has no place in the workplace. Business owners must be the ones to take the lead on this issue within their businesses.
The hardest part of combatting racism can be acknowledging it.
Racism is so ingrained into our society that it can be hard to see until it is staring you right in the face. Many news articles recently have been referencing the Clark Doll Test as a prime example this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZryE2bqwdk
Heart-breaking as it is to watch, this experiment highlights the depth to which our society is entrenched in racism and therefore the lengths to which we must go in order to fix it.
Although as individuals we cannot hope to overturn years of institutionalised racism, we can become allies to the cause and work to ensure that our offices, our businesses and organisations are at the forefront of this change.
Today’s blog has been written by Dania Obstfeld, Administration Assistant at DOHR.
Dania should have been sitting her GCSE’s this summer, but instead finds her entry to sixth form based on predicted grades.
Dania has most recently been supporting DOHR since April 2020, but has previously attended exhibitions and carried out marketing duties within the business.