“Equal Opportunities”

My recent recruitment to $bigco was, as close as possible in the real world to a perfect case of no-possible-race-discrimination. That is to say, none of the folks who made the decision ever met me in person, and I never mentioned my skin colour to them. They know they’re employing an apache guru: we discussed that at length. But they don’t know my ethnicity.

Of course they can google, they can make a guess. So can I, and my manager’s name strongly suggests that he’s from a very different racial group to my own. So neither of us can be accused of favouring our own kind (unless one of us has made a wrong guess about the other).

Now part of the documentation they expect[1] from me is a racial monitoring form, so they can “prove” they … erm … don’t discriminate. It lets me choose from:

  • White
  • Black-Caribbean
  • Black-African
  • Black-Other
  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Chinese
  • Bangladeshi
  • Other (please specify)

Right. One category for white – the vast majority, encompassing warring catholic/protestant communities, and presumably other groups having significant tensions like jew and arab. Not to mention what the ‘merkins call “hispanic”. By contrast, no less than three different categories for black based on their history rather than their ethnicity, and three for south-asian based on country of origin. Seems to me offensive both to the white majority and to the minorities – both white and non-white.

I want the option to describe my race as “human”. But that’s not Politically Correct. Bah, Humbug.

[1] Or rather, that the Political Correctness Police expect of them.

Posted on February 10, 2008, in rants, recruitment, uk. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. There’s usually a separate box for Irish. Certainly there is in police paperwork.

  2. An Australian friend of mine flew to Indonesia once, and the landing form required him to fill in his “race”. He did indeed write “human” and they let him in – couldn’t argue with it, I suppose.

  3. “They know they’re employing an apache guru”. Sounds to me like you’re part native North American and part spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent. Perhaps it’s best just to go for “Other”?

  1. Pingback: Unequal Opportunities. « niq’s soapbox

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