Today for our ‘Monthly Media Spotlight’ we take a glance at the intersectionality of race and gender inherent in global racism. As the month of February comes to a close, we consider the celebration of “Black History” in the United States, Canada and many countries in the Caribbean.
This month usually sparks a debate as to the reason for it’s creation, and the necessity in the current times. A few of us on the team recalled a time when we were quite ignorant about racial tensions and institutional racism. Then we moved to larger countries with different demographics and a set of dynamics that we couldn’t relate to. That’s when we started to change our perceptions. What are your views on celebrating the history of one group based on race/ethnicity/history? Any feelings towards the fact that it’s the shortest month of the year? Any thoughts on alternatives?
“But we’ve made so many advancements, why are we still lamenting race?
So what does it mean to be “colour blind” or “post racial”?
Across the world we see scandals involving high powered public figures credibly accused of sexual harassment and misconduct, racist statements and discriminatory policies. Flipping through the news around the world, we see reports of the rise of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, sexual exploitation and cultural exclusion. Some how, in some way, the guilty tend to be operating from a place of such obscene privilege along color and gender lines. How is it that they can so easily degrade and knowingly strip the humanity of others?
“But our economies are prosperous, we must be doing something right?”
There are sleeping giants amongst us, are they fully awake?
So many people are living in poverty across the globe, even in the more economically powerful countries. Human suffering has no color. Every country has people experiencing great need due to famine, wars, climate change, food insecurity, lack of shelter and water shortage. So why do those in power hold on so tightly to the stereotypes that the most disadvantaged are of a particular shade? Why do men in leadership take advantage of the most vulnerable and abuse their global reach? How much of these biases bleed into the staff of these vast bureaucracies, and the consultants or contractors operating at their behest? Will the new players on the development field add their voices? What are your views, will the more recent influencers duplicate the old script or support meaningful change?
What are your thoughts? Have you noticed the shift going on in the political landscape? Do you see an impact with greater representation of women and people of colour? Do you have thoughts on the place of rising new superpowers with meaningful economic wealth? Control shifts, dynasties fall, someone new will challenge the current leaders.
Think about it….Those people you thought you were saving, the ones who you treat as your pawns. Watch us as we take over.
“World Bank Cancels Funding for Uganda Road Amid Sexual Assault Claims”. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jan/12/world-bank-cancels-uganda-road-sexual-assault-claims. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
“UN Recorded 64 New Allegations of Sexual Exploitation or Abuse in the Past Three Months.” https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/11/1024972. Retrieved February 25 2019
About the New Development Bank (NDB), based in Shanghai, China: “At the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi (2012), the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa considered the possibility of setting up a new Development Bank to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies, as well as in developing countries….The initial subscribed capital shall be…equally shared among founding members. The first chair of the Board of Governors shall be from Russia. The first chair of the Board of Directors shall be from Brazil. The first President of the Bank shall be from India. The headquarters of the Bank shall be located in Shanghai. The New Development Bank Africa Regional Center shall be established in South Africa concurrently with the headquarters (Fortaleza Declaration).” https://www.ndb.int/ Retrieved February 25, 2019.
About the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), based in Beijing, China: “[AIIB]…is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia….we began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 93 approved members worldwide.” https://www.aiib.org/ Retrieved February 25, 2019.