Discrimination: Don’t let society decide who you are.

Mazlum is three times a minority, yet he doesn’t feel like he’s a victim of discrimination. He is a young man who lives in the Netherlands but has Kurdish heritage. Being woke as he is, he has already experienced and seen a lot. He, however, doesn’t choose to sit with discrimination and its disadvantages. Mazlum challenges them.

Over the years he has become aware of his status and how people perceive him. In some situations, he is the potential ‘foreigner’ who people don’t want to hire and in others he is WhatsApp Image 2017-11-24 at 23.05.55the loyal family man. But hiring him could be a good move. From what I’ve experienced, he is a guy who takes care of people around him and has his heart in the right place. This is also noticeable if we look at his graduation project. He wanted to do his final research on discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, his school didn’t like the idea at first. They were stuck in their white frame of reference and seemed to be slightly offended by it. It was challenging their white norm. Sounds like a case of white fragility to me.

‘’Don’t play the part society wants you to play.”

The research project he has chosen now is rather inspiring and shows a few of Mazlum’s main beliefs. One that he firmly believes is that one shouldn’t become and embody the position of a victim of discrimination. He says it doesn’t help and it won’t bring you closer to the solution. Mazlum wants people to know what their rights are and how to deal with certain situations. ‘’Don’t play the part society wants you to play, everyone is equal.’’ Because if you do give in to the white norm and what society expects you to be as a non-Western foreigner, you allow them to have power over you. For that reason, Mazlum is going to focus on a project in which he empowers children and adolescents who have a migration background. Something of which some people believe that it isn’t possible. He is however, going to empower these kids. Inspiring them to not become a victim, but to take part and to not let them lower their standards just because society wants or expects them to.

In short, despite the fact that Mazlum does face racism and discrimination, he doesn’t choose to be a victim and you don’t have to be either. If you choose to stand in your power and rights as a human being, you can fight back. Discrimination isn’t going to disappear overnight, especially if we don’t actively do anything to change it.  So, choose the part you want to play and live life the way you deserve it.



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