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 Continue reading “Discrimination: Don’t let society decide who you are.”

4 attitudes you need to become the ally you want to see in the world.

The past months I’ve had the opportunity to join a theater research project mainly focusing on discrimination and belonging. This provided all the participants, including myself, with the chance to get to know each other in a very special and interesting way. Difficult topics were discussed and often expressed or acted out through theater. However, the most interesting thing that I learnt wasn’t an acting skill or how to get out of my comfort zone (which were also very valuable), it was learning about actively standing by people and being taught what it means to be a so-called ally. Something many people want to be. But before you decide to become a ‘white knight’, let’s explore what it entails. It would be a shame if you were missing out on the essentials, wouldn’t it?

Being white inherently comes with things that many don’t like to admit. There is privilege and there is the massive lack of skill that is required to appropriately deal with this. The ‘’white fragility’’ people experience when they hear something they don’t like, for example: ‘’What you just said is racist’’, is sadly common. This doesn’t mean that you have bad intentions, but is does show that you’re lacking something which a social justice ally shouldn’t. In order to be that ally you do want to see in the world, there are several things you should do, and they are very feasible.

  1. Do not become an ally to win points.

When a (self-proclaimed) ally is joining in to win points, he or she isn’t in it to fully work towards the goal since Continue reading “4 attitudes you need to become the ally you want to see in the world.”