Being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Many people don’t like to feel uncomfortable nor to have uncomfortable conversations. They project their uncomfortableness unto others and making themselves as victims. Instead of stopping to pause and reflect where the uncomfortableness is coming from. They don’t want to be uncomfortable with hearing the radical truth as it makes them accountable. They don’t want to be seen as accountable. It shatter their ‘nice image’ or biases to be challenged. Who cares when they are allowed to take advantage of being believed straight away because of their race and benefiting tapping into structural powers. They rely on fear and silence, for people to know their place whether is conscious or subconscious.
Because of the traumas that comes with fighting justice in institutionalised racist organisations, it can burn you out, affect your mental health and career. It makes you angry but you are not allowed to be ‘angry’ because that’s the stereotype they have of you. So you burn inside being gaslighted when people tell you are using the race card. How do they know when they don’t know what it is feels like to be discriminated because of your race and/or religion. It makes them dangerous especially to care for patients of colour with their powers. They are less likely to believe people if they are in higher positions or part of investigation. The silence of leadership is telling.
I think often of Nelson Mandela who is a fellow INFJ (The Advocate/Counsellor) who change the narrative in apartheid South-Africa. It was not that long ago where people of colour and white people were segregated legally. It is really unimaginable to me and truly sickening for the world to allow it to happen. Equality feels like oppression by those who are accustomed to privilege. We think we are better and moved on but we have not. Everyone has biases but not everyone can be racist as many do not uphold structural powers. That’s the key difference many fail to realise. Micro-aggressions are not micro but macro. They are traumatising and invalidating. It wears you down. Many people of colour continue getting stopped and searched because of their race. They are not believed and receive subpar treatment in the healthcare which leads to Black women being 5x more likely to die in the UK. This is really shocking that it can happen in this day and age. But it doesn’t affect does them right? It does not affect them when people of colour are not shortlisted because of their name, race, gender and religion. Why nepotism is thriving in the health and social care. Why there are white snowy peaks in the NHS (senior) leadership. Why there are no transcultural mental health services in the UK. Why communities are blamed for being “hard to reach” when they are not being included in leadership and decision making. Services are not being inclusive to meet the gaps thus hard to reach. But do you mean blame them when Black people are sectioned 4x more likely and die in hospital restraints due to biases which stems from racism.
Racism is patients safety risk. Too many professionals and students of colour have faced racism, discrimination, misogynoir, anti-semitism, islamophobia etc. We can talk about it forever but until we are frank and take racism seriously, nothing will change. People get away with because of lack of accountability. Let’s include equality in KPIs rating, mandatory anti-racist HR recruitment policies and strategies and build a new organisation like the CQC to investigate claims of racism by staff led by professionals with lived experiences that can fine Trusts and demote people. Until then we continue allow racism, nepotism and racist referrals to regularly bodies to flourish. There is no room for racism. People of colour don’t have trust in the current systems and leadership. It is time for transcultural leadership.
Art by @AndreaUcini