At what could be quite a controversial perspective on current affairs, I hope this post helps inform people that more needs to be done.
I’d like to first begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which I have the freedom to write this blog today. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present.
Secondly, I have written this blog in hopes to start a dialogue and learn more about what else I can be doing. If I have caused any offence in what I’ve shared below and/or you feel I’ve missed the point, please (please please!) reach out and let me know- I really mean it.
Looking around me, I’m ashamed as a human being that there are people in the world who still consider race and skin colour a means to discriminate.
Why is this still a thing?!
In a time where we’re more educated and more connected than ever, racism and discrimination should be a thing of the past. But alas it is still the story for so many people each day, written by those who don’t understand or care to appreciate them.
I’ve seen an overwhelming response to the black lives matter movement from my friends, celebrities and businesses. However I can’t help but have an unsure taste in my mouth.
I don’t want to think I’ve made a difference by uploading a black tile and forgetting about it.
It has made me realise that, whilst it would show my solidarity to the cause, I should be doing more.
So many businesses and television programs have pledged their support for the movement, yet to me it feels a little hypocritical.
Bear with me!
The question I have is, why has it had to come to where we are today for businesses to stand up in support?
Of course, shining light on the total disregard of basic human rights is always a good thing and I cannot deny that, however, why not implement better representation of indigenous and people of colour before it became ‘trendy’ to do so?
Brands have uploaded the now universally recognised #blackouttuesday tile and yet if you look at their feed, it’s as diverse as a sheet of paper.
If these businesses really mean what they are posting, let’s hope to see a lot more diversity on their page, and not just the token person of colour image every few rows.
I can’t even begin to imagine how heartbreaking it would be to not feel represented at all. You know what, I never will be able to completely understand it either.
I’ve tried to approach the under representation of indigenous and people of colour with empathy.
To feel you don’t belong because you don’t meet a tone of skin, social media strategy or beauty ideal is incomprehensible, and just wrong.
So I hope the black tile on each company’s social feed means more than ensuring your account is trending online.
Let’s have MORE representation because it’s the right thing to do, ALWAYS not just for now.
One show that is pushing the envelope on diversity in my opinion is Masterchef. The contestants are from a diverse age, race and cultural background and I love the show more for it.
A recent challenge saw five contestants of Asian-background compete for immunity a few weeks back. It wasn’t until judge Melissa Leong, pointed out what it meant for Asian-Australians around the country, did I realise the magnitude of what I was seeing.
In all honesty, I didn’t even notice that all the contestants were of Asian background, because to me, they were all Australian and all amazing cooks. In my opinion, we need to move to a world where there is equality for all people and a person’s race is a point of difference.
Take the global hit, Crazy Rich Asians. This film smashed box office records worldwide earning almost $240 million and becoming the highest-grossing romantic comedy in the last 10 years.
I think this can be attributed to people wanting to hear new stories from a different perspective to their own.
I don’t want to hear the same stories anymore, I want learn about cultures and customs from diverse points of view and I need to do more to seek out these stories.
I’ve read time and time again not standing up to racism forms part of the problem and we need to speak out.
I think with my blog, I have a platform to try and do my part and hopefully influence at least one of you to help with my idea.
From today, I will be reaching out to my favourite businesses via social media and asking for more diversity on their channels, and I hope you do too.
It might be a drop in the ocean, but I hope that seeing more diversity day to day, whether it be in the media, through stories or even a seat at the table could support Indigenous and people of colour to feel the equality I am fortunate to receive without asking for it.
Make the black tile stand for more than a trending hashtag.