A question that astonished me - and the answer is no!
Something I have become much more aware of is how the concept of 'professionalism' is wielded to exclude and punish people in workplaces. Being helped to see these rules for what they are has been eye opening. The concepts of what is considered professional are usually based on highly specific cultural (White, middle-class) norms but not named as such, they're just presented as universal standards of good and appropriate behaviour (and therefore superior and essential), then these norms are coded into the standard for whole workplaces and professions, seldom defined adequately, and used to other anyone who does not behave according to those very specific cultural rituals. Forcing people to perform White middle-class behaviours to be considered acceptable in the workplace, and using this as the bench mark for good performance is wild and obviously harmful for anyone who is not White and middle-class.
Thank you for this piece, Sharon. I'm so sorry but unfortunately not surprised that you are still met with this hurtful response. Honestly, I have previously been that person who is 'shocked' at people's experiences of racism, until people guided me to realise that it was an active choice not to see it... And then learning how painful and racist that response of disbelief can be.
One aspect for me (as a white person) is having my eyes opened about the things I've never had to think about. E.g. I was in a group conversation the other day about holiday destinations and a black woman was talking about the research she has to do beforehand, her past experiences of racism whilst on holiday and the places she would never feel safe to take her family. The destinations we were discussing are really popular European places that I'd never have to think twice about booking.
There is still work to do!
Yes Sharon! Whether it's 2023 or star date 2320, it will not be over until it's really over. Inequality, racial injustice, and systemic change won't happen without teaching true history in schools, real accountability from those in power, and reparations.
I've been in the anti-racism fight since I was six (60 years now), and one thing I've become aware of is how nuanced racism can sometimes be (microaggressions). I really wasn't aware of it until I became an adult, and until I started interpreting slavery history.