On a day when the world is remembering George Floyd and the pain, protest and progress which has been made a year on from his death, Liverpool resident Jordan reflects honestly and openly on his experience as a mixed-race man living and working in the city. In it, he holds the private sector to account and urges businesses to ensure they have a discrimination policy in place to avoid others having to suffer as he has.
I don’t want to say that it has all been negative, because it definitely hasn’t.
I have met and worked with some great people during this time and it has been those people that have kept me going. However, what has been very sad, is that from my experience in the vast majority (if not all) of my workplaces, I have faced some form of racism from staff.
I identify as mixed race and am very proud of my heritage and background, but I know many people will assume I am white as my skin is very fair. Because of this I see, hear and am exposed to covert racism and at times I have heard some horrendous comments and points of view.
This has left me with lots of different emotions – hurt, distress, sadness but then also at times, it has made me very angry and confrontational and I am not proud to say that on occasion, I have become so angry that it has resulted in physical confrontations and as a result I lost my job.
Thankfully though, I have grown older, and I hope wiser, and I have learnt to channel my passion into more productive ways of dealing with racism that avoid me losing out and maybe even educate the person who is being racist.
Just recently I worked for a large, well know retail company visible on every high street. Because of their status I really expected them to have a professional process in place if any issues of discrimination arose. Unfortunately, they didn’t. During my time with this company I experienced racism on many occasions – often this was quite aggressive and it became impossible to ignore.
When I raised this with management because they didn’t have an official policy in place they did not know what to do and I was actually asked how did I want this to be dealt with? The whole experience was quite shocking and my mental health and my family suffered so badly and I have had to leave the company.
I wanted to speak out about my experiences as this issue needs to be addressed with all employees. Every employer should have a process in place to deal with victims and perpetrators of racism and discrimination. I really wish there was help and support out there, if I had felt supported by my employer, if some action had been taken to stop it happening I might not have had to leave my job again.
I would love my experiences to have a positive outcome and to mean that others didn’t have to suffer in the way I have.
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice. Hate crime can relate to many areas such as disability, race, religion, sexual orientation and transgender.
Some examples of a hate crime
Damage to property
Verbal abuse and threats
Malicious phone calls
Graffiti and fly posting
Social media posts
Providing or offering offensive literature
What are the ramifications?
Hate crimes can cause a person to feel humiliated, embarrassed or angry. In extreme circumstances they can cause death or injury and will almost always cause stress, ill health and fear. Repeated episodes may lead to severe distress, making life intolerable.