Friday 11 January 2019

Black box

You know of course that the black box [R] with which we all familiar isn't black. If there's a disaster involving tonnes of aviation spirit and lots of flammable material then the default background is going to be charcoal. Here, I've created a portmanteau phrase to indicate a box to be ticked for ethnic diversity.  Damn but I hate tokenism! Suits, who haven't a clue don't really care about ethnic diversity or inclusivity, know that they must do something about the optics: so they appoint an Equality Officer to review all the official documents from their institution.
Problem: Too many white faces?
Solution: retake some of the photos to include just enough people of colour [✓], wheel-chairs [✓], BLTs [✓], women  [✓] to meet a more or less arbitrary threshold for right-on'ness.

I won't suggest that minorities are seen as a threat but they certainly aren't considered an opportunity. I'm thinking of appointing myself MLO - Minority Liaison Officer. You might think that is an outrageous bit of cultural appropriation - I am, after all, The Patriarchy personified: white, straight, grey, male, propertied, [over]-educated. Then again, then again . . . to have a silver-back laying about him insisting on fairness, equality, affirmative action . . . and giving up half his salary pour encourager les autres; that might make people take notice. It is a fact of Western life that folk listen to people like me as they don't listen to those slightly mythical "black lesbian single-parents". In October, for example, I was one of only 5 out of 800 employees who saw a workshop on Gender Pronouns as an opportunity . . . rather than a threat an irrelevance that could eat into my lunch-break.

I'm getting these ideas above my station because I was invited to view a propaganda video from an Institute of Technology which presumably is an attempt to recruit more, and better quality, students to sign up on the CAO forms: bringing fees and bums on seats to the IT. Have you gorra couple of minutes? Chekkit out and ask yourself - if I was 18 [or 38] and got the points, would I spend four years of my life there?

Here's my feedback: Nice. Earnest. Monochrome: O'Reilly, Nolan, McNamara, Dunford (blokes featured first, women in second place tsk). Devereux (Up Wexford!), Mynhardt (best tan), Scott, Kavanagh. In fact, disregarding the 4M + 4F stars, not a single person of colour features even in the background. Next edition please to feature some New Irish: Abdelhakim, Gregan, Щу́кин, Tadema, Wang. On the way to get a cup of tea a few days ago, I bumped into the VP Student Affairs [or os she the Colonel of Corporate Strategy? - a Suit anyway] and said I knew just the bloke for their next video. I've known him for 2.5 years; over the telephone you'd know him as 'good school' Midlands, without the voice you'd say Africa; he's funny, self-deprecating, symmetrical, ambitious, helpful. He's the only Irish who has tried some French on our Erasmus students from Montpellier.  Put him and his Polish-Irish pal in the next propaganda video together with the two Dub Dubliners they hang out with. They're a stitch! They'd go viral and we'd be batting away a wave of New Irish applicants for the next three years.

The Competition. Are you more taken by
  • Athlone IT; allusive not hectoring, has black student [R ✓]
  • The Blanch: 'students' gurning to indicate how happy they are in West Dublin
  • IT Carlow: see above
  • Cork IT: career focussed education but a BLT flag [✓] features early
  • Dundalk IT: short! [✓] exemplar student [XX ✓]; like in Carlow
  • Sligo IT: gott in himmel - they only care about making drones for the economy
  • IT Tallaght: 6m36s = 5 mins too long; President has suit but no neck
  • Tralee IT: hey, a girl with purple hair [✓] and several with cotton head scarves [✓✓✓].
  • Waterford IT: cartoons, emphasising how cheap it is in Waterford
Next life, I'm off to IT Heidelberg or Coimbra U, it has got to be more fun there.

No comments:

Post a Comment