Friday 12 July 2013

Grassing up the Black Hats

Sorry chaps, if it seems we're on a high moral ground (HMG) jag today.  After a polemical rhetorical "analysis" of the prevalence of bullying, I have some good news on the parallel front of racism.

In January, I told a tragic (in the Antigone inevitable, inexorable playing out of events sense) story of  a dusky friend getting dissed (again).  That story had, as I said at the time, the ring of truth because for the best part of a decade I spent several hours a week travelling from the home up The Blackstairs to work in The Smoke by bus.  I used to spread my largesse among three different companies and would often, because I'm now an ou'feller, sit up the front, so I could see where we were going.  It takes all sorts to drive a bus: sunny&helpful and the down-right curmudgeonly and all shades in between. The number of journeys I made by public transport makes the cumulative experience more than anecdote although not quite data because I didn't write it all down.  Nevertheless, I noticed that if you were young, white and pretty, you could ask the driver to make an unscheduled stop outside the home place, expecting the answer Yes.  But if you were black and struggling with a buggy, a welter of shopping and two tiny childer, this sort of consideration would be streng verboten, completely against company rules, "more than my job is worth".

My Indian-born colleague's suit with the Equality Commission failed for lack of evidence.  But we now (launched just yesterday) have an interweb site set up by ENAR (dunno what the acronym stands for) to report instances of racism.  You can do it anonymously.  Doubtless some young blades will find it hilarious to post spoof reports for a while, but that will settle down and ENAR will start to accumulate some data on how prevalent racism is.  It's as easy, for the overburdened mother of two, as checking the box beside "Being unfairly or differently treated looking for service".  Maybe just telling someone, even an anonymous internet confessor, will ease the pain.

And we'd better get this sorted out because otherwise all the interesting people will leave Ireland and we won't be able to buy kielbasa or okra or halal lamb any more. 

1 comment:

  1. I disagree! They should have to tick "Being unfairly or differently treated when looking for special priviledges outside the normal service".

    I would like to tick that myself at times, coz unless you're a reg'lar and a pal of the driver's you can get turned down with that request so I don't think anyone should be allowed off the bus except at the designated spots!!