Do people of biracial/multiracial descent still face challenges in society today? An outsider’s view.

This is my response to the Linked In discussion…

Do people of biracial/multiracial descent still face challenges in society today? 
“Do people of biracial/multiracial descent still face challenges in society today? On Linked in. “Being that the majority of America’s population will be of multiracial descent within the next generation, I wonder if mainstream America understands the significance of this change. Historically, multiracial individuals were rejected by society. It is my contention that innumerable individuals of biracial/multiracial descent still face issues with being accepted today. Your thoughts?”

This discussion has all the normal positive contributors and naysayers… This is my humble input to the discourse.

Thanks John and both Carlos’s for an awesome discussion and the human aspect that you bring to this discussion.This is not about the statistics and disproving the facts – it is about the realities of how people feel.

Men cannot talk about the pain of giving birth to a child, only a mother will have had that experience. Single race people cannot speak, from experience, of the pain of discrimination – that a bi-racial/ multi-cultural person feels. Nor can a white person experience what a “non-white person feels, or vice versa. (At this stage we must remember that there are so many variants of these broad classifications that we could go on forever with the “you can never understand us”, aspect. This could be related to many things – including something as simple as personality types.)

A little about my family.

My wife is a South African Hindu, of Indian (Bengal) descent. She comes from a huge and supportive family. I am a multilingual White South African, born in what is now Zambia, of Irish/ Scottish/ English and South African descent. (I am also an adopted member of a Zulu tribe.)Our two boys – Lliam (11) and Kailash (6) are the result of our wonderful relationship.

Lliam has identified himself, until recently as a white (Irish) boy. He now aligns more with the Indian side of the family. He speaks of “We Indians. And includes me in that statement!”

His school decided to classify him as “coloured”, in 2012. This is a still current Apartheid classification, for the product of a “white” and black” relationship. I refused to allow the school, or education department to do this and demanded that where they needed a “classification” for any of us – they write “human.”

Some adult white people talk to our boys in what they think is a clever and rather silly “Indian” accent. They get a verbal dressing down from me. Who are they to categorise my sons, by their prejudices?

Indian people are the most accepting, of me and our boys. To them the kids are just children. And I am just a member of the family. And what a wonderful and huge family it is. I am honoured to have been accepted into their lives!

At school the black kids call Lliam “Umlungu” (Whitey) and run away from his “heathen” Hinduness. He is told continuously that he is going to hell. (Fortunately Hindus do not believe in Hell. But that is a topic for another discussion.)

Lliam can greet in almost 40 languages. Both he, and our small boy Kailash, fit in easily in any company. They are able to adjust their accents, grammar and tone to be at one with the people, with whom they interact. Both are bright, sparky and extremely intelligent. They are assets to any society.

Obviously Kailash will experience more, as he grows older. He has just started Grade 1 today. He is just a child and loves being one. He sees kids, as kids. And his best friends, are simply his best friends – not a “colour”.

I have no idea what it is to be bi-racial. I have no idea hat is like to have been born on the disadvantaged side of Apartheid. I have just experienced life socially and professionally, as a white person in amongst many cultures and religious groups. And I have been isolated because of my links and friendship with people from other backgrounds.

What I do know is that this discussion is not about figures and statistics. This is about the feelings of the people who are involved. Not single culture “observers” – but those who have actually lived the life and felt the joys, wonders and the pain of their multi, or bi-racial upbringings and experiences.

It is neither the numbers, nor the accuracy of the data that will shape the world that we live in – it is the emotions and personal events that shape the human spirit and the resultant actions that are taken on their varied journeys.

John and Carlos, I salute your honesty, input and the brave and wonderful paths that you have taken. You are an example to all of us!

I truly believe that bi-racial and multi-racial people are advantaged by their multiple experiences of the World – in terms of language, culture, background and religion. This is the advantage that our sons share.

I know that Lliam and Kailash will change the World – because of who they are – and what they experience. Their acceptance will be ensured, in our country. In fact – I believe that single culture people will actually seek them out to learn from and share from their experiences and their stories.

Lliam and Kailash Moore

Our boys!

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www.goldenroom.co.uk

“This is an awesome article from the golden room.co.uk, on the “deaf culture/s””. Enjoy..

Deaf culture, like any culture is marked by certain norms of behaviour and etiquette which are often at odds with those of hearing culture. Pointing for instance, is a vital part of sign language, but is rude in hearing cultures. Similarly, prolonged eye contact is very important; deaf people read large amounts of information particularly emotions from the facial expressions and body language. It has often been described that touching is very popular in deaf cultures, such as a tap on the shoulder or arm. Directness, even bluntness is also often attributed to deaf culture, where it is not considered rude, as it would be in most hearing cultures. From getting attention, leave taking and even time, deaf culture has its own particular ways which connect deaf people to each other.

via www.goldenroom.co.uk.

Religious Diversity: Beyond the Protestant Ethic

A very interesting article on religious diversity in the USA.

Religious Diversity, a topic that many organizations shy away from putting on the diversity agenda will gain more significance.

World ReligionsWhile Religious diversity is not new and organizations are required to comply with laws to make religious accommodations, in 2012, religious minorities became more visible and vocal in the US, where historically the symbols and values of the Protestant faith have predominated. In October Pew Research reported that Protestants are on the decline, scarcely holding the majority. Consider these “firsts”: Click the link below for more…

Religious Diversity: Beyond the Protestant Ethic.

10 steps to creating a free and non-racial democracy.

As we head into 2013, and we are approached for team conflict resolution interventions in corporate, government and other business arenas, I am astounded at the levels of prejudice, cross cultural incompetence and general inability to build relationships in diverse teams.

Much of the prejudice is so archaic it is almost ancestral in origin, in fact some of it is from colonial days. Some of it comes from the sad era of Apartheid. And sadly much of it is being created on a daily basis in homes and the workplace.

Our people are divided. Our politicians and government perpetuate the divisions daily – by political affiliation, race, colour, language, clan – even though they profess to be developing a non racial democracy. New forms of formalised Apartheid and political protectionism creep in every year.

And this is reflected in the attitudes and actions of our people. Racial superiority and inferiority according to what race you were born into and where you stay, is rampant.

Ours is one of the few countries in the world where the race question is foremost in the minds of people. Be they mothers and fathers, business owners, civil servants, procurement specialists, or workplace employment teams, “What colour is he – or she?” Or more blatantly as if they are talking about another creature, other than a human being – “What is he?”

This simply must stop.

If we are to give our children, and ourselves, a fair chance at living in, and building our beautiful country we need to change. To be different and to become more human.

Our team conflict resolution programmes do this (brian@africa-dreams.com) – but only for the people that we interact with – and their families. The Ubuntu Girl – Soja Kruse does this – but again the extent of her reach is limited. (ubuntuabundance@gmail.com)

So how do we, as a nation of human beings begin to bring about the long term change that is so deeply needed?

10 steps

  1. Accept that there is a problem in the way that we think, talk and act towards people of other religions and cultures.
  2. Resolve to make changes in your own behaviour, and do not accept negative behaviour from people within your circle. (You may have to find some new friends!) Set yourself some change goals.
  3. Accept that in doing so, you will leave a wonderful legacy for future generations.
  4. Stop using negative, prejudiced words and names.
  5. Stop judging – get to know more about cultures, religions, traditions and belief systems. Have fun whilst learning. Invite people home and visit their homes, celebrations, funerals and traditional events.
  6. Learn new languages, from other people. Start with greetings, thanks, goodbyes and body language. (Misunderstood body language is often an immediate block to respect and business relationships.)
  7. Learn how to cater for people from different backgrounds. Do not judge from your own experience. There may be challenges and fantastic opportunities arising from differences in culture, religion, health and personal preference.)
  8. Learn what respect means to others – and show them respect in the ways that they wish to be respected.
  9. Actively make decisions without bias. This may mean that you have to think very deeply before you decide important things. (We are often polluted by our own belief systems and upbringing. Clear the smog, simplify your required outcomes and make informed and responsible decisions.)
  10. Celebrate each noticeable change.

It is time that we began to celebrate the wonders of our similarities and our differences. Not only in South Africa, but in Africa and the World. We are in our 19th year as a free democracy, it is time now to grow up and live to our full potential!

Black Diversity Experts Are Criticized for Talking About Race – CNN iReport

Billy Vaughn, PhD CDP is an award winning cultural diversity expert. He is editor of Chief Diversity Officer magazine.

 

 

Black Diversity Experts Are Criticized for Talking About Race

I just put my best effort into designing and developing a cultural diversity training based on data received from a client organization’s workforce. The data spoke clearly. Too many employees say and do things that are insulting. Coded words like welfare mothers and lack of initiative seem to be used all too often in reference to African American co-workers or customers. Training that raises their awareness about the impact of what they say on others is needed increase productivity and collegiality.
What I and many in the community of cultural diversity experts too often find is that the client will censor emphasis on race even when the data begs us to address it. The client will tell us that the training needs to be inclusive and focusing too much attention on race will ignore the other groups in the audience. I will never forget the conversation I had with a human resource manager of a major university when I described research that consistently shows how black Americans tend to feel excluded relative to other groups even in the award winning diversity best practice organizations. In the same breath, she agreed with the research results before going back to the conversation about being inclusive. It was as though good data did not matter to her whether it came from employees at her university or a summary of consistent research results from other organizations.

Read the entire article on Black Diversity Experts Are Criticized for Talking About Race – CNN iReport.

Team Conflict Resolution Feedback – MAN Truck and Bus –

Marc Michel
Former Workshop Manager
MAN – Truck and Bus –Pinetown, South Africa.

Diversity Training

A wonderful diversity training tool

Here is a testimony to my experience working with Celebrating Humanity International.

“Our organization was facing a serious challenge: the German mother-company was putting the South African production unit under constant stress to implement change at a faster pace.

How do you combine German discipline, forward planning and hard work with the more multi-cultural-prized relationship-based way of working in Kwa-Zulu-Natal? The pressure was starting to erode the relationship within the team, tension was building up as the nerves were more and more blank. The Management team was loosing it’s unity as the pressure was putting every one’s character in a corner that wasn’t his. We needed a solution. We were looking for someone to re-unite the team, to give us again a common ground.

I grew up in France from a French father and an American mother, worked a long deal of my professional life in Germany before coming out to South África. From my experience in similar situations, we needed a team building exercise, but a special one. It should have a special local flavor, definitively avoid the “not invented here syndrome”. It should be fun, based on understanding the one common thing we all have: cultural difference.

In our team, we are all from different backgrounds. It is a lot more than the Germany influence on the South African way of working.

So this is where Brian and Arthie came along, as if they have been waiting all this time to assist us with solving our problems. Like the needle that finds the sore muscle, the experience of team finding and building experience was exactly what we needed. It was professional, it was fun, it was loaded with energy and it made us understand that a team is only as strong as it is diversified.

Well done Brian and Arthie, thank you for this truly special experience!”

Parking for the physically disabled – or the socially disabled?

Parking spaces allocated for handicapped people are not created for the use of the physically-abled or the socially-disabled!.

Some people in our rushed and selfish society, somehow believe that they have the right to park in the very few spots reserved for the disabled. This horrendous lack of care leaves people with serious disabilities struggling in tiny parking spaces, to get into wheel chairs or up on to crutches – whilst the lazy, fit and selfish take one of the few advantages from them – a broad and nearby parking.

Parking for handicapped image

This signs means that only disabled people may park here.

Thinking people believe that this borders on a pre-meditated criminal activity. We certainly cannot wrap our heads around this stupid and uncaring behaviour.

These patently heart and brain-free idiots, roll out the excuses:-

* “I was only a few minutes.” Hogwash, if you block a parking – it is not accessible by those who need it.
* “I will be quick.” No you won’t. What kind of a lie is that?
“The other parking spots are so far away.” – Exactly! That is why you need to take your able-bodied legs and walk, so that the disabled can get out of their darn cars!
* “I didn’t see the handicapped markings or signs. Sorry.” Stupidity is not a handicap, nor is unawareness. Neither are any excuses! Start using your adequate sight and brains!

Those who do not give people, who are less able, a chance in life, deserve to have their vehicles confiscated. They are simply not socially or mentally competent to operate it!

Feedback from a successful team conflict resolution program

 Celebrating Humanity Team conflict resolution programs remove conflict from teams, through celebration, agreements, clearing and individual accountability.
Here is some feedback from a recent client:-
From a Sales Managers point of view on the training program Celebrating Humanity I found that as a head of department in the Sales division it was certainly beneficial to my whole team. 
I have noticed that their attitude towards one another and to their work has improved remarkably. There is a sense of urgency, motivation and commitment to evaluate a situation before making a decision on certain aspects of their job functions.
The Teambuilding: This was interesting and informative and gave me a different view on my staff I thought that I knew them all regarding their habits and what they did in their everyday activities both at work and on the home front “was I surprised” each individual had similar concerns which was not too much of a issue but had not been voiced in as much detail .This is where the trust and transparency filtered through even more that ever. 
I am perceived as an honest and trustworthy member in my department and this was nice to know that we collectively were brought closer together in sharing our views as a Team rather than individuals.
Methodologies: The methodologies that were applied in achieving the interaction between on another were how I shall say “INTERESTING”. It reminds me of the old saying Back To Basics how true this is, a simple good morning how are you, and how your weekend was is a great opener in any conversation followed with a Smile. 
For one to have the courage and trust in revealing ones personal problems, concerns, and even thoughts on a particular issue is normally a tedious extracting process, not the case when face to face as the exercise revealed where we say opposite one another and reveled our thought and concerns one felt almost obliged to spill all.
The perception that I had of some of the staff “in other departments “was misconstrued. I found them to be transparent and almost enthusiastic to tell me everything they possibly could in the short space of time that we had.
Ability to work with different cultures: This is an area that needs lots of work; it’s too easy to assume that people must answer you back in your home language. I need to take the time to learn the ways and cultures of those we interact with on a day to day basis.Just the basics will be a huge stepping stone forward, too often one feels not so much as embarrassed but more “not informed “well enough to attempt a simple SAWUBONA as an example to someone that we see on a day to day basis .We slip into our comfort zone and use our own native language. 
The body language I found interesting and different in each culture that I encountered as well.
Conclusion: Anyone that is willing to change for the better, the company and in the way they approach life in general will be pleasantly surprised of the outcome of this program. It has given me a different prospective on my staff and a better understanding of how they feel. 
The “buy in” from all has been fantastic and in particular an approach on how to “fix “issues is a joint venture between ourselves as “A Team”. The interaction with other department is much more “transparent”. A huge stepping stone in the right direction.
From: Dave Finch                                        Date: 3rd February 2012

Posted by Brian V Moore


Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Video – Fun ways to resolve team conflict

Another team conflict resolution program by Celebrating Humanity

Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal -
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457