Giant steps back for the rainbow nation in the workplace: (1) White journalists excluded from the Black Journalist Forum off the record meeting with Jacob Zumanbsp; and (2) University of Free State initiation video of black cleaners drinking from a urinated meat soup. How much worse can it get? Or is it isolated, unconnected sparks?
What may seem to be unconnected at first glance, is really a manifestation of disturbing, unresolved issues in society spilling over into the workplace. Many South Africans continue to grapple with transformation – holding on to apartheid related mindsets, beliefs and behaviours; feeling disempowered and resentful about their lot in the new SA or seeking to ride the racial card for personal gain.
Even though the BJF incident and UFS video are grave reminders of how far we need to travel on the road of transformation, at least it gets public attention, media coverage and unified condemnation. I would be worried about the unreported racial experiences in the workplace. The job seeker that is discriminated against during their application. They know it, but can’t prove it. The employee that experiences racist jokes and comments but feels powerless to act. The manager that will never get a promotion because of the colour of their skin. The director in the boardroom dealing with racism from other leaders around him/her.
What do you think?