Tag Archives: equality

Using #thedress to explain diversity

We have all heard of #thedress, right? The dress pictured above caused a world-wide frenzy when it was posted on social networking sites. Some claimed that the dress was white and gold, some (like me) were adamant that the same dress was black and blue, while some say it’s blue and gold. Some people have also claimed that they sometimes see white and gold, but can also see it as blue and black at times.

People have argued for days and eventually settled that although the dress was in fact black and blue, we all see it differently. The video below explains why:

Accepting diversity

So how is it that we can accept the fact that people see this dress differently to us, but cannot accept that other people ARE DIFFERENT FROM US?

Why is it so hard for some to accept people from different ethnicities, socioeconomic status, abilities, different sex and sexual orientations?

Isn’t the greatness of this world due to our diversity?

I know I am talking about a small proportion of society who has yet to open their eyes. I am hoping that by using a popular example such as #thedress will help them understand what I (and many others) have been talking about for years.

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Clippers Owner Donald Sterling’s Racist Comments

Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 14.58.59

 

Click here to listen to the controversial recording

 

TMZ.com has released an audio recording of NBA team Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling’s conversation with his girlfriend. In this conversation, Sterling makes a lot of derogaroty and disturbing remarks about the ethnic minority. One of which is him telling his girlfriend to not “bring black people to my games”.

Understandably, NBA players including Miami Heat’s LeBron James and Indiana Pacers’ David West have stated their disgust towards the owner’s comments, while Clippers coach Doc Rivers anger is heightened even more because of the timing of this controversy and stated that his players does not need distractions such as this. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement:

This infuriates me. How can anyone at this day and age still think like the way Donald Sterling is thinking? The NBA has come a long way in promoting racial and gender equality in the USA and the whole world. Sterling should be banned in the NBA. There is no place for him there, or anywhere in this world for that matter.

 

I want Equal Opportunities, not Equality

Equality and diversity

 

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine a few days ago about basic human rights when she said that ‘for equality to work, people with Special Needs and Disabilities should be treated in exactly the same way as everyone else’. She added that, ‘this means, no special treatments, such as Teaching Assistants in schools, free and accessible parking, and/ or other perks that disabled people have’.

As offensive as this sounds, I believe that she has a point. We should not be campaigning for equality in the purest sense of the word> rather, we should be campaigning for equal opportunities, inclusion and acceptance of diversity. I have previously explained my definition of equality, and why I think it is not the same as fairness (READ HERE). I personally do not want a society where everyone is treated equally. Let me explain:

Having worn glasses for over half of my life, I do not want society to wear the exact same prescription glasses as I do just to be treated equally. Conversely, I do not want to remove my glasses when reading just because I want to be treated the same as a person with 20/20 vision. In addition, I do not want people with Autism, Dyslexia or other Specidal Educational Needs to be subjected to the exact same treatment as others without Special Needs. My point is, we are all different and we should all be treated differently. We all need help in some areas of our lives, while in some areas, we could be exeptionally good that we could teach others. Nobody should be punished just because they are though of as someone having less or more than what you have.

Readers should take note though, that I am advocating for Equal Opportunities. ‘How can that be?’, you may ask. Equal Opportunities to me, means that anyone- and I mean anyone- should be allowed to try anything and everything. If someone with SEN wishes to be educated in a mainstream school (not a special school), then so be it providing that such placement will not hinder their-and others’- development and learning. However, nobody should be ‘forced’ to study in a mainstream school just because it is seen as good practise. There are pros and cons to studying in a mainstream school, just as there are pros and cons to studying in a special school. People should be free to choose. If a same-sex couple want to get married and/ or adopt children, let them, providing that they love each other and are responsible enough for each other’s well-being.

We should embrace each other’s differences. We should offer to help those who need help, in circumstances that would allow us to. However, with all these being said, I should emphasise that respect should be given to everyone regardless of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, religion and psychological state.

Helen Turnbull on Inclusion, Exclusion, Illusion and Collusion

Here is Helen Turnbull’s TED Talk about inclusion.