Can we ever be post-racist?

Inspired by the controversial Hatfield fashion show, FEMSOC and the African-Caribbean society are holding a debate on the extent to which we live in a post-racist society.

Next Tuesday, FEMSOC and the African-Caribbean society plan to hold an all non-white panel discussion on racism.

Head of FEMSOC, Jola Adeyemo, thought up the concept after she saw responses to both Flo’s and Charlie Gardiner-Hill’s articles about the Hatfield Fashion Show. She wrote an article summarising her views on it.

Jola Adeyemo.

The comments inspired this debate due to the ‘utter ignorance’ about why there was anything wrong with the event in the first place. By having an open discussion about it the debaters hope to explore understandings of everyday and structural racism in the Durham University community.

Jola described the general feeling as that some people struggle to understand that racism can be more than just saying the ‘N-word’ or something obvious and that it can be much more subtle.

She continued to say that having an all person of colour/not-white-British panel is ‘a minimum when you’re discussing racism to be honest.’

‘The voices that should be heard are those that would have experiences of suffering from it. Also, Durham in terms of lecturers/leadership/students (basically everyone..) is a very white place. When I go to talks, conferences etc, all I see is white people. I wanted this to be a change from that.’

Flo Perry will also be attending the discussion. She said ‘there is clearly disagreement and confusion in Durham about what “counts as racism”, as we saw from the events of last term. This event is an opportunity for people affected by racism to discuss these issues and for everyone to think about how we can make our society less racist.’

It will discuss how harmful racist jokes are and whether cultural appropriation is always wrong. After the ongoing debates online, this discussion should help to highlight problems with racism in Durham.