Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Attended a mandatory training course today which covered Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Health and Safety, Fire, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and Children, Infection Control, and Confidentiality and Information Governance. The first session was the one with the most discussions and debates, that the presenter didn't even manage to complete 50% of her slides within the given time.

As a woman, I think quite often we receive positive discrimination (PD). PD, according to the presenter, is unlawful. Give a very obvious example. The ward that I'm working on is a male ward, although there are slightly more female than male staff in the ward, there are quite a number of jobs that could only (or preferably) completed by male staff. E.g. searching service users coming back from unescorted (ground/community) leave, there are about 4-8 times a day in my ward now (more coming); doing their UDS (Urine Drug Screen) etc. And yet, I couldn't really think of a job (in my ward) that can only be done by female. So see? It could be unfair... (just could be, because we are very nice females, so we would even that up with doing some other jobs for the male staff).

The presenter gave an example of "positive action" (which is lawful) - a university lower the entry requirement for the ethnic minority (I think she used "Blacks" during the presentation, which I think isn't appropriate), so the Whites have got to have 3As to enter while the Blacks could enter with 3Bs. She added further, it ended up with more Blacks dropping out, simple because they couldn't follow the course, as they were not as competent.

What do you think?

In that room, there were more ethnic minority (opps! so no longer "minority"?), there were more Blacks than Whites as well. I don't know what the others think. But to me, to give this example at the first place, IS already a discrimination itself! Think about it again. One, the whole example based on that "fact" (what they believe genuinely, but I don't think it's true at all) that Blacks are less intelligent than Whites (so that most of them can only enter with 3Bs, so that they would drop out even after they were admitted). Isn't this a discrimination? Nobody pointed that out, and of course I wouldn't. Because I'm neither a White nor a Black, and I wouldn't want to cause more debates or war. Two, I see no point of giving this example!

I don't know what made the Whites always think they are more capable, more competent than the Blacks. From the people that I've known, I can confirm that Whites are no more intelligent than Blacks. Of course I have a Psychology degree, I should know how that conclusion came out, that some researchers did some research that they thought it was very well considered and fair - then concluded that Whites are simply better. I can tell you two things. One, it COULD be true in the past, but it's definitely no longer true. Given that they always think they're better, so they are far less hardworking (ok, I mean they're lazy), over decades they ended up with people who think they are good but only in talking Big. Two, the 'fact' just can't be true. Because research can never be fair, in a field (i.e. investigating intelligence) like this. Language is one thing, culture is another (and many more). Of course a Black could be born and brought up learning and speaking only English, in the Britain (as an English speaking and English culture example here), but how about his parents and external families? How about friends that he makes? Can the intelligence tests consider all these factors? It just can't be fair.

I don't know why I get myself into that Black & White Intelligence debates. It seems that I'm in favour of Blacks. But the fact is, no, I'm not, I'm just not in favour of Whites (see my post Discrimination), especially when it comes to the feelings that they think they are better in any and every way than the others.

Of course, there are very intelligent Whites, very intelligent Blacks, very intelligent Mixed, Brown, Yellow, Colourful, whatever. I'm not writing to offend anyone, especially my White friends. I'd happily accept if they're in "fact" more intelligent, yet this thing can't be proven (and we dont have to! What is the point of doing that?). And more importantly, I wish the Whites are aware, that their thought of they're better naturally, are going to make them less competitive and more lazy, are making them worse which in some days later, would reflect through genes.

P.S. I wouldn't disagree that myself is also discriminating. Afterall, that's just a mean of "categorizing" like I mentioned in my other post. There are always debates. But I'd suggest the presenter who do topics like this should have more concerns.

Just a little add-on
I mentioned languages, so often one of my White colleagues enjoys correcting others' grammar mistakes, I remember there was once my Black colleague replied, "please! English is not my first language". Exactly! Can you speak Mandarin, Malay, Hokkien, Cantonese like me? If you could, I'm going to speak English just as good as you do! Although, I'm quite happily corrected, because that's a mean of learning, but sometimes this man could be annoying to others who don't pay as much attention to grammars.


yonghan said...

So you are against “Affirmative Action” as it is called in the United States. I agree with you. AA/PA is just another means of categorizing people, but without it, some “self categorized groups” may complain that they do not receive enough attention, as what has been happening in Malaysia. What do you think then?

huibee said...

No no no no no! I'm not against them! I wouldn't disagree that some groups need help, some people are less intelligent / less capable, these are individual differences - no two human are the same. It's like when there is a 30kg box to be lifted, we would get a male (by instinct) to lift it instead of a woman (unless she is very strong physically) - the male enjoys showing his ability, the female enjoys being 'pampered' in this way. Nothing is wrong with that, different groups are good in different things. So, I wouldn't say the Uni is wrong to lower the entry requirement (because the intelligence difference could be true). My point was that the act of the presenter (i.e. giving that example) was just discriminating, there were way better examples! isn't it?

yonghan said...

Well, wouldn’t lowering entry requirements imply to others that the group is in fact less intelligent (as a group) and need help?

huibee said...

yes it would. and that's what I'm saying. but like i said, what it implies could be true! (and thus they need help, and I personally think it's ok to have such positive action)

yonghan said...

... and thus the whites think they are the best...

huibee said...

They can think they are the best, but I want them to know................. (refer back to my post) + it could be not true.. in fact it's most probably wrong.

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