I would not dare suggest that the recent lineup for the Tory party leadership is not diverse in skin tone. Still, I question the idea that with the Tory Party leadership contest comes evidence of a post-racial Britain. The shades of melanin are clear. But that brings me to a critical point; a shade parade is not inclusion.
The shade parade at the leadership contest is an inclusion illusion. Rishi Sunak’s and Suella Braverman’s families are economic refugees from East Africa. Kemi Badenoch’s family of Nigerian descent are also economic refugees, although she worked through University.
Yet, they all back Priti Patel’s programme to send migrants and asylum seekers to Rwanda. It is a policy Patel agreed would have denied her family access to Britain. That is not inclusive, nor are Badenoch’s comments, as Minister of Equalities, which suggest that “teaching elements of critical race theory as fact..is breaking the law”. They ignore the continuing racism that blights Britain.
What we have sadly with the current Tory Leadership campaign are the melanin faces of conserving a system, not changing it or making it inclusive.
I have worked on creating equality, diversity and inclusion in workplaces and service provision. And when it occurs, it positively transforms the culture of the environment for the better and the service users. However, that transformation cannot come along without working with culturally competent people and being willing to accept inclusion. These are two essential aspects of the Rethink Renew Reform anti-racist ally programme that we deliver. The workshop encourages systemic open culture. And new ways of thinking that support all. And that is the beauty, booty and boundlessness of diversity and inclusion. It does not conserve or preserve but opens up opportunities and new ways to lift us.