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Sunday School: What the BAME…?

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So any of you who love labels, you may want to skip this one. This is my soapbox rant.

Why the relentless need to identify people with melanin in their skin? We’ve had Coloured, Black, Afro Caribbean, Ethnic Minority, Black British, Black Caribbean British and now BAME.

Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) – who comes up with these ridiculous labels? Are you a BAME babe? What the BAME is going on?

Imagine being reduced to an acronym – you’re a British BAME – check you out. Sorry… this is madness.

What’s worse, embracing these labels maintains the concept of the “other”, can’t people see that?

A British person is either born to British parents in Britain; or becomes British by naturalisation, right?

Cool please check your passport, what does it say? Afro British, Black British, BAME British, Celtic British… help me here. Unless I’m mistaken, it just says British.

Aside for health concerns associated with melanin, I have no concept why the amount of melanin in my skin is of any consequence to anything associated with my life.

If there is please help me understand if I’ve narrowed my focus and missing the point.

The only people who I can see benefit from these labels are racists who want to clearly and with ease identify me, target me with precision.

In the 70s when Britain was experiencing economic madness my dad was caught up in redundancies. At that time the spoken rule was Indians and Blacks were out the door first. Followed by Irish, then Scottish and English.

That was the order. But something strange happened with my father. After all the Scots left on redundancy he was still working.

He recalled with fits of laughter the racist comments he received and the incredulity of the remaining workers who simply couldn’t understand why my dad “Tony” (Anthony) as he was called – a 6ft 4 man with beautiful melanin in his skin was still working!!!

I have never and will never fill in the “ethnic” part of forms, not even on the census. It’s unnecessary to me, I appreciate it’s important to many others.

Profile me on my character, on my work ethic, on my loyalty to friends, on my love for my family, on my commitment to serving my community, on my encouragement to my fellow WODers, on my smiles to cheer people up.

What’s the profile of a BAME?

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