In the dialogue about diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism, we are being racist!!

I didn’t know this until I realized, after coming to the US, that I’m considered a brown person, not white. I didn’t like it! All of a sudden, I was the other, the one who was different and being ‘included’, not the one who was nice enough to ‘include’ those who are underrepresented!

I invite you to imagine a diverse community, the one that ‘includes’ everybody. Now imagine a non-diverse group; how does that look like? Who did you remove from your community? Did you imagine a group of black, brown, yellow; or was it white? The reality is that when we talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion; at the back of our minds we are assuming a white hegemony to which we are¬†adding some flavor. As Reni Eddo-Lodge says in her post, “for there to be a difference, there has to be a normal against which difference is measured….¬† To truly include we need to deconstruct that norm”.


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3 Responses to In the dialogue about diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism, we are being racist!!

  1. Amy Hermundstad Nave

    Thanks for your post! And thanks for sharing your experiences! I really appreciate your point about deconstructing the norm. Do you have thoughts on what that looks like?

    • arash

      Hi Shadi and Amy,
      I had the same question in my mind as I was reading Shadi’s central statement about deconstructing the norm. While I don’t have a theoretical answer to the question, I can think of several practical thoughts experiments that aim to directly reverse the roles of “majority/minority” in education. One that I clearly see change people’s perspectives is Jane Elliot’s brown-eye blue experiment. because its fundamental assumption about eye color is so obviously false (to the participants) and yet it closely re-creates the problems with race in education.

  2. sevda

    Thanks for the post. When I read your experiences, I found a lot from my own experiences. I am in the U.S. since 2012 but did not realize that subject before starting to take Grad courses this year. I lived in different communities in the U.S. and sometimes I was included, while sometimes I was not. But never thought about it and did not really care much I think. But now, inclusion is a big and important thing in my

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