Clever media marketing or Casual Racism?

 April 7, 2010 by The Journey man

From my experience I know the meer mention of the word racism conjures up the thought of militant minority groups fighting for equality in every sphere of life and culture, but I must stress I am not of that mindset just a mere lone journey man seeking the general understanding of such things as racism within cultures because I must admit that I had not come across the term ‘Casual racism’ before and wonder if society/cultures are maybe trying to soften the terms ‘direct and indirect racism’ with a lesser more demeaning title of ‘Casual racism’.

To me this title assumes there is no ill to be got if you partake in ‘Casual racism’ and that the person on the receiving end should not feel sensitive about any comments made in the light of it  being ‘Casual’.

Is there such a thing as “casual racism”? or is Racism just racism?

Do people make assessments on “degrees” of racism and decide which ones merit opposition for the sake of political correctness?

Have people become desensitized to “casual racism”? if so does it mean that it can be ignored or that it is not wrong?

I came across the blog post below which raised concerns about this very same subject being directed through the media of advertising

http://dailysalty.blogspot.com/2010/01/casual-racism-on-full-display.html

What is Indirect Discrimination?

Indirect discrimination occurs where the effect of certain requirements, conditions or practices imposed by an employer or education provider has an adverse impact on one group or other. Indirect discrimination generally occurs when a rule or condition, which is applied equally to everyone, can be met by a considerably smaller proportion of people from a particular group, the rule is to their disadvantage, and it cannot be justified on other grounds.

The law applies to employers and providers of education or training.

Examples :

  • The number of people from a racial group or of one sex that can meet the job criteria is considerably smaller than the rest of the population owing to unnecessary and unjustifiable criteria in relation to language ability, age, length of experience.
  • The criteria cannot actually be justified by the employer as a real requirement of the job. So a candidate who cannot meet the criteria could still do the job as well as anyone else. This might include part time workers or job sharers where the criterion imposed is the ability to work full- time.
  • A policy or practice creates a substantial disadvantage for a disabled person. There is a requirement to adjust the policy for the individual and anticipate the needs of disabled people in general.

What is Direct Discrimination?

Direct discrimination can be less favourable treatment, which includes harassment or bullying. Comparably similar legal definitions of indirect discrimination and harassment apply in respect of sexual orientation, religion, age, gender and disability.

Example:

Employer treats employee less favourably than he treats or would treat other employees.

When, if ever, can either of these be justified in the workplace?

Both direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of age are unlawful unless objectively justified. The Regulations define:

  • Direct age discrimination as occurring where someone treats a person less favourably on the grounds of his/her age than s/he treats or would treat other persons in a comparable situation, and there is no objective justification for doing so.

This means that direct age discrimination will only take place when someone’s age is used as a reason for different treatment in a comparable situation.

If an employer can show objective justification for treating a person on the grounds of age differently to other persons in a comparable situation, this will not constitute direct age discrimination.

  • indirect age discrimination as occurring where:
    • an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice applied to everyone puts or would put persons of a certain age group at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons;
    • a person of that certain age group suffers that disadvantage; and
    • there is no objective justification for the provision, criterion or practice.

This means that a practice discriminates indirectly on the grounds of age if it does not involve age as a distinguishing criterion but nevertheless puts one or more persons of one age group at a particular disadvantage compared to other age groups.

Again, where an employer can show objective justification for a provision, criterion or practice which puts a person of one age group at a particular disadvantage compared with other age groups, this will not constitute indirect age discrimination. It is worth noting that in attempting to show objective justification the emphasis of the justification should be focused on the provision, criterion or practice and not the disadvantage caused.

Who has responsibility for changing cultures?

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