An image circulated on Facebook a few days ago depicting a home employee made to sit way too far from the table of the family she works for in a very well known restaurant.
Let’s go back to defining what racism is. “Racism consists of both prejudice AND discrimination based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities. It may also hold that members of different races should be treated differently.” – Wikipedia.
As a customer of that particular restaurant, I felt offended that no one from waiter up to the management did anything about it; actually a lady who saw this offered her a seat. That’s when I got people saying that the management of the restaurant “has no right to interfere”. And that’s where I beg to differ. That’s restaurant in particular is a pioneer in setting the standards while others followed; that’s in part why I was very angry. It was the last thing I expected to see.
Let’s put things into perspective. In some places there’s a formal dress code and would not let you in if you were wearing shorts, while in others they refuse to serve people based on their nationality/color, in part due to politics and other religious reasons because the country’s welfare is at risk. (I am not talking about recruitment; subject where most countries have a procedure that states that nationals have a priority over foreigners). In some places they refuse to let beggars in, while in others they refuse you sitting “next to” and make you sit “in front of” because they apply a “French Etiquette”. In some places you are asked to lower your voice and manage your noisy kids, while in others if you dance on a chair or table, you will be asked to step down. Well, guess what: They can.
Examples are endless. For the time being, there is no law that draws the line between what is OK and what is not; which means management has all the power to take appropriate action in order to preserve the peace and the image of its establishment. No excuses. It’s a private commercial company after all.
No law stands in the way of anyone doing the right thing whether a person, a company or a government. But ignorance, greed, love for power and fear do.
Unfortunately, we are also free to think that since no action was taken, the establishment approves this display of racism.
So that being said, it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that this display of racism is taken care of because it simply sends the wrong message to the public. Making sure that everything that does not adhere to the image an establishment wants to send is taken care of is part of their marketing strategy. Reputation is always at stake!
The Kafala system is behind the modern show of slavery and we find excuses for it. Is it a cultural thing or the fact that we do not like to face things that require us to go out of our comfort zone?
Amending starts from everywhere: homes, schools, establishments, government, etc…