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Creative Access: The miseducation of the word fairness #media #journalist

Have you ever heard the saying “life isn’t fair?”  

I’m sure many of you have.  The purpose of the saying is to convey the idea that life doesn’t conform to a person’s belief of fairness.  When it comes to the word fair, most people often take the stance of “What is fair….for me”.  In the instance of the British non-profit Creative Access and the harsh criticism from Katie Hopkins, this is most certainly the case.

Usually when it comes to diversity antagonists, I can understand where they are coming from.  On this very site, I’ve even promoted the inclusion of rural small business in the idea of diversity.  I do not think that diversity should only include ethnic, gender, or sexual orientation, but should encompass under-represented individuals who need aid in achieving success not immediately provided to them.

In the case of Katie Hopkins’ argument against the Creative Access organization, I have zero idea what she’s attacking.  In the beginning of her article Hopkins writes “I completely understand. You have no qualifications. That doesn’t matter – school isn’t for everyone. Have a sticker for effort.”  For anyone who has ever gone through a program promoting diversity, the assumption of applicants having no qualifications is insulting.  I don’t care who you are, you’re not going to get hired for a job if you’re not qualified, unless you have some connection to the organization that is.  And that fact supersedes race and gender.

Hopkins then gives loose examples to bolster her argument.  I call them loose because she mentions a girl who “desperately wants to get into Law but opportunities are closed to her because she is white.”  I know people who desperately want to get into Law but can’t get hired because their black.  In another example Hopkins talks about minorities get special treatment for home applications.  Again, I know minorities who have been discriminated against for home applications as well.  Her nonsensical argument makes no sense to me when using logic, however, it does make sense in the idea of fairness.

Fairness is not logical.  Fairness is in the eye of the beholder and its evolving definition is why Hopkins and her supporters can make illogical arguments so easily.  Take this stat for example; according to Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff of The Guardian, “Journalism is 94% white, rising to near 100% when it comes to senior editorial roles”  Hopkins argument would be this….since 94% of senior roles are whites, then those are the smartest, most hard working and qualified individuals for those jobs.  With this thinking, this would mean that every position filled (without diversity efforts) was filled by the most qualified applicant.  Afterall no one has ever felt as if they were smarter or more qualified then their boss.

In the end, her column, in my opinion, makes her seem petty and ignorant.  Creative Access’s goal was to increase opportunities for black, Asian’s and minorities (BAME) in an industry that did not have high numbers.  CA has placed more than 700 BAME people into these industries and is looking to continue its effort.  Racism and discrimination is the limiting of opportunities.  CA is not limiting peoples opportunities.  If potential media persons want to apply for a job with a media company they can.  CA is only one of many company’s that help individuals get jobs.  Why is CA being targets?  Because their good at it?  Why are companies being vilified by people for wanting to increase their diversity numbers?  

CA has nothing to do with Hopkins’issue.  Her issue is the perceived notion that someone somewhere is getting exposed to an opportunity that has in the past been reserved for people who look like her.  Any type of organization or policy that expands that opportunity to include more people is seen as threatening.  It is seen as not fair.  

But it is fair.  CA is a legal non-profit organization providing a service that it is good at.  But unfortunately, CA may have been too good at promoting diversity within its ranks.  You can help some BAME’s get jobs but if you help too many, then it’s obviously a problem.  In the end, Derek Black, godson of white nationalist David Duke said it best.  When you support policy that negatively affect every race but your own, you’re a white nationalist.

Katie Hopkins Article

The Guardian

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