The realities of everyday racism – Lib Dem Federal Board member Joyce Onstad shares her story

Liberal Democrat Federal Board member Joyce Onstad had a video chat with her minister in which she describes some of the realities of everyday racism that she has had to deal with in her life.

She describes first becoming aware of racism in this country when she came to live here 24 years ago. She heard of black children being told that they should aim to be footballers rather than doctors.

She went on to describe how she would apply for jobs in her own name – and get rejection letters. When she applied under her married name, she got interviews.

Watch the conversation here.

Conversation with Joyce Onstad on Racism and Racial Injustice from St Paul’s Ealing on Vimeo.

What can we do about it?

As liberals we need to do all we can to call racism out when we see it and to eliminate the structures in our society which lead to this injustice. We cannot stand by.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Well spoken, Joyce.

  • This is an excellent interview.

    Joyce’s job applications experience illustrates why it is so important to make “name blind” job applications the national standard. Being new to the Liberal Democrats, I don’t know if this is current Party policy or not.

    If not, it should be.

  • My muslim friend had the same problem with job applications in the aerospace industry, just could not get an interview despite having a degree in engineering and a few years experience… ended up working for himself as a car mechanic. Luckily it did not warp him or make him go off the rails.

  • David Garlick 8th Jun '20 - 3:04pm

    Much progress has been made but there is still such a long way to go.
    Racism is often a learned response from parents and other family members from a very young age. Sorry schools, but a great deal of work must be done/continue to be done in the more neutral setting of the classroom. Youth work has not received the support it needs for many years but that is another venue for improving relationships and understanding.
    Whilst we have deprivation those who are suffering will look for someone to blame and it is often the ‘others’, whichever group is really not important, who get the blame. Workers from the EU filling up our schools, overloading our hospitals, taking housing we need and taking our jobs is one of the more recent examples.
    Whilst we have a right wing Government they are unlikely to give this issue the attention it obviously deserves so the Lib Dems can make an improvement in race relations in all its forms a real and useful goal.

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