So on my last article, I tried to express ( in my opinion) that this blog was a vehicle for us to contribute our more activist suggestions, as a group, on a regular basis
We've also seen the dangers of being invisible + perpetual foreigner stereotype myth and with no political voice.
But as far as career goes, how can we reduce racism and increase invisibility ?
Here are my first two thoughts:
1. being more visible in all kinds of jobs
2. cornering a particular British institution so that all people are forced to familarise themselves with seeing our faces.
A case in point: South Asians are known for serving in pharmacies, hospitals, and conveniences stores. This has done a great thing for their public image, as in these descriptions they are indisposable. Arguably there may have been a time when this was a stereotype but seeing South Asians in these necessary positions, on a regular basis have given Asians a familiar identity, and opportunity for a white-centric Britain to see Asians on a regular basis, thereby becoming more 'accepted' - to the point that now an Asian-run corner shop/convenience store is a regular part of the British community.
Blacks have a different situation, due to the slavery issues, plus they have a strong media presence and are talented artists.
Whilst there are British Born Chinese who hold positions in Pharmacies and in Hospitals, as doctors and nurses, it can be argued that maybe we need to appear in a more diverse range of public jobs.
Chinese are typically known for restaurants, takeaways or herbalist shops owned by 1st gen Chinese who whilst providing a unique service, do nothing to disprove the perpetual foreigner stereotype myth that ALL ethnic Chinese are currently labelled by racists with.
It can be argued that our parents worked hard as immigrants to arrive in this country in order to create a base for us to live, with hopes that we would maybe create a better name or image for British Born Chinese...or maybe they just didn't think about it .
However the reality is that we are arguably found in vocations that are behind the scenes in nature
And visible in higher regarded professions:
- banking industry
- doctor/medical profession
Scattered throughout public service industries:
- office admin
- shop assistant
- social service
- recruitment services
- airport security or security of any kind.
- emergency ambulance services
- housing officers
- media - news reporter/ presenter
But a lack of appearance in the more 'white-centric' jobs of public occupation:
- construction /road worker
- rubbish collector
- firebrigade, police
- secret services
'Physical' public service jobs listed above tend more to be blue collar typically white-centric occupations, which could pose the question: would more BBC males being seen in the the physical jobs enhance our male image, or even lessen racism from the more typical perpetrators of racism ?
Typically BBCS aspire for the higher level visible positions such as doctors and nurses, and it is also assumed that the higher up one climbs the ranks,the more assimilation is required , at least until managerial status is reached, where typically the 'glass ceiling' often stands in the way.
As has been discussed widely on this blog, there are two ways to increase the BBCS presence - a bigger media presence ( which clearly wont happen unless BBCS decide to create more online video presence) or in our jobs. Lawyers, accountants, doctors, bankers, these are all very high profile positions but they do nothing to counter racism from a grassroots level. And simply, if we choose not to counter racism by creating alternative media, the only other option is to choose occupations that would establish ourselves on a grassroots level to create familiarity amongst the British public.
In a nutshell - if we choose to let our careers represent our invisibility , we need to choose more working class blue collar jobs IN ADDITION to the high level jobs, because this is where the racism comes from. Once again in these cases, familiarity will reduce the 'perpetual foreigner' stereotype myth that we are constantly faced with.
Indeed this is not to say that BBCS should pander to British society to make ourselves 'useful' , the point is that to counter the perpetual foreigner myth that is unfortunately perpetuated by FOBS who do not choose to master their English language properly, then if your average RAC man, construction worker, plumber , post office man, see us, a BBC in an every day position, the chances of the 'perpetual foreigner stereotype myth will be, in my opinion, greatly reduced.
It can on one hand be argued that 1st generation Chinese whose English is not so great are doing a disservice to British Born Chinese culture by not trying to improve their English, but at the end of the day, it's up to BBCS to show the 'the other side of British Chinese culture, by appearing more in regular jobs and balance out the common racist misconceptions. Other Ethnic groups do this, why dont we?
It is also a known fact, that in the UK the middle class is being squeezed, and that certain jobs that are considered 'low' or 'working class' are ironically some of the highest paid jobs -traindriver,busdriver, black cab driver, construction worker, fireman, are all quite well paid jobs. Wouldn't it be an idea for British Born Chinese to consider these kind of jobs in addition to that hard sought for accountancy position or doctor position, boost our image, as well as bringing in some good income in this harder economic times?
So how does your job make you more visible as a British Born Chinese, and why do you consider these reasons to actually be benefitting our BBC image if at all?
And is there a job position /career occupation that we can present as being of more usefulness to British Society that would eliminate the stigma of the perpetual foreigner stereotype myth?