- 09 Nov 21
Leon Diop shares his thoughts and experiences as part of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism.
CEO of Black and Irish
As a mixed race man, I’ve had many encounters with racism. When I was younger, most of it was overt racism. This was name-calling, getting into fights and being picked on. As I grew, the type of racism I experienced became more covert.
Covert racism – being denied services, facing biases – is the type that has the ability to hide behind plausible deniability. Gradually, I began to become aware of systemic racism. This is racism embedded in policies and procedures – examples being direct provision and discrimination in relation to employment. I look at it this way: denying racism exists is only perpetuating racism.
For us to get past this as a society, we need to talk about it. We need to be ready to reflect on our behaviours and see what changes we can make. Despite some of the issues we have had in our country, I believe Ireland has the scope to be a global leader in having an inclusive society.
Now, let’s do it.
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Read Part 1 of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism, in the current issue of Hot Press. Available to pick up in shops now, or to order online below:
Special thanks to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for their support in this project.