‘Grassroots Means No Brains': How To Tackle Racism In The Aid Sector
“I am so tired of dealing with ‘grassroots’ organisations here in Haiti. Unfortunately ‘grassroots’ means no brains and no money.”
“It doesn’t matter. Ethiopians don’t care about their children anyway.”
“I know of cases where individuals have allegedly been chosen for a role because of their race, and are then expected to have the required competencies but don’t.”
These are just some examples of racist comments we’ve come across during the course of our careers.
Racism is evident when a new idea is only considered legitimate when the white guy in the room offers it. It is at play when local partners’ capacity is maligned. You see it when people of colour are assumed to be less qualified and have lower credentials than they do, and are passed over for jobs, promotions, or pay rises. Stories and images containing harmful stereotypes reinforce it. . .