Email to my son’s school about the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

This is the email I sent today to my son’s school about the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. I tried to make it as gentle as possible without losing the core message. Apologies for the formatting.

 

Dear Principal,
I simply wanted to express my sadness at the celebration of Harmony Day at Nepean School, instead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
My son Jerome goes to Nepean and it is a great school.
But I think that in this instance, even though the thought is well meaning, there is a superficiality and ease in which we ignore the key issues, such as the continuing racism against First Nations people[1].
In fact, I would class this as a racial microaggression. I define a microaggression [2] as:
A microaggression is a clear sign to a marginalised person that they do not belong in that environment.
In this case it is the ignoring or “watering down” of the message of anti-racism.
I also point out when presenting to audiences on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that “Neutral sides with oppression” [3].
Shows a car biased to the right with a neutral steering wheel veering off the road. Then shows steering wheel adjusted to compensate driving straight.
Regards,
Rowland