‘The Race Card’ Panellists Discuss Racial Microaggressions In Society In Finale Episode


A few weeks ago, Complex UK, Lynx and SocialFIXT teamed up to launch the first episode in their new collaborative series The Race Card, a three-part deep dive into the world of racial microaggressions and how they ripple through our daily lives. To help, they called on rapper AJ Tracey and Man United star Jesse Lingard to sit alongside MC and producer Novelist, presenter and comedian Sideman, writer and stylist Ayishat Akanbi, and presenter and journalist Chanté Joseph.

Episode one focused on school and how crucial those formative years are. Encouragement from teachers (or a lack thereof) can have a profound and lifelong effect on their students. Episode two then switched focus to the workplace, examining the conscious and unconscious biases at play and how complaints of racism can be dismissed or even backfire on POC employees.

For this third episode we zoom out to look at wider society as a whole. Specifically, the panelists discuss racial profiling, not just by police, but by shopkeepers and even random people on the street. After being faced with the statistic that Black people are 9.7 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people, Novelist (who begins by admitting he was stopped by police just a few days before filming) breaks down how he escapes these situations with his freedom.

“The way I learned to deal with being stopped and searched was I humanise officers,” he says. “When I speak to them I address them by their name, I talk to them and let them know who I am. I don’t really get into too many arguments with police officers. I just let them do what they need to do and a lot of the time, before they can even search me, a conversation’s been had and they don't even want to search me.”

It’s a sad state of affairs that Novelist feels the onus is on him to diffuse the situation. Later in the episode, the panelists turn to the issue that lends itself to the title, the accusation of “pulling the race card” and the instant barriers that puts up in a conversation. “Once you’ve said to someone that they’re pulling the race card,” Akanbi says, “nothing more productive can happen there.” For SocialFIXT community member Edem Wornoo, it's a question of accountability. “Once people start being held more accountable, they're going to start to change their actions.”

The Race Card was created in partnership with youth culture title Complex UK, Lynx, and SocialFIXT—an online job-board platform and community connecting Black talent to jobs in the creative industries. As part of their commitment to racial equality, Lynx will also be building on this relationship with SocialFIXT. The partnership is part of a broader diversity and inclusion plan focused on building a bridge between Black talent and the marketing and creative industries. For more information, head here.

Watch episode 3 of The Race Card above and the full series here.

Posted on November 17, 2020