'Black people sometimes don't stand up for themselves at work for fear of aggressive label'

14 April 2021, 16:50

By Sam Sholli

Black people in places of work sometimes don't stand up for themselves for fear of being labelled "aggressive", a black caller has told LBC.

Austin in Hackney made the comment to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty after a think tank has warned that young black people and recent education leavers have been hit hardest by the rise in unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Austin began by telling Shelagh that as a black person at his workplace he has experienced an "unnoticed cultural clash" due to the fact he doesn't drink.

He went on to say that he believed the drinking culture at workplaces "could be seen as a white culture".

Austin then said: "I'm also in conversations with a lot of my black mates who are in corporate jobs as well, who purposely have to put themselves in these positions where they do go out with their mates or their white colleagues just to sort of get that edge within the company and be favoured."

Speaking of the experience of young black people at work more broadly, he said: "What I've noticed is...we don't have the luxury of sometimes even standing up for ourselves because we can easily be labelled as being aggressive.

"And that alone itself is something that resonates with a lot of young black people."

Austin went on the express his concern at potentially being labelled as aggressive for "a simple email addressing a situation in the most polite and careful way".

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