Social media users have called from change after editor-in-chief of British Vogue shared that he was racially profiled while heading into the Conde Nast building where he works on Wednesday.
Edward Enninful, who became the first Black EIC of the magazine in 2017, shared details of the incident on Twitter and Instagram.
“Today I was racially profiled by a security guard whilst entering my work place,” he wrote.
“As I entered, I was instructed to use the loading bay. Just because our timelines and weekends are returning to normal, we cannot let the world return to how it was. Change needs to happen now”.
On Instagram, Enninful confirmed the security guard has been fired.
The incident is a prime example of how racial profiling works: someone is assessed to fit into a certain category or role because of the colour of their skin.
Anyone can be guilty of racial profiling; it’s a subconscious reaction taught to us via coded narratives about who “looks” like they would be doing a certain job or be involved in something.
Racial profiling is why Black individuals are over-policed and criminalised – they are assessed to be more likely to commit crime because of pre-exisiting racist narratives.
And others came forward to share their experiences of being racially profiled.
Award-winning author Bernadine Evaristo spoke of being in Washington D.C and having the police called on her after a neighbour reported her for the apparent crime of existing while Black.
There were recollections of when Oprah Winfrey was prevented from looking at a purse in a shop because she was presumed not to be able to afford it.
A father shared his experience of being stopped at the school gates as he went to pick up his child.
One person recalled an upsetting experience in Boots.
A Londoner replied to Enninful’s post with a story about their Thai partner being mistaken for a waitress while in a bar.
Suffice to say, Enninful’s experience was sadly far from unique.
But there were also necessary reminders for people that Enninful’s story should not be shocking simply because he is the EIC of a prestigious magazine.
Racial profiling should spark outrage because it’s using someone’s ethnicity to make unfounded – and often harmful – judgements about them.
Not because it happens to people who happen to be both Black and powerful.
Many lessons here.
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