PITY the students graduating from university amid Covid-mania. Feverishly searching job sites, many will find it hard to get their career off the ground as the global economy is rocked with uncertainty. Saddled with student debt and no employment in sight: what a way to start your adult life.
Of course, prospects will be better for some. One may assume this is due to their superior educational achievements. Yet this is not necessarily so.
Browsing a job site for aspiring policy wonks and wannabe politicos, my eyes were drawn to MI5 & MI6’s ‘Intelligence Officer Diversity Internship’. Being distinctly undiverse myself (white, straight, male, Christian, conservative. Case closed, m’lud), I knew that the diversity these organisations are after are not of character, belief or opinion, but of skin pigmentation.
The listing for the 11-week programme states:
‘You’ll need to be in your penultimate year of Uni, and from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background, and from a socially or economically disadvantaged background.’
What this means is anybody who is not white, regardless of socio-economic background. A ‘socially or economically disadvantaged background’ is ambiguous and malleable enough to encompass all and sundry who are lucky enough to be without the original sin of whiteness.
Hypothetically, an upper-middle-class black student – perhaps the children of well-to-do professionals – would be able to claim membership of a sociallydisadvantaged background owing to his or her skin colour. As we now all labour under the dogmatic claims of BLM, any claim that a black person may not be perpetually disadvantaged is heretical. Nevertheless, with our wholesale abandoning of the concept of the individual and its replacement with immutable group identities, such nuance is cast aside.
As statistics show time and again, the most frequently disadvantaged – in terms of earnings and university attendance – are working-class whites. Specifically: white working-class boys. Of course, no remedy may be sought for this group, due to their status as modern-day Untouchables. Being merely socially and economically disadvantaged but without the required melanin means very little in 21st century Britain, a state which eggs on the hyper-racialisation of all societal relations.
I posit that if you are about to graduate from a university in the UK, you are not altogether disadvantaged. In the scheme of things, you already form part of the most privileged group in the history of our species, having access to an education that is still out of reach for most alive in the world today. That is your privilege as a citizen of the United Kingdom.
If students are unable to earn a place on an internship programme through their own abilities and achievements, they should not be there, regardless of skin colour. The chance to work at one of our security agencies should be determined upon merit alone.
As a society, we rightly lament the days when there were restrictions on the basis of skin colour. Yet, in the modern world, government bodies vocally enforce this very same policy, all in the name of equality.
I pity soon-to-be graduating students, perhaps the first in their economically or socially disadvantaged family to go to university, who find themselves excluded from sought-after possibilities only by virtue of the colour of their skin.