Proposal to Policy-makers and students of Birmingham City University, England; for discussion/debate of the 'black'/'white' colour-branding of students (and citizens generally), under United Kingdom governance.

  [To read BCU's promissory-email, please Click here.]
  [BCU's promised reply is pending… ]


8 January 2015
corrected 7 January 2015
originated 29 December 2014


Outline proposal for sponsored discussion/debate of 'the Question':

The black/white colour-branding of students (and citizens generally) under United Kingdom governance, sustains 500-year racist Eurocentric continuum?


Proposer and sponsor:
Mr Hubert Taylor

Proposed via:
Mr Michael Gale,
Development Officer & Opportunities Manager
Birmingham City Students' Union
Birmingham City University

Contents

Information

Information about the proposer

Sponsor and sponsorship

Background to 'the Question'

Preliminary survey

Possible discussion/debate format

Errata to original dated 29 Dec 2014

Proposer's contact details



Information about the proposer

  1. The proposer is 68 years of age, retired, and is a pensioner. During the twenty years prior to retirement in 2011, the proposer worked as a self-employed financial accounts bookkeeper and accountant; providing such services to other self-employed people and to micro businesses. The proposer is not a member of any professional or other institution and has no standing beyond that of an ordinary citizen. The proposer attended Spon Lane Secondary Modern School (1957-1962) and during his final year (1961/62) was appointed Head Boy by Headmaster, Mr William H Hathaway, OBE. After secondary school the proposer entered military service as an apprentice very-high-frequency (VHF) radio technician; following which he served for sixteen years; initially as a VHF radio technician and for the concluding six years as a telecommunications system engineer. The proposer was demobilised in 1979 in the rank of Staff Sergeant (Foreman of Signals). Domestically, the proposer wedded in 1969 but, sadly, became divorced in 1981; the proposer remains divorced, and sadly, estranged from two daughters born 1971 and 1973.
  2. The proposer thanks Mr Michael Gale, Development & Opportunities Manager of Birmingham City Students' Union, and others of his front-office staff who received the proposer with great courtesy and fullest possible attention prior to this outline proposal. The proposer hopes that this outline proposal will be found to be sufficiently candid and concise to make clear points; yet expressed with sufficient and due courtesy.

Sponsor and sponsorship

  1. Recognising that there will be a financial cost to discussion/debate session(s), the proposer will secure funds to cover or contribute substantially to those consequential costs. If required, the proposer will be willing to consider raising additional funds to meet or contribute substantially to the costs of continuing discussing/debate session(s). The fund is wholly by way of private individuals resident in Birmingham; without commercial or other organisational connection.
  2. If it is required that sponsorship funds be channelled through an established organisation, the proposer will be willing to seek to satisfy such requirement.

Background to 'the Question' and cause for discussion/debate

  1. United Kingdom census forms effects 'black' and 'white', two-colour branding of UK citizens. The UK Government (via its Office for National Statistics), say or imply that the colour-branding options on census forms, are determined by citizens' wishes to colour-brand themselves 'black' or 'white'.
    1. It may be reasonable to draw an inference that such self-defined colour-branding cannot be deemed to have general intellectual meaning or interpretation or value; and so such colour-brands will beg defining wheresoever they may appear in academic or governance documents.
    2. The proposer cannot find on the Birmingham City University (BCU) Web-site, statements as to BCU's understanding as defines 'black' students/staff, 'white' students/staff, and what term or terms may address (or present) those students/staff not thus colour-branded.
    3. Without a defined understanding as to colour-branding applied to students and staff, it seems BCU cannot reasonably and practicably declare that it addresses and treat its students and staff equitably and in manner and terms likely to enhance mutual esteem as well as self-esteem.
    4. In the circumstances, it seems reasonable that BCU policy makers and other staff who have a duty of professional or academic care, together with BCU students, ask and determine and publish clear and consistent definition of colour-branding and other terms adopted from UK governance, or otherwise, and applied and recited to address or cite students and staff.
    5. If discussion/debate(s) find BCU students and staff unable to offer clear (indeed child-clear) defining and understanding of the 'black' and 'white' colour-branding terms, and justify why only some students and staff (and thus UK citizens) are colour-branded, it may be that BCU policy makers (as well as students and staff), have good cause to refer 'the Question' to appropriate educational offices/officers in UK governance.
  2. Since 2008 and prompted by conversation with pupils of Handsworth Grammar School who wished to move their Headmaster to establish discussion/debate(s), the proposer has outlined the colour-branding issue to a number of institutions, including: the Prime Minister's and other Government offices, universities, local schools (including Handsworth Grammar), his local authority, and welfare and community organisations. In this approach to BCU, 'the proposer's local university', the proposer has secured a small fund to be able to offer to meet (or contribute substantially) to 'next step' survey and discussion/debate(s) costs as may be affordable and agreed in advance. The contents of a folder of the proposer's correspondences with other offices/institutions can form part of the proposer's preliminary conversations with BCU; as well as being available to subsequent discussion/debate(s) (hopefully) at BCU.
  3. During the past 460-years of exploitation conquests across the globe, west-European nations have adopted and applied colour- branding (and other tagging) of peoples to such guileful Eurocentric effects as appears to identify and bind Europeans and disenfranchise (indigenous) peoples in their own lands. In the north-Americas, for example, people were branded 'Indians' which dissociated them from their own lands (in north Americas subsequently United States of America (USA) and Canada); and branded them 'reds' and 'savages' to disassociate them from the invading Europeans. Furthermore, and also guilefully, Europeans' adoption of colour-branding enabled their dropping of European for 'white'  - Europeans connoting immigrant while 'white' ditches geography and imply belonging and immediate rights of ownership of north-Americas' lands and assets. By the 1960s, a band of long-subjected people in the USA amassed and declared ingrained submission to being called 'black' by those they termed 'whites'.
  4. Some background to the application of colour-branding across the globe, and its insidious dehumanising emasculating disenfranchising guileful Eurocentrism, may be drawn from reading UK Parliament governance debates, as given in UK Hansard reports:
    1. 'Colonial policy in relation to coloured people'
      HC Deb 11 December 1929 vol 233 cc581-616,
      includes Column 590's references to its - "brown, black or yellow people"
      1. For a transcription with helpful (proposer) annotations, please - click here
    2. 'Anglo-Eqyptian financial agreement'
      HC Deb 16 March 1959 vol 602 cc31-161
      includes Column 88's references to its -"the coloured people - the yellow people, the brown people and the black people"
      1. For a transcription with helpful (proposer) annotations, please - click here.
    3. 'Suspension of Jamaica constitution'
      HC Deb, 09 April 1839, vol 46, cc1250-1
      includes evidence brutal Eurocantric abuse and colour-branding
      1. For a transcription with helpful (proposer) annotations, please - click here
    4. Notably, in its so-termed 'black history' project, UK's City of Birmingham municipal authority/library appear to determine "…African, Caribbean and Asian communities" to be 'blacks'
      1. The implication being that the 'black' is used adjectivally by reference to its colour meaning and thus begs clear unequivocal defining and examination for consistency and equity alongside other terms and colour-brands such as "Asian and Black soldiers…"

    Preliminary survey

    1. As a preface to discussion/debate session(s), the proposer suggests that BCU's Chancellor; All BCU staff at BCU's Perry Barr campus, All officers of BCU's Students' Union, and All officers of all BCU debating/discussion groups (staff or student), are circulated and invited to reply (by a specified date within 21-days from circulation), to the following preliminary survey.

      Do you consider, please, the Question -
      "The black/white colour-branding of students (and citizens generally) under United Kingdom governance, sustains 500-year racist Eurocentric continuum?" -
      to be worthy of discussion/debate?

      The preferred/invited replies being [Yes / No / Question unclear / Other]
    2. Review of responses to the preliminary survey will determine whether there is a need for response to 'Question unclear' and 'Other' replies. The proposer will be willing and keen to attend discussion/debate even if just one respondent replies 'Yes'; and/or willing to attend and sponsor discussion/debate of 'a question' put in the negative by the 'No' sayers. For example, 'a question' in which "sustains" is replaced with, say 'does not impute' or 'does not infer'; or the like.
    3. The proposer has raised points akin the proposed moot&45;question, with a great many individuals, and so, is aware of the ingrained nature of the present two&45;colour colour&45;branding 'status quo' under UK governance. The proposer has found among students, clear dissatisfaction with two&45;colour colour-branding; and the proposer believes, (and can show empirically), that silence and apparent acquiescence of students, is likely due to a feeling of impotence to effect discussion or change. For example, would students/staff deemed coloured 'blacks' feel complimented if students deemed coloured 'whites' (and others who eschew/avoid colour-branding tags), use cosmetics to make themselves appear to imitate 'blacks'; howsoever 'blacks' may be interpreted by the imitators?

    Possible format of discussion/debate

    1. The initial discussion/debate could be among, say, ten persons (including the proposer); in the presence of an audience of BCU students/staff/guests from whom questions and points will be invited to fuel discussion/debate. The proposer will be keen to discuss with and be advised by BCU, as to appropriate format for conduct of the initial discussion/debate.

    Coordination

    1. The proposer is grateful to Mr Gale for his full and courteous attention prior to the drafting and submission of this outline proposal. The proposer will pleased to liaise with and to respond to any further questions and requests for details as may be needed by Mr Gale and his colleagues who will consider this outline proposal for discussion/debate(s) of 'the Question'.

    Errata to corrected 'Outline proposal' dated '7 January 2015'

    1. The following corrections/amendments apply:
      1. paragraph 1, line 7 - amend "School" to "Modern School (1957-1962)"
      2. Last line of proposal amended from
        "Corrected: 7 January 2015. Originated: 29 December 2014." to
        "Corrected: 8 January 2015 (and 7 January 2015). Originated:".
      3. Existing paragraph 14 and the heading preceding it - deleted
      4. New paragraph 14 created and the errata (as given) inserted
      5. New heading "Errata …" (as given) inserted above paragraph 14

    Proposer's contact details

    (Mr) Hubert Taylor
    [full contacts details given; also see below]

    Corrected: 8 January 2015 (and 7 January 2015).
    Originated: 29 December 2014




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updates & copyright
this page:27/04/2015

published:30/03/2015
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