01 October, 2006

Equal Opportunity

This advertisement is in today's (01 October '06) Gulf News.



Isn't it true that this 'multinational' company wouldn't have dared to advertise the same in...

Australia
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

UK
Equal Opportunities Commission

USA
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

... or is it just me who is getting disturbed by this un'fair' business practice and blatant ethnic abuse ?

Every local and expat is turning a blind eye to this Human Rights violation by remaining mute to the uncivilised racial/ethnic profiling. In the first world, Gulf News would have had to pay a huge amount as a fine or could be sued for printing and publishing such an advertisement. Talk about publications in the UAE being 'socially responsible'!

At least during the month of Ramadan, everyone should take a few seconds to slow down - stop - and then ask a question or two to the self... about morality and social responsibilities.

My prayers are with every soul, irrespective of their ethnic background.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
-- Mahatma Gandhi. (Tomorrow, 02 Oct, is Gandhi's birthday)

52 comments:

Keefieboy said...

Oh yeah, they missed out Canucks, Kiwis and Saffers!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely. People who are in a position to do aomething about it, don't do anything.

Seabee said...

I see nothing wrong with advertising for exactly the person you're looking for. It saves huge amounts of time for the employer struggling through thousands of applications and it saves people wasting their time applying for a job they have no chance of getting even an interview for. And it saves them a lot of disappointment too.

Equal opportunity sounds very good in theory, but the reality is that the employers in the countries you quoted will still only interview and employ people from the group they want.

Simple example. A friend in Australia wanted a waitress for his cafe. He wasn't allowed to advertise for one, it had to say "waiter/ess" in the ad. The male applicants were ignored, he only considered the females and employed one of them. The male applicants had wasted time and money applying, he wasted time having to go through them. That's because he couldn't advertise what he wanted.

Mme Cyn said...

I hate to say it (having been a member of a discriminated-against group myself), but I agree with seabee. If an employer knows they are not even going to look at certain applications, why encourage people to send them in?

Yes of course everyone should be given a fair chance, but that's not the way businesses work.

nzm said...

In NZ we had to be so PC when it came to placing ads for staff that it was counter-productive to my time.

I would receive so many CVs and then spend most of the time reading them to discard the ones that didn't fit. Out of a couple of hundred applications, I would be lucky to get 5 possible candidates who would qualify for the interview process. Also in NZ, it's law to reply to EVERY applicant who applies for a position, so hundreds of thanks but no thanks letters had to be mailed out.

I also agree with Seabee - if you can advertise for what you want, it:
a) eliminates all the time wasted filtering out the people that don't match your predefined criteria.
b) discourages people who don't fit the criteria from applying and also wasting their time.

As an employee, I also would want to know if I'm the right fit for a position, so seeing this ad, I would be - although they don't mention Kiwis, Canucks or Saffers, as Keefie says! But if they wanted an Emirati/Indian/Pakistani/Filipina/whomever person and stated it, then I wouldn't waste my time applying for the job.

Sans said...

Arabs are increasingly becoming victims of ethnic preferences and prejudices in the US, UK etc...

The advertisement should prick the Arab conscience more than anything.

If you don't see anything wrong with the advertisement, the blonde talking on the mobile and the moron taking an illegal U-turn was trying to save time and money -- they are also in the business of "creating wealth!"

Time and money (profit) should never be important than a person's fundamental right to be treated and respected as an equal in this world.

Time and money is never an excuse for racial/ethnic profiling.

Keefieboy said...

Sans: have you never seen jobs advertised for UAE nationals, or where Arabic language ability is required? Or where a preference is stated for any other nationality?

Time and money (profit) should never be [more?]important than a person's fundamental right to be treated and respected as an equal in this world.

Try running a small business.

secretdubai said...

I've seen a lot of very dodgy adverts, but I have no problem with this one. They specify the nationalities preferred, but not that other nationalities can't apply.

Writing is quite culturally specific. You don't have to be British or American or Australian to write "International English", but you can be guaranteed that a media professional native to one of those countries will be able to write it. When you are trying to communicate with a specific audience, you need to write in a mode of language they are accustomed to. I agree that they should have added Canada, NZ and South Africa to the list - and Irish - (but to be honest, in many employers' eyes, Canada and the US are one and the same, ditto NZ and Australia, and anyone vaguely from the British Isles).

Keefieboy said...

Sans: at the end of the day, hiring people is a totally discriminatory process. The employer decides that 'this person is the one I want for this job'. The other six billion people on the planet are not wanted at this time. Sad but true. And the chosen person is not even necessarily the best-qualified or the most-experienced.

Anonymous said...

I am with Sans on this one. Selections for a job should be based on your professional/academic qualification and not country of origin, colour, race, religion etc.

Writing cannot be culturally specific in UAE - I thought it was a melting pot of cultures!

secretdubai said...

Writing is incredibly culturally specific.

International-style English is a must for any job here. But not everyone speaks and writes it. Some people speak regionally specific versions of English that are inappropriate for international professional use.

Witness the Khaleej Times.

Anonymous said...

SD:
With reference to KT, you are talking about people who are not qualified to write.

You cannot say that just because people are not "native" english speakers that they are qualified to write. Please correct me if I am wrong on this point.

Any person, regardless of their country of origin, if trained as a writer is capable of speaking and writing International English.

Keefieboy said...

anon @ 1701: Writing cannot be culturally specific in UAE - I thought it was a melting pot of cultures!

Whatever gave you that idea!

Anonymous said...

There are a number of Indian and Pakistani writers who use "international English", even though none of them are native speakers.

The level of English used in KT is not "regionally specific". Its just gramatically incorrect English.

trailingspouse said...

I can’t believe what I am reading.

Discrimination is wrong, no matter how you slice it. Laws against it may be inconvenient and difficult to enforce, but that’s no reason not to have them. It is only through such laws that societies change their attitudes towards discriminated groups.

It is only acceptable for employers to discriminate on the basis of skills and ability. Seabee, mmecyn and nzm, if applicants are qualified to do a job, do you REALLY think it’s acceptable to tell them not apply just because they are black, Muslim, female, Indian or whatever?

Lirun said...

the point of equal opportunity legislation is not that your preferences need to disappear but rather that you not preclude others from participating in the economy for reasons considered irrelevant..

i think there are two aspects to this.. (a) that subcultures not develop inferiority complexes (b) that society genuinely benefit from a pluralistic and hetrogeneous mix of people in the work place..

as someone who has often felt discrimination first hand.. i am as guilty as those who have discriminated against me to the extent that i overlooked such acts and moved on peacefully..

i once sought to exercise rights under such legislation overseas and found that once called up it was taken very seriously..

no one wants to be labelled racist..

in relation to this ad specifically.. i think its probably just sloppy drafting and imagine that if anyone with native speaker level english and otherwise adequate qualifications applied they would probably be considered..

lets hope so anyway

Woke said...

Writing is incredibly culturally specific.

Lets say that 99% of a certain nationality does not write good English. So what do you tell the other 1%? Since your countrymen are incapable of writing good English, you will be given lesser preference?
Is that sending the right message?

But then, I do agree it makes business sense for the company to cite such a preference to make their task easier.

Mme Cyn said...

tralingspouse: Obviously I was not clear. It is not OK to discriminate based on race, gender or nationality. Everyone should get a chance. But if an employer is only going to look at certain resumes, then that is what he should advertise. I am perfectly well-qualified for the job listed for example, but I wouldn't even apply for it, since I don't want to work for those kinds of people. Much better to know upfront before I apply what the firm's attitudes are than to take a job and then discover that you can't stand the folks you're working for.

Mme Cyn said...

(NB: "those kinds of people" does not refer to us/uk/oz nationals but rather to employers who will dismiss out of hand perfectly qualified applicants because they do not fit an ethnic/racial/etc profile. Who wants to work with employers who think that way?)

archer14 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
archer14 said...

@Woke
Lets say that 99% of a certain nationality does not write good English. So what do you tell the other 1%? Since your countrymen are incapable of writing good English, you will be given lesser preference?
Is that sending the right message?


Dumb assumption to begin with. Which is this nationality you talk about?

Nationality has little to do with your capabilities and thats the crux of the discussion here. But if the employer is only interested in uncapable and 'presentable' people in the right colour, that's his fundamental right. There are no two ways about it.

Miti said...

But if the employer is only interested in uncapable and 'presentable' people in the right colour, that's his fundamental right.

:D

Btw, would the advertisers in this case publish the same advertisement in a country such as USA, UK, Australia? Would the newspapers publish such an advertisement?

If the answer is no... then it looks to be like a case of double standards. I hope the people who wrote the advertisement are reading this particular post.

nativeinformant said...

Just a side note: in my experience as a teacher of American undergraduates, most educated Indians have better English skills. So the question is whether this kind of advertisement is really about skills, or something else, like skin color...

secretdubai said...

It's not so much about skills and fluency, it's about tone and idiom.

Woke said...

archer14,
Culture rather, to correct myself. And I was citing it as an assumption, not with any nationality in mind.
Valid argument though.

archer14 said...

My opinion is that it has nothing to do with either tone or idioms, the employer knows damn well that competent people need not be judged according to their skin/race. Fact remains that this is 1- a cheap company using yahoomail for entertaining applications, 2 – Cannot afford to go through the de rigeur channel of an employment agency. 3-If they can’t afford to give a legitimate ad, use company email or an employment agency, they’re not willing to pay the potential editor the right salary. Screw anonymity, even agencies do a better job of weeding the unwanted.

So what does this leave us with? El cheapo company with plumbers/janitors/butchers as editors for a premier publication specializing in some shitty niche market. And here comes the best part – its run indirectly by a freaking Indian / Pakistani. Arabs would import the editor straight off using contacts. Not go through this BS.

@miti - Ofcourse they’d never put the ad. There’s a thriving tort litigation ‘industry’ in the west, why shoot themselves in the foot?

@woke - A culture that does not write good English? Wrong again.

grasshopper said...

Call it as you see it. You are never going to sanitize racism by calling it the cultural character of a people.

Is the PR and Marketing company concerned about the Scottish tone or Irish idioms?

Do all the Native English Speakers understand the British Idioms?

English language is free and liberated from the "incredibly culturally specific" 'British Cultural Hegemony'.

When the Americans prefer to walk on the Sidewalk, the guardians of British culture who crave for this single race of Native English Speakers are lost on the Pavement.

The issue here is not about grammar or the idioms. It is about the racist tone.

It is not shocking that some people find it difficult to condemn racism.

All the other arguments presented in the 'comments' are to divert the discussion from this blatant and obvious act of racism.

Incidentally, it also helps to reveal the real character of a person.

Trailingspouse, we need more people like you in this world.

Woke said...

archer,
I didnt say a culture does not write good english. It is what ads like these assume or indicate. It is the individual who writes good english, has the skills, tone, idiom or whatever - regardless of his/her nationality or culture.

trailingspouse said...

Mmecyn by allowing people to publish racist advertisements you are giving them permission to be racist. Ditto all other forms of discrimination. I therefore don't agree that it's better to know what kind of people they are. Making laws about discrimination does not change people's attitudes overnight, I agree, but it does signal that society at large does not condone it.

As for the particular advertisement which was posted, it already states that candidates must be native speakers and have excellent writing and editing skills. Their nationality should have nothing to do with it.

I know that employers in Dubai get deluged with applications (mostly from unsuitable candidates) - I have witnessed it myself. But there are other ways to whittle down the pile without being bigoted.

nativeinformant said...

Here's the real test - what about black/brown/red/yellow people who happen to have the brit/US/Aussie passport. How do they treat us? I am here independently and have never had to face this question personally, but I have a feeling these nationality parameters are simply another way of trying to say "white." What I find very interesting is the extremely active recruitment of cheaper whites, from the former Soviet Union, South Africa, Ireland, Australia... these people don't always demand salaries as high as US and English expats, and very often don;t fall into the category of "idiom" or "tone," yet they are preferred in many sectors over Filipinos and subcons, who often speak much better English...

shansenta said...

I don't believe this! Just a small ad released by perhaps (as archer14 puts it) one of the cheap companies could generate such a heat amongst the regular bloggers on Community blog!!! And know what? The various shades of racism in UAE came out so loud and clear!!

I tend to agree with grasshopper that a native English speaker may not understand or write British Idiomatic English, while a dark skinned immigrant English speaker may be so well groomed that you cannot identify him as such from his writings!

The least you could do to judge the capapility of the respondent, is not by making a racial announcement in the ad, but by asking him to send a recently written / published piece of his English article(s) along with the application!

I know some of you might point out "what if one sends a stolen piece?". I'd like to say in that case "what if he sends an inflated CV?". At some stage the sorting system comes in place to judge the capabilities, and for this position a written piece would have been ideal instead of specifying nationalities.

As some of you pointed, "fair chance" looks fair in text-books only! I might sound extremely selfish and feudalistic, but it is true among all of us that in a competitive situation, given a chance, each one of us would go that extra mile to prove how smart we are, in profession, in life, in society, in races, cultures, and what not... so what are we talking of?

"Culturally specific" is what a communication should be in any particular medium we are addressing it. However, why do we have to single out KT for being inappropriate for international professional use? Isn't GN doing the same thing to some extent? Don't you see lot of English reporting in it meant for the English-loving-West-educated-Arab audience?

Also, isn't KT being culturally specific within the target audience it's read most (even though I admit its English sucks sometime - which is sacrilegious for a newspaper)?

Talking about it, how can communication be culturally specific in UAE - which is a "Fusion" of cultures? And how do we define "international" again? Isn't the word itself losing its complete sense on a global level? Isn't "global" replacing "international", so that you see too many imports of regional words in English usage today?

Finally, I feel the issue here is not about English language, but racism itself - debate on which is futile to be taken up in a situation like UAE - at least currently. A country where the labour law makers have so long been either blind or contributing to the practice of passport-based remuneration, you really cannot expect too much too soon, right?

It is very hard to remove this attitude in today's of UAE - simply because it has set a trend rolling during its very beginning - for the sake of developing itself.

Once it establishes its personality that is independent of Western and sub-continent influences, then UAE would perhaps be able to set up proper skill based structure and laws for its labour requirements.

Anonymous said...

There's a difference between seeking the right applicant based on preset requirements, and making blanket assumptions about someone's ability based on their gender, race, sexuality or economic/educational/cultural background.

And what's more, I can't believe there are people here who are really trying to say that if even if someone is not from the UK/US/wheretthefuckever, they are completely incapable of LEARNING the dialectual idiosyncrasies of those nationalities and tailoring their writing to those specific audiences? Is good writing absolutely exclusionary with cultural specificity? Or are we to assume that one who writes with the idioms of British/Australian/Queens English is *automatically* a world class writer fit for publication?

Please. And using the strawman of KT is pathetic. They're poor writers, period. Or people also implying that every newspaper in the countries where their employee originate is similarly of poor standard?

I really don't see how people can support discrimination so in the workplace by saying 'well, that's what the owner wants, c'est la vie, etc' when the same blogizens shed (what seems now crocodile) tears about the fates of labourers. I guess we should be saying, 'well, businesses are out to make money, so they really shouldn't pay their workers until the gubment legislates they have to.'

See how I knocked that straw man down?

Seabee said...

Sorry people, it's not about rascism, that's something that too many of you have introduced.

lirun I agree with you. the ad is clumsy and unfortunate. What they're trying to get across is that they want someone who has English as his/her first language.

It says"The candidate should be a native English speaker, preferably an Australian/US/UK national." Where does it talk about race or colour?

Only today we have a report that 'one third of Americans are Hispanic, black, Asian or indiginous Native Americans'. Both Australia and the UK also have large non-white populations. Nationals from the countries quoted in the ad could well be non-white.

sans there is no racial/ethnic profiling in the ad. And I didn't just say the employer wasted time & money. I said the unwanted applicants did too, plus they have to cope with disappointment.

trailingspouse ...tell them not apply just because they are black, Muslim, female, Indian or whatever? The ad doesn't say that. It doesn't say only whites can apply, nor does it mention religion or gender or age. The reality is that employers look at a number of things, not just ability. For example, will the person fit in with the culture of the company? Will the person fit in with the other employees? That means both fitting in with the others and feeling comfortable him/herself about being there.

miti it's not a case of double standards. In the countries you mention the ad legally couldn't run. In the UAE it's legal to specify in an ad exactly who you want to employ.

archer14 the ad does not mention skin colour or race, or people of the right colour.

grasshopper where is the rascist tone, the blatant and obvious act of rascism in the ad?

The ad is saying they want native English speakers and preference will be given to nationals from certain countries. It does not exclude others, it does not mention ethnicity.

trailingspouse said...

Point taken Seabee, with respect to the ad which was posted. But you're not off the hook.

What about your example of the restaurant owner who only wanted a waitress? Do you think it OK to discriminate on the basis of gender? What does your wife think? :)

Sans said...

Racism is not a monopoly of some white supremacists. You will find racists in every part of the world -- Asians, Africans, East Europeans, Arabs and all that. Having said that, there is no way we should ever accept racism, even in the UAE. It is sad that racism exists in the UAE, even if it is masqueraded as some sort of cultural sophistication.

**
Seabee:
You have made a spirited attempt to justify the advertisement. This blog and the discussion forum is not a court of law. There is no need to find legal loopholes or excuses. You say, "In the countries you mention the ad legally couldn't run. In the UAE it's legal to specify in an ad exactly who you want to employ."

(1) Why is it that the advert can't run legally in the civilised Native English Speaking countries?
(2) Do you think the UAE is some sort of uncivilised country, just because it is not illegal to publish such an advert here?
(3) Isn't there a subtle difference between, "it's legal" and "it is not illegal"?
(4) Is the legal system in the UK or the US so incompetent that it fails to tolerate even a hint of racism?

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

We don't need the state or legal system to be the policeman all the time. In a civilised world we have moral values, ethics and social responsibilities. In spite of those values, we see such advertisements, or a Saluki shot through its mouth and left to die in pain...

In my original post, I wrote, "Every local and expat is turning a blind eye to this Human Rights violation by remaining mute to the uncivilised racial/ethnic profiling."

My issue was with Gulf News taking money to publish such advertisements.

The fact that you have admitted, "the advert can't run legally in the UK, US and Australia," it tells me that you know what is wrong with the advertisement. Isn't the racial tone that is so wrong with it?

After realising what is wrong with the advertisement, you come up with this: "the ad is clumsy and unfortunate." Awwww.
Some sort of unfortunate collateral damage eh?

**

One of my favourite writers in the English language is Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka.

Soyinka is not a Native English Speaker; English is also not his first language. Still Soyinka has the capacity to communicate the truth through the English language without using the NES idioms and tone. Language is not a sacred monopoly of any 'high' culture or a group of people of certain ethnicity/race or of people who live within the confines of a geographic area. A Quest for Dignity is Soyinka at his best. (BBC has the Audio too!)

Please don't miss out on Soyinka's TELEPHONE CONVERSATION.


Here is some interesting news:

On the 19th September, the UAE signed the Arab Charter on Human Rights at the Arab League headquarters. Emirates News Agency, WAM reports:
The 53 article Charter Reaffirms the principles of the Islamic Sharia and Arab values, the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the provisions of the United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.

Article (2) of the Charter reads: ' Each State Party to the present Charter undertakes to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its Jurisdiction the right to enjoy all the rights and freedoms recognized herein, without any distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status and without any discrimination between men and women.

'The States parties shall protect every person in their territory from being subjected to physical or mental torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. They shall take effective measures to prevent such acts and shall regard the practice thereof or participation therein, as a punishable offence, another article says. The Charters also covers rights of women, workers and people with special needs as well as their educational and cultural rights.

MadMax said...

OMG! ROFL!

Is this really happening?

A few weeks back I posted Native English Speakers in the Cowboy Media blag! There are more people in the rest of the world who speak in English than the inhabitants of that dreadful isle, which calls itself a democracy when it has a monarch.

Believe me, most people around the world wouldn't just understand what the Frightfully Briddish folk are trying to say through their idioms and tones. How many people in the UK will ever understand a conversation between England Test cricket player Paul Collingwood and Geof Boycott?

My dear friends, There is no missionary position in the English Language (I hope Balushi is offline). I like the different accents and dialects in English; it adds colour and character to the language. I have to admit that I do get mildly turned on when I listen to my friend from Ireland; her accent is so sexy. :-))

But, then, we are not really discussing the English language here. Some idiot has advertised that his/her company has a racist character/charter. The best we bloggers can do is to name and shame such losers. Some of the comments defending the advertisement, for a moment, made me feel that the advertiser could very well be a member here. The worst part is that it is a PR company! Not Again! I didn't know racism is a positive attribute in the business of Public Relations. If anyone can find out which this PR agency is, Madmax will buy you a cup of coffee!

secretdubai said...

(1) Why is it that the advert can't run legally in the civilised Native English Speaking countries?

Well, it possibly wouldn't need to be run. In a native English speaking country, firstly there is a better understanding of what "professional English" is. Ie: fluent English=/=professional English (and there are plenty of "palefaces" in the sandlands that don't understand this - just because you were born speaking a language doesn't necessarily mean you speak it well).

Secondly you would expect the majority of applicants in a native English speaking country to be citizens/residents of that country, and therefore more likely to be steeped in the custom and idiom of that language. Whereas in Dubai the majority of people are expats, and the majority of people have English as a second language.

Remember we're talking about PR here - a form of marketing. We're talking "tailored" writing - language styled specifically for a certain audience (in this case quite probably international companies and publications). Sure someone not born into that could learn it, and many do, but they have to learn it. With an Australian journo, for example, who has grown up reading Murdoch papers and listening to the ABC, you know it's pretty much a given. You're not going to have to explain to them that certain terms "just aren't used" or "sound funny" when you're addressing eg corporate Europe.

Would we have an issue if a PR company had won a number of contracts with north African companies and specifically sought Maghrebine Arabic speakers?

Again, this ad doesn't say that non-yanks/Euros can't apply. It just says that they are "preferred" - which gives people an idea of what they are looking for and what their specific expectations are. Which means anyone meeting those expectations can apply, and tailor their application letter accordingly.

I have a far bigger issue with adverts that want "attractive hindu lady on husband or father's visa, 25-35". Now that is discrimination.

Lirun said...

in israel there are constantly ads in the employment sections that say native english speakers only.. it doesnt discourage at all.. the average israeli recognises that not withstanding 8 years of english classes.. an advanced english matriculation exam that includes expression reading comprehension unseen texts and oral exam and literature that "israeli" english may still fall short in comparison to even a poorly educated native speaker when it comes to identifying nuances and the subtle features of a language that can only be acquired through inhabiting a country that and being thoroughly immersed in that tongue..

for this very reason you have countless locals defying the requirement.. improving their skills through professional tuition and coming very near to matching the native standard..

when "native speakers" are required it is specifically for linguistic and cultural advantages and as a society we milk their skills to the nth degree so that we can create channels of seamless communication with other economies that conduct their international business in english ie most..

again.. i am not defending the wording of the advert.. it is sloppy and insensitive.. and comes across in a pompus and condescending way.. but at the same time i would not be surprised if the same company ran many an advert to recruit staff that stated no such preference..

and dont forget.. if it is an international company they will have cross border interactions and expats are often very useful not only to assist with such channels but also to import a more diverse skill range and enhance the international tone of the local office..

while it may be.. its probably not all that bad..

;)

Lirun said...

and by the way.. it is very common in all of the western countries noted above to see job ads stating:

native korean speaker wanted or native mandarin speaker wanted.. or chinese-trained lawyer wanted.. which means exactly the same as "korean and chinese nationals only please"..

trailingspouse said...

Actually, it doesn't. In Canada there are plenty of people who speak cantonese, mandarin or korean as their first language, but who are Canadian citizens. And not just naturalized ones; many second generation Canadians learn both English and their parents' mother tongue from birth and thus become native speakers in both languages.

And then we have all the kids who go to French immersion school and become bilingual French/English. These people all speak (at least) two languages to native speaker standards. It is quite possible to achieve native levels of fluency in another language. Maybe not easy unless you start as a child, but many people do.

Woke said...

"attractive hindu lady on husband or father's visa, 25-35" wouldn't happen if laws are enforced to avoid any kind of discrimination based on nationality/religion etc like trailingspouse said.

What if Aus/UK/US citizens have presumably greater chances of filling up such requirements? The very idea of specifying a preference for nationality/religion is wrong in my opinion.

Sans said...

Why is the discrimination of a Hindu lady on her husband's or father's visa -- a far bigger issue? All forms of discrimination should be a BIG issue. How can we have selective or various degrees of morality?

Something is either wrong or right. Nothing is a little wrong or moderately wrong. Forgive me for using this analogy: No woman is a little pregnant.

Discrimination in every form is wrong.

"Remember we're talking about PR here - a form of marketing. We're talking "tailored" writing - language styled specifically for a certain audience (in this case quite probably international companies and publications). Sure someone not born into that could learn it, and many do, but they have to learn it."

Are you saying that every child in the Native English Speaking countries is born with PR and "tailored" writing skills?

"Sure someone not born into THAT could learn it,"... Excuse me, not born into what?

The English spoken in the UK, US and Australia with its distinct idioms, tones etc are definitely different from each other. American English is different from Briddish English. If the advertisement had asked for an American, it would have been ok. Here, it says it prefers certain nationalities... not one!

The simple use of prepositions differ in the US and UK versions of English. If you are 'on the team' in the US, you are 'in the team' in the UK.

There has been so much of American influence in English these days that good old Blighty have started to accept many US English usages as standard English. If you check Oxford Dictionary you'll find that the use of 'ize' is now being accepted as the standard.

"Would we have an issue if a PR company had won a number of contracts with north African companies and specifically sought Maghrebine Arabic speakers? "
I wouldn't have an issue with that.

In fact, if the Advertisement had asked for ONE nationality, I wouldn't have had a problem. By making their preference clear: UK, US, Australia -- the advertiser wasn't spelling out the preference to a certain form of English. There is a preference to certain nationalities, (who are born into that!) which does mean that the advertisement has a prejudice against other nationalities (who are not born into that!)

Let us get this clear, there are no Native International English speakers.

If a PR company based in Dubai were to send a Press Release to the UK, written by an American writer. The British readers will be overwhelmed by the spelling mistakes in it: color, favor, specialty, theater etc.

The tone, idioms, style, spelling - differs quite a lot between British and American English.
England are struggling to avoid defeat. (British English)
England is struggling to avoid defeat. (American English)

For more examples and details check Wikipedia

The advertisement is not seeking an American who can write in American English. Clearly, they want someone who can communicate in globally accepted English. Almost all media companies in the UAE follow British English.

The advertisement did not ask for a Native American English speaker. Nor did it ask for a Native British English Speaker.

"(in this case quite probably international companies and publications)". If that be the case, it has to be International English which is devoid of local slang. Ladies and gentlemen, no NES citizen can claim expertise in International English as a birthright.

"Sure someone not born into that could learn it, and many do, but they have to learn it."

Yes, no one is born into a locality where they speak International English. Every American, Australian, British journalist has to put in an effort to learn International Standards. By following Murdoch's shite media, you'll only end up being....

Dear citizens of Old Blighty, your pounds and miles do not conform to the internationally accepted standards. That is something you must learn to survive in the new world. You are not born into the metric system, are you?

The advertisement conveys the message of a prejudice. And that prejudice is the mother of all racial/ethnic discriminations. As someone wrote here, we have to name and shame the racists and people who discriminate.

We all have some bias or the other. But Prejudice is a different beast.

I will never support discrimination by defending it. Truth reveals itself; even if you try to hide it by basing your arguments on professionalism, business realities, need for profits, the nuances of English etc....

It has been a lively debate. Thank you.

Seabee said...

One final (maybe) comment please sans.

There is no question that racism and racial discrimination is an abomination and every country should have legislation to make it illegal.

My point has been that the ad you've selected is not racially discriminatory. You picked the wrong ad to make a very valid point.

Please read it carefully and think about it. It states a preference for nationals of certain countries - from which up to one third are non-white. That list does not include Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium or all the dozens of other predominantly white countries.

Look at today's Gulf News and you will find ads which are racially discriminatory. They would have been a much better illustration of your point.I quote:

ACCOUNTANT. Male, NORTH INDIAN (B.Com) required.

PURCHASE ASSISTANT
(Filipino, Male preferred)

LEGAL CONSULTANT
Arab national

SALES MANAGER.
Arab Only

WEALTH MANAGERS
Arab

MANAGER SOLUTIONS & DELIVERY
Arab

CORPORATE LAWYER
Nationality: UK/US/SAF/AUS


I could go on. Those are blatant examples of discrimination. Unfortunately the one you selected isn't, and that was my point.

oink oink said...

Wow!

Wanted: natives who speak English...

Sans said...

I didn't mean to end this discussion by saying 'Thank You'.

Let the discussion continue.

Seabee, these are your words -- posted in http://dubaithoughts.blogspot.com/

[quote] Unfortunately, SANS chose the wrong advertisement to illustrate a very valid and important point. There are many blatantly discriminatory advertisements every day, any of which would have supported the point much more accurately. [/quote]


Seabee: You do admit that this advert wouldn't be legal in the UK/US.
Please explain why it wouldn't be legal.

If it is illegal in the UK and US, how unfortunate is it that I chose that advert? Is it unfortunate that I chose an advert which exposes the true nature of this phrase, 'Native English Speaker'?

Seabee, since you are accusing me of choosing the wrong advert, why don't you explain a little more?

Seabee Yesterday

1) I see nothing wrong with advertising for exactly the person you're looking for.

Seabee, today you have posted images of too many advertisements, which have advertised for exactly the person they're looking for. And today you say they are wrong to have done that! Are you being deliberately misinterpreted?


2) Equal opportunity sounds very good in theory.

3) the ad is clumsy and unfortunate. What they're trying to get across is that they want someone who has English as his/her first language.

4) Sorry people, it's not about rascism, that's something that too many of you have introduced.

5) The reality is that employers look at a number of things, not just ability. For example, will the person fit in with the culture of the company? Will the person fit in with the other employees? That means both fitting in with the others and feeling comfortable him/herself about being there.
Hmmm...

6) it's not a case of double standards. In the countries you mention the ad legally couldn't run. In the UAE it's legal to specify in an ad exactly who you want to employ.
You haven't answered why "In the countries you mention the ad legally couldn't run"

7) The ad is saying they want native English speakers and preference will be given to nationals from certain countries. It does not exclude others, it does not mention ethnicity.



Seabee Today

1) There is no question that racism and racial discrimination is an abomination and every country should have legislation to make it illegal.

2) Most of what one says is misunderstood or deliberately misinterpreted and it's easier to just let it go.

3) These are blatant examples of discrimination, very specific in the nationality or ethnicity required of applicants, but they're quite legal in the UAE. It's a long, hard road to change people's attitudes but legislation is a good place to start.
###

I don't understand how Seabee can see nothing wrong with one advertisement wanting Native English speakers, with preference to certain nationalities -- and then have a moral outrage over 'a reputed company in Dubai' having a requirement for an Arab to work for them as a Legal Consultant.

I have always maintained discrimination is wrong.

I'll be happy if Seabee could explain why the ad legally couldn't run in the UK and US.

Seabee said...

sans I don't understand this nitpicking attack, we're both trying to campaign to stop racism and discrimination, but I'll respond anyway.

My concern is the boy who cried wolf syndrome. People loudly claiming racism when it doesn't exist are damaging our cause. The opposition correctly shouts about 'playing the race card' and use it to defend their bigotry. That's why I commented on the choice of ad.

Let's talk about the ad. First of all, I'm not "accusing" you of choosing it, that's being unbelievably over-sensitive. Nor have I "made a spirited attempt to justify the ad". What I did was to point out, with my reasoning, why it is not rascist. I said it was an unfortunate choice, given that blatantly rascist ads appear every day.

To repeat my reasonings, that ad does not specify race or nationality, it does not exclude any race or nationality. Anyone qualified may apply.

It says preference will be given to nationals of three countries, which have mixed ethnic populations of black, white, brown, yellow people. It does not specify gender, age or anything else. It is therefore in no way discriminatory.

You ask me: You do admit that this advert wouldn't be legal in the UK/US.
Please explain why it wouldn't be legal.


I did not "admit", I stated a fact. They are very different things. The context, always critical, was that it was a response to the statement by Miti that if the company wouldn't run the ad in the UK etc they were guilty of double standards. I pointed out that the couldn't run the ad. You know as well as I do the reason for that - you can't mention nationalities in ads by law, even if others are free to apply - as is the case with the ad in question.

Just a couple of other points regarding your comments.

You say: "Every local and expat is turning a blind eye to this Human Rights violation by remaining mute to the uncivilised racial/ethnic profiling."

Wrong twice over.

One, "every" is inaccurate because that includes you, me and all the others on this blog and elsewhere who are not ignoring it.

Two, the people you talk of are not turning a blind eye, they are the ones who are guilty of discrimination and rascism.

And finally, two of your comments put together. The first most illuminatingly blowing your own arguments out of the water, the second contradicting it:

In fact, if the Advertisement had asked for ONE nationality, I wouldn't have had a problem...I will never support discrimination by defending it.

If the ad was truly discriminatory you would have accepted it. But you don't support discrimination.

It's been an interesting discussion, most people I think seem to want an end to discrimination and rascism. Let's keep the campaign going.

Seabee said...

trailingspouse if you're still reading this thread, to answer your question - my wife thinks it is "totally ridiculous" that the cafe owner who wanted a waitress couldn't say so in the ad.

Anna said...

All ads posted on the blog are racist... whether it was asking for a particular nationality or giving preference to one, two or three nationalities.

Preference is given to someone with a skill required for the job.
Example
- People who are bilingual
- People with market/industry experience

Skill has nothing to do with the origin, religion, culture, race, sex etc. The ads should not be defended or justified in anyway.

Lirun said...

i tried out for a waiter's job when i was at university..

it was a disaster.. i had no idea how to hold 3 plates at once let alone smile while doing so and taking an order from a table on the side..

i lasted 3 shifts..

:D

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Do all native English speakers score full marks in their language classes, speak and write flawless English, automatically qualify for editorial positions becuase of their nationality?

Is fluency and use of a language dependent on the water and air of a particular country?

Are the world's best writers, editors, journalists, poets who write in English native English speakers?

How much of the UAE population/market/readership of English publications comprises native English speakers?

Would George Bush qualify as a native English speaker?

Anonymous said...

I'm a frazzled research student, studying the potential for diversity training in the UAE for my dissertation. It's been fascinating reading all your comments. Being relatively new to blogging, I'm not sure how many of you will read this, but if you do (and if you're working), please tell me this: how many of you work at an organization that offers diversity training?
Whatever your responses, please leave a comment on my blog - redmoonrise.blogspot.com. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

If this advertisement is an indication of the much widely criticized 'racism' of Dubai, then I must say the subcontinentals who regularly deride the Khaleeji arabs are deluded.

I am a subcontinental myself but there is nothing serious about this advertisement to get your panties in a twist.

Read through GulfNews or other advertisements, as some other blog shows, there are plenty of adverts for Filipino, Indian, even North Indian or other specific ethnicities (Kerala) in the adverts.

In other western countries, there are groups like British Nationalist Party and Klu Klux Klan.

Not only in the past but even today the western countries are currently killing millions of innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Sudan, etc directly and indirectly and plotting to kill more.

Subcontinentals, Filipinos etc should remember it wasn't Arabs who pillaged thier countries and made them poor, it was filthy dirty hypocritical westerners.

Maybe it's that inferiority complex imbued in subcontinental (and perhaps other nonarabs complaining about khaleeji arab horrible 'racism') minds, in general, that causes them to see 'red herrings' when Indian Hindus themselves are the most racist, as are pakistanis, bangladeshis etc.

The cream of the crop in the subcontinental countries don't even consider Dubai or other Arab countries for a placement but would leave for a worthless western country at the drop of a hat and try to imitate and praise endlessly all things western, be it their stupid customs, moronic culture, immorality or what not.

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