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Is unconscious bias training Antisemitic?

Over the last few years, unconscious bias training, or diversity training has become increasingly popular. This form of training is a multi million pound business here in the UK.

"Diversity training is training that increases participants' cultural awareness, knowledge, and communication. Diversity training can look different in every organization. Diversity training will help educate employees on a few key topics: Awareness around workplace diversity issues" says one workshop".

Organisations that have set themselves up training workers on diversity and multiculturalism, are hired by small and large organisations, businesses for individuals or teams to go into offices to teach staff about diversity, and how to deal with racism.

It is a training that has grown in size over the last few years, especially after the BLM or Black lives matter movement in 2019 became headline news and BAME which stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and is defined as all ethnic groups except White ethnic groups. It does not relate to country origin or affiliation, but doesn't include Jews.

The Government announced that BAME term, would no longer be used.

"In 2019 the RDU issued guidance on how to write about ethnicity. This was updated in December last year and recommends that, wherever possible, we should use the specific ethnic classifications of the Census. Where it is absolutely necessary to group together people from different ethnic minority backgrounds, we should say ‘ethnic minorities’ or ‘people from ethnic minority backgrounds’.

We are not the only ones to have reached this conclusion. In December, the BBC and other UK broadcasters said they would no longer use the term BAME. This followed research by the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity which found a lack of trust around the term, with some arguing that it allowed organisations to “average out” and hide a lack of representation or overlook issues faced by particular ethnic groups. 

Inclusive Britain commits the RDU to improving our understanding of the impact of media reporting of race and ethnicity issues on ethnic minorities and, by June 2023, to develop recommendations that will encourage more responsible and accurate reporting on race-related issues.

What's next?

Going forward, we think more precision in our use of language around ethnicity will allow people to pinpoint in greater detail:

  • where negative disparities lie

  • why they have arisen

  • who they are affecting the most.

Doing so will help current and future governments, their agencies, and all those with an active part to play to close the gaps in a meaningful and sustainable way – here and overseas.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but a collective long-term goal towards achieving better outcomes for all is in everyone’s interests".

I decided to do some investigation and research into some of these organisations that are based in the United Kingdom who align themselves with the same strategy as American style diversity training.

We know that there has been a slight increase of Jewish people in the UK from 250,000 after the census of 2021 but Jews are still a minority.

I did the research on some of these organisations considering we deal with reports of Antisemitism daily .

I rang around numerous unconscious bias training centres and asked them to explain or send information by email on what they teach and what is included in the price.

Most of the organisations didn't answer the phone, so I couldn't speak to people individually until they rang back, some taking days.

I began speaking to a number of organisations, which I will not name, and asked roughly the same questions.

What type of people would be included in the training, how many people do they have in each class, do they do online training and generally what do they explain as diversity?

The answers came back that they can train a small amount of people up to 20 office staff at a time, that they do online training, as well

as in-person training, that the prices across-the-board generally were similar which were in the thousands of pounds, but when it came to explaining diversity, and who they would include, this became extremely worrying.

From what I gathered, they would do a range of training, and this would be based on a persons, skin colour, avoidance, techniques as an offence, safe spaces for individuals within the office environment, becoming aware of religious holidays and requirements culturally.

I did not expect at all when I asked what ethnic backgrounds would be included in this training, that they would exclude the term

Jewish. In fact, one individual that I spoke to went through a whole ream of ethnic backgrounds and not one mentioned Antisemitism nor even spoke about the Jewish community.

I did tell one organisation who we were and that we deal with Antisemitism, and there was a long pause in the conversation and

then the woman changed the subject by "shall we send you some information by email"?

So this goes back to plenty of articles, where they deem Jewish people to be white, and therefore white British, which means that we would be all lumped under the header of a majority, and therefore diversity training needn't include Jews.

In the Jewish Chronicle an op-Ed with the title "Are Jews white" explains in a way why diversity training doesn't include racism against Jews. We are classed as not needing protection because we are not only British but we are deemed to be well catered for even though the Antisemitism is rising and a daily occurrence in the United Kingdom.

So is diversity, unconscious or conscious training, leaving out the one ethnic minority group that needs to become top of the list in teaching people what Antisemitism is?

My answer is yes and that's why we are going to be holding regular hubs and training in 2023 that includes special understamding for those minority groups not included in the majority of organisations that skip over the subject of Jews.

It's needed more than ever and if we are going to tackle the scourge of racism, Jews need to be included.

TEACH about bias against Jews or Antisemitism !!! #diversity ? No not for Jews


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