This week’s article is going to divert slightly from the discussions we have on EDI practices and how to improve workplaces practices, though we will get on to talking about how that is relevant to today’s post. This is why this article will discuss how to be respectful about being respectful and ensuring you do not prejudice or discriminate colleagues or groups of people when discussing current affairs or politics. If you may be wondering why DJM has chosen to take this topic on this week, well, it’s because in this current moment there is global and political unrest in numerous countries. The unrest is a political matter, a human rights matter, and a diversity matter. Let us explain why.
Whether it is online, in person or over the phone, when a big political or shift takes place that causes civil unrest, it is a given that people will talk about it. This platform is going to use its voice, to not only raise awareness some of the world’s citizens are facing, but also ensure that those same individuals, people who come from the same background are not discriminated against or suffer any hate. When discussions and debates begin about who is at fault for the unrest, the blame game can get in the way of respectful and insightful discussions about what events and perhaps how to raise awareness or providing useful resources that will educate individuals more holistically on the matter.
Should we even discuss politics and current affairs in the office?
Well, we do have to ask ourselves a question. Is it even worth discussing politics and current affairs in the office if it is going to cause disagreements and conflicts in the workplace? Within many workplaces there are some unspoken rules, do not discuss politics and religion in the workplace. This is because politics and religion are often linked to the personal thoughts and ideals a person identifies with. In debates and discussions that end in disagreement, individuals can feel like they’re getting personally attacked- resulting in workplace conflict.
Current Global Civil Unrest
Many of you reading this article may already have some knowledge with what is going in the world. Unfortunately, there is a lot of devastation and civil unrest spanning numerous countries, from Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Algeria. Of course, there is much that is going in every country of the world. However, these have been globalised and televised. Here, we are going to provide a rough summary of what current world events, civil unrest, and traumas we will be discussing in this article:
There is currently a human rights crisis in Afghanistan, after Joe Biden decided to vacate the American troops in the country. After the president fled the country, the Taliban quickly took control of the country, barring any citizens from fleeing the country bey land. Currently one of the only ports of exit is Kabul International Airport. For those who do not know, the Taliban is an armed group that operate often in crime, and intimidation. Currently there is a frenzy in the country where citizens are trying to seek refugee status in any country they can. Currently many international organisations from the UN and NATO believe that this is a human rights crisis that needs urgent attention and support.
Lebanon is currently undergoing one of the worst economic and financial crises, after the government’s debt began to pile up dramatically. Banks are frozen and out of service and the currency has completely crashed leaving many of Lebanon’s citizens. Due to corruption and government mismanagement that the citizens are currently suffering.
There are many more issues that we could go into detail about, but rather than listing them there will be linked resources that we can touch upon to have a look at matters in certain countries further.
Talking tips for discussing politics and current affairs in the workplace:
This political discussion can often be divisive and conflicting; however, it would be naïve to think that these political and current affairs discussions would not enter different workforces. Now more than ever, companies and individuals are expected to take a position or a side when it comes to politics and current affairs. Whilst it is fine to get these discussions started it is important to keep yourself and your colleagues in check when views begin to become polarised, as this is when certain individuals, faiths or ethnicities can succumb to discrimination or prejudice.
We want to hear your thoughts as to whether you think workplace politics discussions are appropriate or not.
Written by EDI specialist- Mahnoor Ahmad