Political correctness is one of those things that can be, and often is, taken way out of hand.
In January this year, we saw a national debate over the term ‘white privilege’ erupt, when new codes of conduct for nurses and midwives noted ‘a decolonising model of practice based on dialogue, communication, power sharing and negotiation, and the acknowledgement of white privilege’.
And we are seeing it crop up vehemently in South Australia, after government departments are being criticised for forcing bureaucrats to acknowledge white privilege in aboriginal cultural awareness training.
According to Cory Bernadi, Senator for South Australia, public servants have contacted his office worried about losing their jobs after declining to partake in the training, which requires they acknowledge their ‘white privilege’.
‘I’ve had public servants contacting my office, fearful for their jobs because in good conscience they cannot undergo this mandatory indoctrination,’ Senator Bernardi told The Australian yesterday.
‘They are being discriminated against because political correctness and bureaucracy have run out of control under the noses of the major parties,’ he added.
Do we need cultural awareness training?
Currently, the codes do not demand nurses or midwives to declare nor apologise for white privilege.
According The Australian, a learning outcomes section asks staff to define white privilege and its effect on Aboriginal health.
Detailed in two SA Health documents for cultural and workplace, ‘there is an undeniable relationship between the continuing impact of colonisation and racism on the current health status of Aboriginal people’.
White ‘colonist’ doctors and nurses (not to mention those of Asian and other backgrounds) are out there working long hours doing all they can to help. It’s up to Aboriginals whether they accept the advice and help they are given.
In reality, all this code does it further indoctrinate ALL Australians. According to The Australian, staff are required to do such things as identify examples of white privilege, analyse how white privilege impacts on Aboriginal people’s experience of health care services, and explain cultural self-awareness and identify their own cultural values.
Premier Steven Marshall department ‘actively encourages public sector employees to patriciate in Aboriginal cultural awareness training,’ as stated on their website.
However, Mr Marshall insists the cultural awareness training is not compulsory, stating:
‘Cultural awareness training is an option made available to public sector employees,’ he said.
‘The use of the term “white privilege” … [is] not a term that I would personally use.’
Senator Bernardi spoke unapologetically about the training.
‘This politically correct nonsense is offensive, if not racist, towards many Australians.’
Right now it is only in nursing and midwifery sectors, but soon political correctness could mean people with lighter pigment can’t enter a room without acknowledging they have white privilege…
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