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The Colour Of Oppression: The Problematic Nature Of Representation Politics

Witnessing Boris Johnson reassure the British public that he would be stepping down as Prime Minister (PM) felt like a breeze of fresh air for citizens that have seen the UK government crumble since Brexit. Celebrations seemed to be in order as we contemplated a brand-new start for this nation. Even so, it took us only a minute to digest that a cloud of naivety had cluttered our judgement.

As candidates embraced the PM role, to our surprise, most candidates, precisely six, were people of colour (POC). Instantly, I felt a pit in my stomach because while I’m well aware that diversity in politics is important and that representation does matter, these candidates had bent over backwards to represent the Conservative Party. So, the question became: ‘what could it truly mean having a person of colour in charge under the same policies as Boris and how would that affect Black and Brown people, down the line?’

POC have been long ostracised and erased from positions of power and influence. Imagining POC in leadership requires us then to address tough debates within our communities, like the quality of their leadership and whether they will have an effective role within society.