It is difficult to say what British Red Cross Chief Mike Adamson was thinking when he decided to attack the staff and volunteers of his organization. In statements that many would consider racist in their own right, Adamson told of the struggle to help people because their staff is just too white.
“There is no escaping the fact that with shining exceptions, such as our refugee services, we are nowhere near as diverse as we need to be in our volunteer base, our staffing or our leadership.”
The tragedy that brought this problem to light is the Grenfell Tower fire that happened on June 14. Adamson spoke of how that situation taught him that the Red Cross needed more diversity;
“We cannot be ‘of’ every community, but we can be much more representative of the population as a whole.”
Given that at least 150 homes were destroyed and 80 people are dead or missing, it is doubtful that the victims there noticed or cared what race the rescuers were. Of course, Adamson also bemoaned the people assuming the Red Cross was Christian;
“There is a risk that in a very diverse community like Grenfell, an organisation with the words ‘British’ and ‘Cross’ in its title is confused with a Christian establishment organisation.”
In similar statements to these, Samir Savant, festival director of the London Handel Festival suggested that “an enlightened trust could subsidise paid internships for under-represented groups such as BAME groups and people with disabilities”. So charities should waste precious money to recruit minorities to work for them? If minorities want to volunteer, they would be welcomed, if they don’t, why should that be the organization’s problem?
Adamson also wrote that as Red Cross CEO, “I am personally leading our inclusion and diversity strategy.”
That should frighten British citizens. Do they really want the CEO of one of the biggest charities focused on the color of their volunteers and staff instead of how they can do the most good for everyone?