Liverpool Race Equality Taskforce

By Jordan Spooner

My name’s Jordan Spooner and I am a 36 year old, mixed race man born and bred in Liverpool. I would like to share with you some of my experiences during my 18 years working in our city.

I don’t want to say that it has all been negative, because it definitely hasn’t. I have met and worked with some great people during this time and it has been those people that have kept me going. However, what has been very sad is that from my experience in the vast majority, if not all, the workplaces I have faced some form of racism from staff.

As I said, I identify as mixed race and am very proud of my heritage and background but I know many people will assume I am white as my skin is very fair and because of this I see, hear and am exposed to covert racism and at times I have heard some horrendous comments and points of view.

This has left me with lots of different emotions – hurt, distressed, sad but then at times very angry and confrontational and I am not proud to say that on occasion, I have gotten so angry that it resulted in physical confrontations and as a result I lost my job.

Thankfully though, I have grown older and I hope wiser and I have learnt to channel my passion into more productive ways of dealing with racism that avoid me losing out and maybe even educate the person who is being racist into the harm and hurt they are causing.

Just recently I worked for a large, well know retail company visible on every high street who everyone will know. Because of their status I really expected them to have a professional process in place if any issues of discrimination arose, unfortunately though they didn’t.

During my time with this company I experienced racism on many occasions and often this was quite aggressive and it became impossible to ignore. When I raised this with management because they didn’t have an official policy in place they did not know what to do and I was actually asked, ‘How do I want this to be dealt with?’.  The whole experience was quite shocking and my mental health and my family suffered so badly and I have had to leave the company.

I wanted to speak out about my experiences as this issue needs to be addressed with all employees. Every employer should have a process in place to deal with victims and perpetrators of racism and discrimination.

I really wish there was help and support out there, if I had felt supported by my employer, if some action had been taken to stop it happening I might not have had to leave my job again.

I would love my experiences to have a positive outcome and to mean that others didn’t have to suffer in the way I have.