Editor of British Vogue racially profiled at workplace

One of the few black editors in the UK publishing industry, Edward Enninful of British Vogue commented that we ‘cannot let the world return to how it was.’

Mr Enninful made his comment after describing how he was racially profiled when he arrived at his workplace.

After arriving at work a security guard told MR Enninful to enter via the loading bay section.

The guard, who did not work for Conde Nast (owner of Vogue) but rather for a third-party contractor, was dismissed immediately and escorted off the site. He is now being investigated by his employer.

Mr Enninful stated that as people return to work a change needed to happen right away. The old cultures such as discrimination and insularity needed to be dispensed with.

In 2016 Mr Enninful was appointed an OBE for services rendered to diversity in the fashion industry. He was appointed as editor-in-chief of Vogue fashion magazine in 2017.

Making use of a social media platform to address the incident, Mr Enninful said that he had been racially profiled as he entered his workplace, by a security guard. The guard instructed him to use the loading bay.

‘Just because our timelines and weekends are returning to normal, we cannot let the world return to how it was.’

 Mr Enninful said in a separate post to his one million Instagram followers that sometimes it does not matter what you have achieved during your life, sometimes the first thing you are judged by is the colour of your skin.

When he accepted the award for PPA Editor of the Year for a consumer magazine, Mr Enninful commented that it would be remiss of him not to bring to attention the fact that he was the first black person to ever receive the award – in fact, he was the first black person to receive the award in 40 years.

Commenting about the magazine, he said that while diversity is being introduced more often on pages, it was yet to be prevalent in the workplaces.

Mr Enninful asked if companies really knew who they were hiring, who they were nurturing and who they were promoting. He questioned how office environments treat people and who was allowed to reach top positions.

When he first accepted the job at Vogue three years ago, Mr Enninful stated that he wanted the magazine to ‘reflect diversity.’

He further felt that the magazine should show different women, different body shapes, different classes and different races all tackling gender issues together.

The news that Mr Enninful had been racially profiled at his workplace came as a surprize to some people, even causing indignation.

Many black people are racially profiled and there are a range of racial stereotypes and biases which bear little relation to who and what people are.

There is a common misconception and racial bias that black people are for menial work and should enter through the back doors. This is nothing more than racism. 

Another mistaken belief about racism is that profiling is not experienced by high-profile black people.

This could not be further from the truth when we remember that Oprah Winfrey – a billionaire – was denied the purchase of a handbag in one of Switzerland’s top shops because the shop assistant considered it to be ‘too expensive.’


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