Posted on July 14, 2006

Man Barred From British Royal Palace Job For Being White

AFP, July 13, 2006

A history graduate had been banned from applying for a post in a royal palace because he is white, British newspapers reported.

Kieron Keenan, 23, said he was told he could not put his name forward to work as a trainee museum assistant at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton on the southern English coast because he is not of African, Afro-Caribbean, South Asian or Chinese descent.

Brighton and Hove Council used the Race Relations Act to block whites from applying for the 9,000 pounds (16,500 dollars, 13,000 euros) a year job to help fill quotas for ethnic minority employees, The Daily Telegraph reported.

“It’s astonishing,” Keenan said.

“In order to be seen to be less discriminatory towards ethnic groups the council has used a law which is blatently discriminatory against another ethnic group.

“Apparently it is perfectly legal. I feel very annoyed.

“To get a graduate job in the history field is very hard and I have been automatically barred because of my skin. I am perfectly qualified to do the job.

“I didn’t even get the chance to apply because the advert made it clear you could not apply unless you were non-white.”

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Council said: “It is lawful to offer training only for people from a certain racial group or to encourage people from that racial group to apply.”

But Bert Williams, who runs the Brighton and Hove Black History Project, countered: “Yes, the council must have a more representative work force but this is not the way it should be doing it because it’s another form of discrimination.”

The 2001 census found that of the 247,817 people in the Brighton area, 94 percent classed themselves as white, two percent as mixed race, two percent as Asian, one percent as black and one percent as Chinese or another ethnic group.