My DD214

Veterans should be a thing of the past.

Racism in the Workplace

In a time when racism seems to be in the headlines I have recently heard some overt racism in my office.  The ironic twist is that it came from an African American Female.  She categorically is one of the most disenfranchised persons in America.  A co-worker in the office mentioned that we were delivering gifts to people in a town called “Whitelake”.  The woman replied by stating that she wouldn’t go anywhere that had the word “white” in the title and if she did “she might get lynched”.  I couldn’t help but be offended, but I kept my mouth shut.  I couldn’t believe that she had prejudged the people in this town to be racists and a lynch mob!  I went home very angry and thought about it deeply.  What I realized is that every race is racist and that everyone see’s colors and has stereotypes.  Michael Richards and this woman have a lot in common.  Their true feelings happened to come out at the wrong place at the wrong time.  I took the experience and learned from it.  I know how people might feel when they hear jokes about their race, but deep down it might really hurt them.  The reality is, racism has not gone away from our society and those who think it is gone are gravely mistaken.  It has been suppressed and people covertly practice racism.  I never really think that racism will ever leave the world.  The only thing I can do about it is not perpetuate it. 

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21 December, 2006 11:38 PM - Posted by | Angry rant

3 Comments »

  1. Yeah man. A buddy of mine from work, Jemika, just went to North Dakota to visit his (white) girlfriends’ parents for the first time. We were all trying to make him nervous by saying they only allow one black person in North Dakota at a time and he’d have to tag-in. hehehe…its everywhere. At my workplace we try to make fun of it as much as possible and break down those barriers.

    Comment by willcharlton | 28 December, 2006 9:58 PM | Reply

  2. It’s hard to break down those barriers in Detroit. In the city, African Americans are the majority, they run the government, and are mostly in poverty. The white folks drive in from the suburbs to work in the city in the big buildings and then go home at night to their quiet and safe suburban homes. It is hard from the minority view to not feel like things are not equal and I realize that life is hard in their shoes. For example, the Detroit Zoo was running out of funds and the city was going to close it down. An outside agency, The National Zooilogical Society, offered several million dollars to help keep it open but only if they could help run the Zoo and make it profitable. It sounded reasonable but instead the Detroit City Counsel claimed that the white people were trying to say that they couldn’t run their government right and that if they gave in, they would admit failure. The culture in Detroit promotes distrust, and I admit some might be warranted, but it makes for a stalemate when things need to get done. I don’t think comedy will be the way to break the barriers (Michael Richards) but I agree with you that it helps us see the silliness in racism.

    Comment by Curt | 29 December, 2006 2:55 PM | Reply

  3. Racism is like many other natural emotions and can only be dealt with when one admits their natural propensity to feel it. For instance, if I’m jealous of someone else’s golf game (because I do suck), I have a choice to make in how I express my feelings of that jealousy. I can (A) act like a typical jealous person unconscious of the transparency of my actions. Or (B) understand that it’s a natural feeling and control my desire to find fault in an obviously better player.
    I believe humans have a natural instinct to group with like kinds, especially race. It’s up to each individual to understand this propensity and not let it lead them to decisions unconsciously based on race. I’m sure that if the female in the previous posts example were conscious of the perceived meaning of her slur, she would not have made it. She probable has not idea that she is capable of projecting a racist attitude and therefore fails to see its appearance in her statement.
    People in denial of their natural instinct to be racist are most apt to be racists. Only through admitting your capable of it can you avoid it.

    Comment by James | 25 January, 2007 12:34 AM | Reply


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