Sunday, July 09, 2006

Reader Submission: The Harsh Reality!

Racism hurts. Pure and simple. The lies and the innuendos by those in positions of power; the selective amnesia of coworkers who suddenly never saw that manager or director hurl a set of books towards your face; the coworker who could not remember saying that she heard your supervisor call you a dirty Ni-ger in the restroom.

Fighting or standing up to racist behavior is a fight you will undoubtedly wage alone. Prior to taking on this huge challenge, and trust me it is a challenge, you will have good, maybe even great relationships with management, coworkers, and staff. Afterwards however, you’ll be lucky if you get a “good morning” out of anyone. You may even work for an organization that loves to use the term or phrases “diversity,” “diverse work environment,” or “our belief in cultural diversity.” Buzz words my brothers and sisters, just buzz words.

It seems like men and women all believe in cultural diversity, that is until the monkey on his or her back jumps off in anger and calls you ni-ger, or tells you to go back to the swamp, or to take your a%$ back to the jungles of Africa,1 or steals your ideas, spreads malicious lies throughout the company, labeling you as being stupid and incapable of handling your responsibilities.2

1) I don’t know how many jungles are in Africa but I do know this: Africa is a huge continent, the United States has 50 states, Africa has 54 countries (approximately), and you can drop the United States in Africa and never find it again.

2) Dumbfounded, you wonder, how can I be stupid when this person stole my ideas and received a promotion?

In the world of racism and racist behavior, logic is a stranger and common sense nonexistent. The reality is people don’t leave their prejudices at home when they walk into the workplace, the sky isn’t falling, terrorism is relative, and racism thrives in our country and our country’s workplaces. You can choose to fight what you know is illegal and morally wrong or you can sit back and do nothing. Remember though if you sit back and do nothing, the time will come when you find yourself sitting in the victim’s chair. That’s called K-A-R-M-A.

I’m a lover of words and history. And the quotations below seem appropo for the topic at hand:

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. Norman Cousins

What’s died inside of you because you chose to turn a blind eye to racism?

I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit. Thucydides

Judas, Benedict Arnold, The House Negro. Enough said.


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