Thursday, August 30, 2007

Same Race Discrimination

At two different jobs, I reported to Black men, who would repeatedly make statements based on the same race-based stereotypes that Whites use against Blacks. For instance, they would say that Black workers were lazy and had to be closely watched because they were prone to goofing off (in other words, Black required a plantation style overseer in order to do their jobs). They would also make comments about Black workers being very negative, angry, and defensive. If there was something negative to be said about Black people, they would often beat White people to the punch.

One of these men was the Director of a department and the other individual was a senior-level manager. Based on their words, is it possible that these men would discriminate against members of their own race? Yes! They seemed to have a palpable bias against their own race. The comments were extremely offensive and, of course, contributed to an offensive environment at work—the same as if a White person had been making the remarks.

But, what’s interesting is that one of these men behaved in a discriminatory manner and one did not—although they both made comments that might make any reasonable person believe that they both were unable to be fair and might act out in a discriminatory manner. Despite the anticipation that both of these individuals might stick it to me and other Black staff, the senior manager always went to bat for me and was very supportive of me as far as helping me gain new skills and opportunities, as well as in getting me substantial salary increases.

However, the Director created a more hostile work environment for Black staff, especially the younger Black employees. He would call young staff into one-on-one meetings to be chastised and reprimanded over the most minor issues. These lectures and tantrums would last 30 minutes to an hour—per session. He tried to control what Blacks did on their breaks…their free time. He would give Blacks assignments and then disturb our work effort by calling us constantly or hovering over our shoulders to see how the work was going.

He would use humiliation as a tactic by openly questioning our intelligence, whether a person was a college graduate or was in college. He said he did this because we always looked confused. I guess he assumed we were confused because he loved to throw around so-called “big” words. If he was as smart as he thought he was, he would have realized that we were looking at him like he was an a**hole—not as though we were confused. The way he treated Black staff was entirely different from the way he treated White staff. He left them alone to do their jobs, gave them instructions and left them to do their work, etc. He reserved his highest compliments for White employees. He was always pushing White staff into highly visible roles that would show them off around the company. He pushed them for promotions. In my opinion, he definitely engaged in disparate treatment of staff.

I’ve already had a couple of posts on this site that confirm that same race discrimination does exist and is just as illegal as discrimination involving people of different races. Comments made by the Supreme Court have shown the position that the race of decision-makers in the workplace may be relevant, but is not controlling. In other words, the Supreme Court has shown an understanding that no one can presume that a person would not discriminate against members of his own race.

The Supreme Court has noted, “[b]ecause of the many facets of human motivation, it would be unwise to presume as a matter of law that human beings of one definable group will not discriminate against other members of their group.”

I know many of us think we have to tolerate what seems to be race-based abuse from Black supervisors, managers, etc. Who’s going to believe the person is motivated by race, right? But, based on the comments by the Supreme Court and based on Federal statutes, you can make a complaint that a Black person is guilty of workplace discrimination. And, then it's up to you to prove your case. Just like any other discrimination claim you want to focus on documentating the facts/collecting evidence, keeping a list of witnesses, who can corroborte events at work, and you should report any issues to HR or someone in authority at the company.

If you suspect that a Black manager, supervisor or other member of authority is discriminating against you, you should pursue the issue in the same way you would if the person were White, Hispanic, etc. You don't have to tolerate discrimination because the perpetrator looks like you!

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up around white people and nothing disgusts me more than blacks who grew up around other blacks but hate their race and idolize white people. They put white people on a pedestal and hurt other blacks just as worse than whites. I have corrected a few or should I say a lot about their idolization of whites.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can be done about a situation where two black women made the same mistake on two different occasions. One suffered no adverse actions against here and the other was demoted and asked to lie about the company's decision to demote. The company told the one that was demoted to just tell everyone it was her idea because she was stressed in her position.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently working in an environment where whites are constantly being promoted by a black manager. While it has been brought to his attention,he is constantly defensive with his actions. The HR is also black and defends this as well. What do you do?

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I uncovered fraudulent activities at my elemetary school committed by a white coworker, but the principal gave me a letter of reprimand for getting upset about it. However, the coworker only receieved a talking to. The principal and I are black and the coworker is white. This same principal discovered a white teacher negelecting her teaching responsibilities for a month and still gave her a glowing letter of recommendation for her next job. Neither of these teachers received unsatisfactory evaluations, but I did.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a coworker who is biracial and he often claims that he has extracted the black from his DNA. Today he "jokingly" said that white is right and black is wack. So according to His stupidity, he is saying that he is half right and wack

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These black superiors are afraid that if they don't treat blacks bad, the white man will get rid of him or her; therefore, they treat blacks worse than whites. These black people that have been put in charge and are the "New Jim Crow."

3:33 PM  
OpenID Tina said...

I've been discriminated by black recruiters as a black woman.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Bernie, I was recently discriminated against by a woman of the same race as I am. Both of us a African American females. There has to be laws put in place for this nonsense. Unfortunately, we still have some "Willie Lynch" folks around. Why must we harm ourselves? What makes black women turn on black women? Please advise

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is interesting, because I have dealt with discrimination from my own black american people and Africans. I talk proper so I was always accused of wanting to be white. I have a lighter skin tone and many women tend to make ignorant comments like I think I am better. I have tried to fit in by eventually at one point by starting to use slang to perhaps make them feel more comfortable. However, I realized it was silly and they are not acting as Gods people. Many darker skinned black people are discriminating against lighter skinned black people always with the same ignorant thoughts. Instead of being kind and getting to know them they judge them with stereotypes, just like White people have done to Black people. So this makes it just as bad even worse than what white people have done. What really gets me is, other black people stand around and don't do or say anything. I have been publicly mocked and snickered at by other black women I don't even know. I am quiet and dress conservative but normal and do not bother anyone but every time I am out and about another darker skinned black woman chooses to walk by and call me a b**** under her breath or stare me down. I tried to explain it to a friend I knew before and she didn't believe me until she started to go with me and was horrified to see the reactions I get. It really looks bad because we as black women are often referred to as angry black women and now I'm starting to believe it.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to a job interview at a very popular insurance company named Optum in the Galleria area in Houston.
I was early by 20 min for the interview the black receptionist gave me a really dirty look when I walked in and greeted her politely. I told her who I was there for and why and she said okay I'm going to page her. Others passed through as they stopped and held unprofessional conversations at the desk. Another lady came through (black woman) they proceeded to talk looked at me then started whispering as if I was not there then started laughing. Time went by and it was 1 minute after my interview time. I then asked was she available to interview today. The receptionist with the huge Afro said "oh girl I forgot to tell her". When the interviewer came out she looked at me in the same dirty way. When we went in her office she only asked me two questions as she flipped through all the pages of things she was supposed to follow up with me about. Not surprisingly I did not get offered the position. I clearly was qualified I already had more than a year of experience in insurance customer service and a college degree. The job only required a high-school diploma. The office was very unprofessional because of the people, laughing loud, talking on cell phones by private client information. It looked like a hang out spot and sounded like a party, I observed people with feet on the desk. Needless to say the management were all black women and most of the staff it was not very diverse at all except with a few Hispanics. It's important that as Black people we have this discussion about black on black hate. The NAACP should also address this because it is not white people that is dividing us now we are doing a good job of that by ourselves.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No what it really is, some black women are threatened by other black women and filled with envy and jealousy. I worked at this company where we certify professionals. Out of all the clients of different races that came in for test certifications black women always gave me the most problems. What made it so bad is that a coworker from another race witnessed it and wondered why. I had no explanation to give her accept that these women were still insecure no matter the level of professionalism or success they had. They felt the need to down other black women because of what they were achieving. I am always polite and even when they would snicker and laugh at an attempt to try and make me feel bad about my job position. Little did they know I also had a degree and was studying for certifications. Black people need to stop judging it only makes you look bad to other cultures, ignorant and does the devil's work to divide.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Blu bell said...


11:09 AM  
Blogger Blu bell said...

I have a black manager (I'm also black) and she, for all to see, puts down black people and staff openly and has become best buddies with an old white lady. Nothing wrong with that! At first I thought she was just trying to fit in, but now I've noticed that she is getting worse with her hatefulness toward the black staff. She only says 'good morning' to the white staff and ignores the black staff. It's difficult to address it with her when she is in her element. I have thought of leaving as I feel so uncomfortable and have anxiety attacks before work.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting! I am an African who works in a historically black university. To my surprise, I have experienced more racism from African-American blacks that I have ever experienced working among white people in white-dominated schools. This blog explains a lot of my experience in an HBCU as an AFrican!

3:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Toshiba Computers
Blogarama - The Blog Directory <