Monday, April 06, 2009

Readers Leave Feedback on THEIR Experiences with Workplace Racism

The first reader is speaking about the fight for civil rights for the ever-growing numbers of bi-racial folks in this country. The comment was that some bi-racial individuals appear to be White, but are of mixed heritage. They believe their appearance makes it harder to get equal rights. Here’s what they (anonymously posted, no gender included) had to say:

You may be surprised to learn that in my agency the fight has been for equal civil rights. Hope you caught that, "equal" civil rights.

At my agency being white can and has made you an open target. The system known as EEO doesn't apply to you.

There is a perception that if you look white, you are white and will be treated as such. This makes little sense with a President in office who has made it clear that because he looks black, he identifies himself as black. His choice may be political, mine is not.

Congressman Elijah Cummings said in a speech last year that new class of multi-racial citizens are being over looked. He's absolutely right.

BLOGGER NOTE: Anti-discrimination policies exist for all classes of people. A Black run-business, a Black manager, and/or Black coworkers cannot discriminate against, harass or retaliate against White workers, bi-racial workers, etc. any more than if Whites were perpetrating the offense. Whites, Hispanics, etc. also can't engage in illegal behavior against bi-racial workers. If you appear to be White, but are known to be mixed, that may be a motivation for attacks from someone of any race. It's the same as a White person, who may be subjected to workplace attacks for dating a minority, being married to a minority or having children that are bi-racial. This is all illegal behavior and can't be tolerated in a just society.

The key for anyone making accusations of workplace violations is to know their workplace rights, to document everything, and to keep a list of witnesses who can corroborate what has been going on. No one should have to deal with torment in the workplace based on anyone else’s biases.

The second reader (anonymously posted, no gender listed) is speaking about different types of workplace racists and had this to say:

Most co-workers are a little too savvy to make racial epithets out in the open in public so they are what I call “Closet Racist.” I believe that there are at least three categories of racist in the workplace, but they are all racist the same: (1) the bodacious racist; (2) the closet racist and (3) the preferences racist. All of these people share one common goal: they say that they prefer white folks; only associate with blacks who confirm their stereotypical racist beliefs and attack any black person who challenges their stereotypes.

The Bodacious Racist:
These people do not hide who they are and you can respect that even if you don’t like them. You know to stay out of their way because everything that comes out of their mouths is potentially a “class action lawsuit” waiting to happen. They have no trouble making statements like: “Mississippi Burning was my favorite picture”; “All black women are single mothers that have never been married”; “Black men are angry or ignorant.” This person will usually go down in flames when the company cannot use them anymore or are tired of moving them around and covering up for them. The do not associate with black people.

The Closet Racist:
These people are always associating with the bodacious redneck racist white folks. They sit silently and listen to their private jokes and laugh; take them out to grab a beer after work; you will find them tagged to the bodacious redneck racist person on FACEBOOK; or speaking fondly of the bodacious redneck racist and always trying to justify their behavior: “Oh, you know that’s how she/he is they really do not mean any harm.” The bottom line is: behind closed doors; when no one is looking; they are undeniably in agreement with the bodacious redneck racist. Quite frankly, you would not even recognize them as the same person. They are just too afraid to step up and be accounted as being one of the good ole boys or girls.

You can always identify the “Closet Racist” by who they are willing to associate with both at work and off of works premises. They associate only with blacks who confirm their racist beliefs.

The Racist who has Preferences:
These people are in complete denial because they will not admit that they are a racist. They are not easily identifiable. However, you will find them linked to the Bodacious Racist and the Closet Racist at weddings, private parties etc. You will find them involved in doing favors and going out of their way to give raises and promotions for whites that they would never do for blacks. You will find them covering up for the Bodacious Racist. Because this person does not know that they are a racist they are potentially the most dangerous. They will target you for termination, if they have the power to do so and encourage the involvement of their co-worker friends who range in the two previously mentioned categories up to and including other blacks that will bend for a dollar. They believe because they have associated with you, you owe them something and if you step out of your invisible lines that they’ve drawn, they will try to crush you.

Like the old folks used to say: "Everyone has done something, even if it doesn’t always hit the front pages!" White folks lynched blacks for years, “police even” and not one of them received a criminal sentence, lost their badge or served one day in the slammer until one shot Dr. Martin Luther King. When I look at the old pictures of blacks lynched and see the faces of the angry white mobs around them, I wonder --where are they now? I know, their children and grandchildren are currently working for my former employer.

BLOGGER NOTE: Sounds like one of my former jobs! Your description of the workplace racist with preferences was dead on with my experience on how they behave in the workplace.

Thanks for writing. Anymore comments from readers? Leave your thoughts on this post!


Anonymous Joel said...

I work in a place where the workers are predominantly Asian. Although we can sense racial discrimination based on many factors, the Virginia based administration is stealthy enough not to blow their cover up.

I like the content of your blog. It gives me a sense of belonging. For a while. I'm still working on mine:

I will have my friends visit yours because I see that what you write is more than educational but also enlightening to minority workers.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gods offer clues about the ownership group. Not having any blacks working in-house was a clue not only did these proprietors have a family history against blacks but they also have a personal history in a prior life!!! Also, the "romance" event was a clue they are preditory on women as well.
I'm tired of hearing about them.
Carte blanche is a bitch, ain't it?

10:29 AM  
Blogger Kissamew said...

As a relatively young white person who was raised with the belief that all people are created equal and you should treat all people with kindness and respect, it shames and saddens me that such racisim still exists in such a modern era. It doesn't simply extend to African Americans, I see people that are prejudiced against Arabs (especially considering that I live very close to Dearborn, the American city with the highest Arab population), Indians, Pakistanis, Hispanics, homosexuals, bisexuals, and more.

As a Christian, I can remember all my sunday school classes and the messages they portrayed: love your fellow Man, forgive and forget, accept and love those who may seem different from you, help those who are unable to help themselves, etc.

Sometimes, I feel like a minority in my faith. So many of the very bigots I witness in their acts of hatred are the very people who claim, and even brag of, their strong Christian faith. I even witness it in my mother- and father-in-law.

All I can do is try and make them see how very wrong they are and hope, with a very strong faith in the goodness of most people, that with each new generation of youth, more and more young people will be accepting of all creeds.

11:24 PM  

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