Employers Use Pretexts to Cover-up Racist Intent
When you are dealing with racists, in today’s society, very rarely will a manager be dumb enough to tell you that you aren’t being promoted because he/she refuses to put a Black person into a certain level job.
As a result, a racist manager will come up with other ways to justify denying a promotion to a Black worker. So, the manager will make up a laundry list of false and disingenuous reasons for the denial. These reasons are pretexts to hide the real cause of the action. Pretexts might include:
--blaming the Black worker for problems caused by other staff in the department;
--accusing the Black worker of having a bad attitude or of being insubordinate;
--stating the Black worker is not a team player; or
--belittling the accomplishments of the Black worker in a way that justifies denying a promotion, etc.
The point is that some supervisors, manager, directors, and executives will make up some other complaint that hides what their real motivation is--racism! That’s just how it often is at work. Although you should always do everything in your power to avoid giving White workers and managers ammunition to use against you, remember that any incident or discussion can be twisted and manipulated to fulfill someone’s agenda.
So, regardless of the issue that is being presented as legitimate, it’s up to you to show that the arguments being used by your employer or manager are nothing more than a pretext to hide their true motives, which are racist, discriminatory and/or retaliatory in nature. You have to build a clichéd house of cards comprised of verifiable testimony (from coworkers or others that have witnessed your mistreatment) and physical evidence (email or other documentation) that can’t be refuted by your employer.
You should learn as much as you can about your company’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies by referring to your company’s personnel manual. In addition to learning about those areas, you should read the policies on performance review guidelines, promotion criteria, procedures for addressing performance management issues, and requesting an internal investigation.
This will help you have a clear understanding of the practices and policies that should dictate your employer’s actions with regard to the everyday conditions of your employment.
Having a well-rounded familiarity with this information will put you in a stronger position to defend your employee rights, to track and report misconduct and mistreatment, as well as to position yourself for and negotiate your next promotion or other advancement opportunities.