Friday, June 10, 2016

Casual Racism in the Workplace

I'm still amazed, though I know I shouldn't be by this time... and maybe it's because I thought people would be over it by now... but I'm amazed by how freely people uncork their racism for a large, white man in the workplace.  Perhaps it's assumed automatically that I will be more than happy to share some mutual prejudice, hatred and bigotry.

It's not always an obvious source either, that being another melanin-challenged individual like myself.  Most recently it came directly from the CEO of the organization I worked for, a dark-skinned woman of Cuban descent whom I'm sure has confronted no small amount of racism in her time here on Earth.  She sat one day and openly lamented working with Puerto Ricans, who in her words have a cultural predisposition to trying to get over rather than doing an honest day's work.  Another time it was about Dominicans and another it was about American Blacks versus Blacks from The Islands.  And of course she suggested "chinks" for lunch one day.

You'll listen to an awful lot when you need a job, but sometimes it's hard to sit silently and not get a dig in here or there.  I was mostly good but there was one exchange:

"MacGregor, they are trying to Jew me down!"


"They're trying to Jew me down!"

"What do you mean?"

"Well if he thinks he's getting all that for $50,000!"


"They must think I'm crazy!  Am I crazy?  They're trying to Jew me down!"

"I'm Jewish."

"Really?  No you're not.  MacGregor isn't a Jew name!"

"Sure it is.  All the Scottish are Jewish... Lost Tribe of Israel.  Everyone knows that."

"Really?  Come on!"

"No, I'm not really Jewish but I could be."

And the fact is, I could... CLICK HERE for a chuckle.  Now, I'm not trying to stir shit up.  I'm just saying, really.  It's not even really funny.  Not 'haha' funny anyway.  You can't get away from this shit.  I'm not assuming some moral high ground either.  I have my own issues that I'm working on.  The difference is that I'm mostly smart enough not to air my shit out in public, and certainly not in the workplace.

I don't know... that's been on my mind these last couple months.  I don't know what to do with this stuff.  Leaving the house can be an assault on the sensibilities and maybe I'm just too sensitive.  Perhaps the bullshit meter redlines too easily.  Who knows?

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