"I Haven't Witnessed Racism in the Workplace"

Submitted by Adrian on

A comment on Facebook:

"I worked with people of color in every job I’ve had since the mid-80s, and I didn’t see or feel racism in those places, all of which were professional work areas. As every other employee in those companies were working with them too, and didn’t seem to have a problem with it, I hoped that racism in any area was becoming a thing of the past."

It is good and it is unfortunate that you never consciously witnessed Racism in your life or workplace. The thing is that most displays of Racism is not as easy to ascertain as a Confederate Flag or a "Whites Only" sign in a window. Racism most often is displayed as "normal" behaviors as it is a system, one that is deeply ingrained in our institutions, our behaviors and attitudes. They are exercised in what has been referred to as microaggressions which are acts that on one level "seem" harmless, but on a personal level, to Black people are quite hurtful and demeaning and disrespectful. They are so common that most of us don't shine a light on it because one of the major microaggression inflicted on Black people is that of not listening to us when we do voice our hurt and pain at something. Or is is deflected as "our imagination" or "that is not what was meant", etc.

Because of this I would be surprised if you did "see" Racism in those spaces. I don't blame you or other White people in this regard. You have no idea that this is happening because of how ingrained it is in this society. It's what you have been taught. I work to educate, to help White people be aware of what it REALLY going on. There can be no solutions to Racism until we ALL become aware of how we manifest it's existence so we can ALL begin to change.

It is easy to give "lip service" to the issue of Racism with our excuses of, "I don't fly the confederate flag", "I have not burned a cross on anyone's lawn", "I have not had anything to do with lynching" and other statements that tend to deflect the issue of Racism away from you. The thing about Racism is that for MOST White people it is not a conscious thing or act. White people use any excuse EXCEPT a fear of Black people to justify whatever decision or reason there is. I'm looking to help people be HONEST with themselves so they can then decide to take better control of their attitudes.

No one wants to be Racist. I truly believe that, but if one does not understand how that perpetuate a system that is based on Racism. Our Racist systems will not change no matter how much we want it to until we understand and decide to make it change and awareness is the first step in this process.