Tuesday, October 12, 2010

RACISM, or just over analyzing?

Let me get this out of the way: I'm the only African American female at my job. Now, I was at work on 10/12/2010, around 5:20 p.m., with a Caucasian coworker, and one of her associates who was there to visit her, who is also Caucasian. The coworker stated that she saw online that a mass murderer from Memphis, Tennessee, an African American, had been convicted of murder, and had received the death penalty. Something inside me said, "Uh oh. What will be said next?"
She went on to state that the headline of the next story read, "Memphis Welcomes Five African Penguins." She said, "Now, they have that story right under the Mass Murderer's story!" Her and her friend laughed out loud, and he said, "That's how they should put it huh?" HALT! Are they saying that the story of the African penguins was put after the story of the African American mass murderer because there was a connection? Were they really making a racial joke of this in front of me and thinking that I wouldn't pick up on it?

Ok, I'm used to being told that I read a lot into situations, and that I make stuff more serious than it seems. I just have a feeling that this was racial talk that was meant to be subliminal, but I caught it, in which a lot of subliminal talk doesn't go over my head too much, too often. Now, this same coworker has said little racial things before,for example, saying, "Ninja" instead of Nigger, but with me being me, and in my work environment, I just brushed it off, and prayed for her, but I'm beginning to think that the more I DON'T say anything, the more this is happening, because she feels a sense of comfort in knowing I won't confront her. I have chopped it up to me just not responding to ignorance, and blamed it on her being younger than I, and not really knowing any better.

So, I can't help but wonder if I'm doing the right thing by not saying anything about the constant ignorance that I endure on my every day grind on the j.o.b, or if I should go on and speak up at the risk of them calling me, an over analyzer, sensitive, or crazy. It's a known fact, that African Americans are quick to be called "sensitive", or "crazy", or better yet, "pulling the race card", when we speak up for ourselves. With this being my job, and with past experiences I have had with this place, I have learned to just shut my mouth and roll with the flow, all while trying to get the h.e. double hockey sticks out of there!

There was a time, at my current job, where a lease agreement was being stolen from me by this same coworker, (which means that a $50.00 commission was being snatched right from under my nose), and I spoke with her about it, calmly. Instead of her talking more in detail with me about the issue, she went and told the manager, and I was called into the office and told that, "Nobody is out to steal from me, and I should have come to management with the problem." Let me back up a little bit: there was a time when I did go to management about something ELSE this girl had done, and management told me to talk to her about it. So, the next episode, I did talk to her about it, but I was the one called in the office like I had done something wrong.

These are only a couple of instances that I have been through. This job has caused me to be stressed out so bad at one point, that it caused me to have high blood pressure, panic attacks, and ongoing anxiety. I totally believe that I will be delivered away from this situation in due time, but the situation with the penguin connection to the African American mass murderer's story stunned me. I really don't know why, because it's at the point where I know to expect this kind of behavior from my every day surroundings.

So, now I'm struggling with whether I should even go to management with this, or just let it go, and continue to be ready to throw them the Chris Brown "deuces" when my blessing for another job comes. Something is telling me to lean more toward not even worrying about it, because of the way things have gone in the past.


Ok, I had to get back on here and update this blog. After I posted this blog, because the situation sat on my mind for the rest of the evening that the incident occurred, I opened the Bible, and started reading. This is what I read:

Proberbs 10 19 and 20

(19)"In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise."

(20)"The Tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little."

There is no doubt that this is my answer. I will just remain quiet about the situation, because the heart of the person it came from is worthless. (Plus, remembering that my past attempts to discuss situations never ended up being successful). I can now put the situation to rest.

1 comment:

  1. That's a very difficult situation in which to be. Black women are always tagged as "quick to snap". If you don't believe me, then watch a reality show :)

    It's a lose-lose situation when the possibility of racism raises its head in the work place. I think you handled it properly by trying to talk to her and previously to management. That's all you can do.

    Try not to let the job stress you. It's hard, but all you can do is try to get through the day. As for the "ninja" stuff though, something should be said to her about that. That's not even cool.

    Good luck.