Dealing With Racists At Work Racists exist? Are you sure? Well as sure as fat meat is greasy?
If you have never experienced racism at work, praise the Lord. I pray that you never will. To the rest of you, read on.
Of course, racists exist. It is what it is. 9.9 times out of 10 a racist won’t admit to being one. In Corporate America, no one is walking around in covered in hoods, dressed in white sheets and carrying nooses. It’s rarely that overt. Their weapons tend not to be physical or tangible. They tend to be much more subtle, covert and most importantly untraceable. Think exclusion, isolation, public shaming, destruction of character and reputation through slander and spreading rumors; think biased hiring and promotion practices, unjust firings and terminations, racially coded words and phrases, sabotage, inadequate provision of resources, negative innuendos, intimidating looks and stances, blackballing, negative attitudes, irresponsiveness to certain groups or responding with bad information; think cognitive biases, minimization, invalidation, differing or ever evolving measuring sticks and the like.
So now you know how to spot a racist and how to pick up on their subtle ways, how do you handle him or her?
If you call a workplace racist out on his or her behavior the first line of defense will be to tell you about their one “friend”, “neighbor”, “date”, “co-worker”, “former roommate”, “in law”, “adopted grandchild”, “teacher”, “old classmate” that they love so much who just happens to be of the same race that you’ve called them out for being racist towards. Then they’ll start talking in circles. “Racist, me? No way. Couldn’t be.” Then they’ll then swear up and down that they didn’t mean it in the matter in which you took it. They’ll say and do any and everything to avoid taking responsibility. Trust and believe that their behavior won’t stop.
Let’s be clear the racist that you work with behavior will rarely be overt especially not in the face of those they’re being racist towards. Most workplace racists have enough sense to filter or time their racist ways. So what should you do?
Well, No need to put on an racist patrol officer badge or create a citation for each and every racist offense. Most of us have not been called to be members of the racist finder police task force.
So when you go to work, do your work. Stay in peace. Mind your business. No need to fear. Our holy Father is always near. No need to fret. Don’t give them the power of being a threat.
I’m not saying never confront a person or a situation but generally speaking the battle is not yours so don’t stress yourself out about it. Don’t make a nonfactor a factor. You have a job to do. Stick to your assigned tasks, walk with your head held high, never cower and always be 100% unapologetically you.
If the situation warrants, report it to HR and in extreme cases to the local authorities, but never allow a racist executive, boss, colleague or employee’s behavior steal your joy or peace. Be blessed and keep God first.