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  1. #1
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    I know this may be fairly obvious to some, one way or the other, but for me it is not. I am an African-American woman working in an industry which primarily consists of White Males...You guessed it, the insurance industry. I always find myself in situations where I am the only black person, but it really doesn't bother me although I am definitely aware of it. However, I view myself as cultured and able to get along with all groups. I've never experienced racism in the workplace or at least it hasn't been direct enough for me to recognize it as such. Anyhow an incident happened tonight while myself, coworkers and a boss were out to dinner with a client. I am not sure if I should be bothered about this comment or not. I am a little bothered but not sure if I am overreacting. Basically one of my coworkers, whom I've never met because she works out of a different office, had to leave dinner a little early to catch a flight back. Instead of driving her to the airport we had her take the metro which is easier. The passengers on the metro are primarily african-american. Well a few minutes into the train ride, the coworker sent a text to my boss and it said "I feel like a lonely vanilla chip in a chocolate chip cookie." My boss read the text out loud at the table without realizing what it meant. Of course, the rest of us at the table got it within a few seconds. The lady probably meant nothing by this comment and I think back to times where I was the only black person in a gathering and I thought to myself "my I am the only black person." So is it hypocritical of me to read racism into her comment or could this simply be passed off as a woman who found herself in a situation she is not used to being in. However, for her to make that comment probably shows that she was uncomfortable. What are your thoughts? I was so embarrassed when that text was read out loud. Had our clients not been at the table, I would have said something.

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  2. #2
    britni is offline Active Nappturality Member
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    Hmmmm.....I had to think about this one for a second. I pictured myself in her shoes and determined that I would probably "feel like a lonely chocolate chip cookie in a sugar cookie" :rolleyes: if I were. It sounds as if she simply felt out of place. I'm leaving for a predominantly white college in January and I'm sure it'll be new to me to be around and live with a large amount of white people my age because I never have before. I'm certainly not adverse to the idea but I know there will be some getting used to. Anyways, I wouldn't have felt offended but I definitely would have felt embarrassed when the text was read aloud at the table for obvious reasons.
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  3. #3
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    Hmmmm.....I had to think about this one for a second. I pictured myself in her shoes and determined that I would probably "feel like a lonely chocolate chip cookie in a sugar cookie" :rolleyes: if I were. It sounds as if she simply felt out of place. I'm leaving for a predominantly white college in January and I'm sure it'll be new to me to be around and live with a large amount of white people my age because I never have before. I'm certainly not adverse to the idea but I know there will be some getting used to. Anyways, I wouldn't have felt offended but I definitely would have felt embarrassed when the text was read aloud at the table for obvious reasons.
    It's ok, sis! ^_^
    [/b]
    Thank you sis! You really put that in perspective for me. Congratualations on your venture to college.
    If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.
    Barack Obama

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    I think I would have been more amused that offended. I can certainly see where it created an awkward situation, particularly in a professional setting. But I'm always delighted when white folks get a taste of what it's like to be "the only one". I'm not always delighted at the spin they put on it or the language they choose when they discuss it w/ their close associates & friends........
    ~African Cheetah~

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  5. #5
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    I think I would have been more irritated for my boss' tactlessness (is that a word? :lol: ) in reading out loud a text that was obviously intended for him/her only. Everyone has the right to feel awkward and uncomfortable in foreign situations.

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    Actually i find it interesting when "they" feel out of place somewhere. To me it lets me know that she doesn't have that "white rite" attitude.
    http://public.fotki.com/sweetnikki6/

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    i would have been amused...maybe if i were out with friends or such. BUT in a work environment, even if you are in a social setting...eh things can be a little touchy. that isnt a comment i would have shared with anyone, there's a time and a place for everything yanno?
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  8. #8
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    I think I would have been more irritated for my boss' tactlessness (is that a word? :lol: ) in reading out loud a text that was obviously intended for him/her only. Everyone has the right to feel awkward and uncomfortable in foreign situations.
    [/b]
    I concur. It was very, very inappropriate and unprofessional for you boss to have read that text out loud, especially with clients present.



  9. #9
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    I do not think your boss should have read the text aloud; it was meant for them only. If clients were not at the table I certainly would have said something to my boss. It makes me think your boss thinks that they could say anything to you without you stirring up anything because you are cool like that. Isn't that the same excuse that Imus used?

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  10. #10
    crmycoco is offline Active Nappturality Member
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    there was no need for you to feel embarassed when your boss and the other woman were being unprofessional. but guess what? i am willing to bet this is not an isolated incident, even though it is certainly nothing to get overheated about. at best you could have made a quip like: "Hmmm sure sounds like a mighty tasty cookie!" That would have quickly squelched any discomfort you would have felt and made the other woman sound like a moron.

    Often, if i find myself with a lone white friend in a vastly black majority environment (like the time I went to Philly), I will comment something like: "Welcome to my world! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

    I have a white co-worker who is always saying: "I wish I had your skin color!"
    The older black co-worker rolls her eyes and storms off. I just laugh and say something like: "Too late!"
    or "Time is a great equalizer!"; or I might be more forthwright and ask would: "Would you like everything that goes along with this color?" I will do or say anything before I allow myself to be discomforted by a harmless remark.

    There are plenty of other nasty white folks out there ready to spew their venom at anyone within a moments notice. save any righteous indignation for them.


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