This whole Paula Deen situation has grown to a massive level of craziness if you ask me! Earlier today, I answered the call from my two favorite news anchors from The Today Show (Matt & Savannah, that’s what I call them) and they posted a question on IG asking fans to post their videos with their responses on the Paula Deen racist comments she made almost 30 years ago.
Well, that sparked a lot of convo and know there are people fired up and ready to point out their closeted racists. Our ears are sometimes sensitive to a lot of “dry” humor made by non-African American co-workers who feel safe and comfortable to joke and poke fun at other races when in all actuality, it’s not a joking matter (well not all the time).
This is the thing, we can’t (in my opinion) get upset with those outside our race and cultural backgrounds for making fun at us when we do the same thing! I hear you “but, it makes sense when it comes from someone who looks like me!” No, baby cakes, it doesn’t!
More and more, businesses are arguing their opinions in court rooms across the country on these issues and to prevent you from tallying up your court costs, how about we learn how to handle racism at the workplace.
Try these tips:
- Look at the situation objectively to determine whether it is actually a case of racism or simply a misinterpretation of the situation. Racial slurs and other obvious forms of racism are not likely to be misinterpreted, but more subtle comments may not have the racist intention that they appear to have. Ask for a clarification if you aren’t sure whether a comment or action was meant to be racist or not.
- See if there are alternate explanations for why certain actions were taken. Being overlooked for a promotion, for example, may not be an example of racism if the individual who received the promotion was more qualified for it or had been an employee for longer. Don’t assume that the action is racist without knowing more about it first but don’t dismiss it if it’s possible that there was a racist motivation for the action. Ask your supervisor to find out more, making sure to be polite in your inquiry.
- Don’t put off reporting racism. If it’s obvious that racism has occurred, take action as quickly as possible to report it. If others were present when the comment was made or the action was taken, ask them to come with you to back up your claim.
If you missed my Today Show debut, here it is…don’t blink! LOL (the link has the entire segment)
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