Thursday, October 25, 2012

Racism... do you know what it really is?

          So for a long time I thought I knew what racism was. But recently I have found out I did not quiet know the nuances of what racism really could be. Though this post please understand I love where I work... I love what I do... and I love the company I work for. This is just something that happened which made me realize how insidious racism can be.

           I work for a company that originates outside of this country, which I find really neat because I learn a great deal about cultural diversity. I even wrote a post about what I have learned about cultural differences. But what I am learning is that even with a people that seem so open and welcoming there are major under tones of racism among them.

          I was told flat out the reason I got this job was because they needed a white person to be brought in for the job. I was like ok... affirmative action at work. I can see how a company within the US mostly made of a specific race and nationality would need to open up the diversity so as to not bring law suites down upon them... but even that is a subtle note of racism... 'let's hire them so we won't get in trouble.'

          Then I started having my boss and co-workers talk to me as if I did not know anything about being an IT Admin. Ok I can kind of see that to a point because I am fresh out of college. I say to a point because I have worked in the IT field for over 16 years. I am not a total newbie at this.

          Then I started noticing that I was being treated this way and no one else was. I would do thing properly but still get berated over the work I did because I did not do it properly. All these things I kept finding other reasons for. Then it came to my attention that as I am the only white person in my department it seemed a bit odd that I would be getting picked on and berated nearly daily for things when I was doing my job. Heck I was even getting raise from the users who's systems I had been repair because I was getting them repaired in record time, without major fuss, and with a kind and pleasant attitude.

          This really made me start thinking about what racism really was... how was it really expressed on a normal day to day basis. I started asking questions to one of my co-workers about the treatment of Americans by people of his nationality... and then about whites. What he confirmed for me was that is was a major form of racism that was applied in a very subtle manner.

          As I thought about this I really became awakened to how we in America apply racism in subtle manners... we use advertisements to say that think blonde white women are the pentacle of beautiful... that buff younger white men are what all men should strive to be. We lower education standards to meet what the system believes is inferior intelligence... I was shocked to realize just how pervasive racism is in our daily lives. There are so many examples if you just take the time to stop and look.

          Through the eyes of another culture and race I saw that racism is a wide spread undertow that forms the foundation currents of not only American culture but of most of humanity. Armed with that I will strive to be better at being an open accepting human being. I will strive to purge myself, my thoughts, and my surrounding world of the more dangerous forms of racism... the forms we do not see or notice.
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