Posted by: mzbitca | August 21, 2009

FML Racist Fail.

Today, I walked into the building where I was to start my new job, proud of myself for being a well-educated Latina. As I entered the room, the receptionist took one look at me and said, “You must be the new janitor. I’ll send someone to get your uniform.” I’m a lawyer. FML

I remember at my freshman orientation at Valpo,  my Focus (that’s what they called it) roommate came up to me horrified.  Apparently her father and went up to the Dean of the Business School (an African-American male) and asked him if he was the bus driver.    I understood even then, without knowing much about privilege, that the reason he asked him that question was based on race.  There were many people standing around dressed in varying formalness of clothes.  Yet his assumption at a school orientation where deans and other adminstrators were walking around all over was that the one black guy in a suit must be the bus driver.

Some of the comments are saying that they wish the OP hadn’t put her race as they feel she’s trying to make this about race.  They want to continue thinking that if someone who is a POC has something negative happen to them it never has anything to do with the color of her skin.  She was going in for her first day as a lawyer.  My guess is she was dressed for the first day of work, aka not in clothes that would considered comfortable for physical work, so why wouldn’t she assume that the receptionist was talking about her skin color.  See, as a white person, when someone makes a judgement about me, whether it’s good or bad, I can know that it’s about things like, how I dressed, what I said, for the most part, more situational factors, because since my skin color is considered “normal” it’s not something that people pay attention too.  POC don’t have that benefit,  and they also know that no matter what other factors may be playing into the situation, their skin color is going to be read first and reactions to that can override everything else.

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