A BLACK Face In White Collar America

Stephy Says 💋, it’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH so let’s discuss real black issues. 

We often shine a spotlight on racism in regards to police brutality, but let me accentuate where we see it most. Allow me to call your attention to where the biggest racial divide lies but is discussed in a whisper rather than with a bullhorn. Let’s focus on an area where racism exists, but we are forced to “accept it” without dispute due to life’s circumstances. Financial, home, & personal responsibilities restrict us from defying our superiors.

RACISM IN THE WORKPLACE

Get a job they say, but let’s talk about how difficult it is to thrive in Corporate America, an office setting, or a career with underrepresentation of people of color. Let’s explore how our assertiveness is falsely identified as aggressive.

“Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.”

Let’s discuss the complaints that have been made for HR to take affirmative action but we’re brushed off as us being sensitive–“I’m they didn’t mean it that way.” Let’s bring to the forefront the policies & procedures that are strategically implemented by corporations to create indirect racial tension accompanied by what they believe to be inconspicuous discrimination. 

Is it required of us to dim down our blaring confidence for those who are uncomfortable with self love? Are we supposed to overlook or pretend to be oblivious to the mistrust of our superiors, Executive team, or directors when a task is given to a person lighter in skin tone? A task in which, we are more than capable & equipped to complete. A task in which we have been thoroughly trained & qualified, if not more qualified than our counterparts to accomplish. Are we not supposed to acknowledge when a project was initiated by us, but seized from our grasps & completed by another just to ensure we don’t receive the credit? Do we turn a blind eye to the substantial differences in salary even with equal experience or degrees? Are we supposed to neglect the subtle hints of anticipation for them to find flaw or error in order to validate their misinterpretation? Is it expected of us to ignore the lack of training & inaccessibility to the tools needed to warrant success in our position? Do we dismiss the blatant difference in task/job preparation while we are taught the bare minimum to complete our jobs in effort to make certain that we do not overachieve? Are we required to consistently maintain a particular vernacular to display our level of education while others merely speak in colloquial terms? Must we have to prove ourselves worthy daily just to sustain a stable career? Do we just look in the opposite direction & disregard the apparent disdain? Do we deafen our ears to the condescending tones used in conversation towards us? They place us in these constricted choke holding situations, yet expect us to breathe easy enough to thrive. 

Mrs. Maya Angelou asked this:

Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room.”

HUMAN RESOURCES IS NOT HUMANE

Let’s be honest.  Realistically, half of the jobs we qualify for, we are never even given the fair opportunity of an interview, yet the companies wear the EEO badge with honor; all while concealing the truth. Certain names, regardless of certifications, credentials, degrees, or experience will never slide across the desk of the HR director. The cycle seems to remain the same amongst African Americans. The application will get lost in the shuffle, & the job will be given to a less melanated person with only half of the required or preferred credentials. Do our degrees not hold value? Do our achievements not merit reward? Or does the race associated with the formal education counteract the intelligence? Why it is that White Collar America misperceives correlate being black with being ignorant? We are considered to be unsuitable for positions simply by the check we place in the race box. Preceding employment, Black Americans face hiring discrimation and involuntarily relinquish jobs most likely traced back & attributable to race. During my research on this topic, it was discovered that experiments and studies have exhibited that resumes submitted with a more “black sounding name” received significant fewer callbacks for interviews for employment than those with more “white sounding”/ Caucasian names, even when the individuals had indistinguishable credentials. Continuing with my research, it confirmed my beliefs & turned them from an opinion to a fact. In a scholarly written by Dina Gerdeman, it was discovered that even when business organizations, corporations, & business firms use terms such as “pro-diversity,” or “equal opportunity employer,” or  phrases like“minorities are strongly encouraged to apply,” masses of minority applicants conjure up the wrong idea that it’s safe or acceptable to disclose their race on their resumes—only to be declined later for the job. Lisa Bryant, an educated & degreed black woman, discloses that companies are most likely to recruit & employ individuals that they believe mirror their core values, reflect their culture, and who they can be comfortable with, but also look like them; which in most occurrences, those people are white. Even after hire, we are placed into a competition that we weren’t even aware we signed up for, as if the job market isn’t competitive enough in itself. Our work ethic can be the best in the company, but the sad truth is –we never measure up. Perhaps, the measuring tool of success are different. As a black American, we have to make twice the effort to receive a quarter of the appreciation & gratitude.

It is expected for us to change our image, our clothes, our speech, our tone of voice, our disposition, our statue, & our dialect just to appease those around us that are apprehensive & uncomfortable with our existence.

Racism extends beyond Black Lives Matter. It expands beyond blatant police brutality and Ku Klux Klan lynchings. Legally. segregation “ended” years ago, However, segregation still discreetly lingers in places it may be least expected. It stretches into the Human Resources Departments of major corporations and paramount firms. It drives unethical business actions and decisions.

Being a black face in white collar America is equivalent to the knee of a cop on George Floyd’s neck. WE CAN’T BREATHE.

Regardless of what people of color endure, I wouldn’t want to be any other race. Being black is a BIG FLEX 💪🏽! “And that’s on Mary had a little lamb.”

Maya Angelou said it best: “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

Happy BLACK HISTORY MONTH❤️💚🖤💛

Stephy Says 💋 LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE ✨

Published by Stephy Says 💋

I am a multifaceted blogger with an outgoing personality full of fun, yet professional.

5 thoughts on “A BLACK Face In White Collar America

  1. Thanks so much for shedding light on this issue. I will never forget the story of the young lady who got rejected multiple times for Wells Fargo and then decided to ‘check herself as White’ with the exact same info and resume. Literally same day got a call back to schedule interview smh

    I know one problem is that microaggressions are so difficult to track in the work place unless you’re literally keeping a lot of every time someone says/does something sketchy towards you. And even then they can always fall back on ‘Oh, that’s not what I meant at all! It’s a misunderstanding!’. I remember one article that claims Black people (women especially) quickly go from ‘pet’ (the prized employee) to ‘threat’ (aka the one they lookout for because they fear she will show herself more qualified for any upcoming promotions). It’s just another set of issues that we face in the corporate world (and just one of the many reasons I’m not staying there for long). But as you said, regardless of all this BS, being Black is still a major flex.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This post was triggered by an event that happened to me at work yesterday. I suppose I was expected to turn a blind eye to the indirect mistrust. It’s the subtle hints of racism & discrimination that they think we don’t notice. I’ve literally heard 2 employees make similar remarks but of course the black one was more aggressive. It’s seems to be a cultural barrier there , but it’s one they choose to keep there. It’s tough being educated & black. I guess either way it goes, we are always a threat to them.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I wondered for most of my life why I identified with the black kids than white ones. I felt more acceptance for my “quirkiness” as my parents called it from my black friends parents than the white ones. I wandered through my teens thinking I wasn’t racist even though my father was…I railed against injustice and wanted so badly to march with Dr. King. My parents actually screamed at me when I broke down crying and hysterical when Dr. King was murdered. After momma died (I was in my late 50’s) I discovered her birth certificate hidden in an old family Bible, hidden back in a closet. She was 1/4 Black and had never said a thing. She had “passed” all her life as white. No wonder she was so angry every summer when instead of tan I became brown. No wonder she always straightened my hair whether I adored my curls or not. No wonder she became so angry when I fell in love with a black man. I don’t “look” black. I don’t “speak” black. I ended up married to a white man. But the confusion and the rage when I discovered she had hidden such an important part of who she was…and who I WAS, was incredible. Now, at 70, I can recognize she was trying to “protect” me from the biases of not only white employers and teachers, but what her parents and grandparents had endured. I am so proud to see young people like you speak out, openly and proudly about the racism you still face. I just wish I had another 70 years in front of me, instead of behind, so i could help fight for equity and equality that way you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Thank you for accepting us & identifying with us even when there aren’t any visible identifiers. Your strength & courage to live your truth warms my heart! I’ve never seen color, always viewed us all the same. It wasn’t until I grew older that I learned that racism was just as prevalent now as it was in Jim Crow days. I wish there were more in the world like you! Thank you for shedding tears on our behalf & speaking for us when our voice is silenced. Your support & love is appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply to Sierra Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: