Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So Tell Me How You Really Feel?

This conversation I'm going to share happened at work while I was on the clock. To clear things up: Girl 1 and Girl 2 are both white, Anwar is from the middle east, and I'm of course black...in case you were wondering. There is language in this post so be aware of it.

Girl 1: *laughing* Oh my God I have to tell you what Anwar said!
Me: No, you don't I'm sure I don't wanna hear it.
Girl 1: No seriously I gotta tell you.
Me: Sure. What is it?
Girl 1: Ok. So I asked him what did he get for Christmas and he said his friend got him a gun-
Girl 2: Well that's an interesting gift...
Girl 1: Yea, that's what I said. So yea I asked him was the gun for his store and he said no it wasn't he just got him one for Christmas. Then he looks around as if he was making sure no one was around and said "I don't have problems at my store, I don't have many niggers around my area".
Me: Whoa, excuse me?
Girl 1: *laughs* yea, that's what he said I was shocked!
Me: Yea, you could have kept that to yourself.
Girl 2: Yea, what's worse is he's looking around making sure Chauncey isn't back here to hear him say it.
Me: He knows he's fucked up for that. And furthermore he just assumes all black people steal so that's why his store doesn't get knocked off?
Girl 1: Well I just thought it was funny he said it because its Anwar and I was shocked he'd say something like that.
Me: You shouldn't be, because he made sure I wasn't here when he said it so I'm sure he says it all the time. He could have simply said black people. Still fucked up but...yea whatever. *walks away*
Girl 2: Of all people, you'd think he wouldn't stereotype like that with the profiling they get around here since 9/11.

The conversation pretty much ended there after Girl 2 said that and we all started working. I was obviously pissed the rest of the day but continued about my business just didn't speak to Girl 1 much for the rest of the shift. The customer I'll handle accordingly, because that's my job. I'm gonna have to be cordial to him as I help him but I'm still gonna feel resentful in a way because of what was said. But as far as my co-worker repeating that word for word, a specfic word, is the problem. I didn't quite voice it then because I was so pissed she said it AND thought it was funny, I knew I'd say something wrong and it'll just explode from there. So, what I'll need from you is this:

Comment on your thoughts of what happened, how does this make you feel that this was said by not only a caucasian but a person from the middle east?

What do you think was worse: the racial slur or the blatant stereotyping?

How would you handle the situation with the customer and the co-worker?

5 comments:

  1. So yeah both were waaaay out of pocket. The stereotype was bad, but the slur was absolutely unacceptable and your co-worker should not have repeated it. I would have checked her, then I would have made sure that customer was no longer welcome at my establishment. Every establishment reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Explain to your manager what happened, then explain to them why that person should no longer be allowed in the store and that to continue to service that person is to condone racism.

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  2. The slur was pretty bad but I think the stereotyping was worse. It definetely was an ignorant thing to say, I can't believe the girl repeated back and thought it was funny!!! I probably would have went up to him and asked why he said that. *smh*

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  3. WOW!!!! Im suprised Anwar would say that!!! Shame on him, seriously. And girl 1...lol im sorry...lol just cause I know who she is I guess I'd expect it from her and thats who she is and cause she thinks she's the goody goody all that and Anwar is her bud, but she was def. wrong. I think it would have been different if she had said it to you, even if it was word for word, but didnt think it was funny.

    by: you know who this is Bud =)

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  4. *Sigh* Are we really still on this whole "nigger" thing? I wish people would stop taking umbrage every time "nigger" is said. Was it directed at you? No? Then relax. It's just a word. IMO it's like Freddy Kruger. You give it power by giving it attention. I bet if everyone ignored it, it would go the way of "motherfucker". Mildly offensive but not emotionally scarring.

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  5. Maybe I have bias being black myself but racial slurs aren't funny because of what it cones from. It a term used to humiliate and demean whoever is within the race. Coming from a guy who jokes and says spanish people or black people when the stereotype fits I still think slurs are ridiculous. With a slur there's no stereotype its a hate crime.

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