The issue of race in America has always been a hot-button topic.
But in the last few years, it has been more widely discussed and viewed as a relevant topic than it had been previously. NPR recently asked black Americans if they thought racial discrimination exists in the US today and 92% of them agreed that it did. What was most surprising was black and Hispanic Americans did not even realize the ways that they were being discriminated against. In a study where blacks or Hispanics went to real estate agents asking for houses to rent or buy they were shown significantly fewer homes or told there wasn’t anything available over their white American counterparts. They said they were treated warmly and politely, but the numbers don’t lie.
One way that people experience racial discrimination is through Microaggressions.
Microaggressions are insensitive comments that imply disdain over a person’s race. For example, it could be a co-worker sharing surprise over an Asian coworker’s lack of accent.
Another expression of racial discrimination is when you are overlooked for hiring and advancement because of your race.
Erica Foldy is an associate professor at NYU and has written the book The Color Bind: Talking (and not Talking) about Race at Work. She says that “Part of the problem, particularly in hiring, is that employers look for the right “cultural fit,” which often means someone who is similar to the person doing the hiring.” She goes on to share that “Providing more safety and more comfort for people of color is going to make white people feel more threatened.” This behavior leads to less diversity in the workplace and more opportunities for people of color to be overlooked for positions.
If you feel like you have experienced racial discrimination in your workplace, please feel free to contact us. We have years of experience in helping people find the justice that they deserve. Our initial meeting is always free of charge and obligation.