In previous blogs I have discussed the challenges of being black in the work place. As a brief recap: I cannot seem too smart, I must control my passion about any topic as not to seem like the angry black woman, I can’t be too happy, I can never be upset, and my appearance “ethnic neutral”.
Recently in the news we have heard the insidious calls to the authorities while African Americans do life in their daily routines. We can’t bar b que, fall asleep in dorms, drive, or even go to a coffee shop. It is becoming Jim Crow all over again because of the feckless (thank you Samantha Bee) response from entitled Caucasians to black people trying to live.
If this pattern is not corrected, I fear this will have a negative effect on ethnocentrism in the work place. I am using my platform to acknowledge there is fear. However, we cannot let this fear dictate the progression of equality. This will have a negative effect of the types of jobs people of any ethnicity can have. The effects have probably already segregated ethnicities in some work environments, and we are not seeing the full effects yet.
Let’s be clear, this is not something that just affects African Americans. The trending issues are the tip of the iceberg. If we are not socially aware and have the conversation that we have been avoiding for years, we could set back the equality movement started in 1942 when the Congress of Racial Equality was established.
The conversation needs to start at home. Discuss frustrations and fears in a non-hostile way. Then work your way through your circle. Remember your circle should be your close friends and family that complete your positive network. If you have minority adult children, discuss fears by other ethnicities that may cause them harm and how to they can make safe decisions without compromising their dignity. Do not fear correcting racist attributes of friends and family.
Even if you are not in a minority household, there needs to be an understanding of what is trending in terms of the racial divide and how important it is to embrace other cultures and be social leaders of embracing the narrative of equality and love. No one is blameless in the regression of equality even if you are not “BBQ Becky”.
Let’s work together to preserve current freedoms that have already been fought for and established. Let’s work further to create positive conversations that lead to equality for everyone. We need to fight back against those who wish to passive aggressively segregate ethnicities and genders in America. The message needs to be we all belong to one race and that is the human race.
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Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor