Race issues in America

I happened to be near the White House this past Sunday and saw several people and groups peacefully coming from the Unite the Right2 protest.  I am glad that there was no ‘major’ violence like what happened last year in Charlottesville.  Seeing the different races with differing beliefs reminded me of a conversation I had with a black African friend, Henry, some months ago.

I have written about the racism I have experienced in the US before, but that experience was nothing compared to what Henry told me.  He works for a local company and goes to work sites a lot for his job.  He is a manager in his company and supervises people of different racial backgrounds.  Henry enjoys his job but said he has seen a lot of discrimination because of his race, as have his Caucasian counterparts.

If a client needs to have a meeting, Henry and his team discuss the client’s race as part of preparation. If the client is white, then Henry’s white report pretends to be the manager and chairs the meeting while Henry acts a support staff member and takes the minutes.   However, the ‘manager’ defers tough questions to Henry all the while pretending to be the boss.  Apparently, most of their Caucasian clients do not accept Henry and his fellow black managers and so do not take well to Henry supervising whites.  This has led many clients withdrawing their business, though they would give different reasons for doing so.

One day Henry got a call from his Caucasian report asking him to join him at a site. Henry refused and said the job was easy and the report should be able to handle it.  However, his colleague pressed him to come though he would not say why.  Henry went and was surprised to see his colleague standing far away from the clients.  Apparently, the colleague was not welcomed by the client because they wanted a black person to work with them. You guessed it – the clients were black.  Henry took over the job and his colleague only joined him when going back to the office.

It was only after my discussion with Henry about the racial issues his company has to deal with that I realized that I truly know nothing about race here in US.  It was really a big shock for me.  It seems I have been fortunate so far, I guess.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. anotherday2paradise
    Aug 18, 2018 @ 15:43:07

    I must admit that since moving to the US, I have been very shocked at the overt racism shown here. I wonder if things will ever change. 😦

    Reply

  2. allysoally
    Aug 16, 2018 @ 12:19:08

    I feel so very sad about race issues around the world. I wish everyone was “colour-blind”!

    Reply

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