I was working with a black coworker last week. And to tell you the truth, he’s pretty lazy.
Isn’t that racist? Saying he’s lazy? There are lazier people on the job, and they are all white. And yet while no one hesitates to call a white person lazy- I started talking about one guy, and the guy I was talking about immediately cut me off and said “He’s lazy”- calling a black person lazy is very risky.
I wasn’t too eager to call him on it. I snapped at him once, after he made an error by not checking something it’s his job to check. He did not say “My bad” or “I’m sorry” or “Oops, I’ll be more careful next time, I should have caught that”, he just reacted pretty negatively.
The lazy white guy just kind of furrows his brow and says nothing, which is more socially acceptable but not quite as effective in discouraging criticism.
Part of the black guy’s deal is I think he thinks he’s going to get a significantly better job due to affirmative action pretty soon. Also as much as management complains about the crappy job we do, they never actually fire anybody and usually don’t even hold promotions, except in really egregious cases.
I happened upon him talking with another black guy, not an employee. They had been talking for a few minutes before I got there and I think the non-employee was on kind of a roll, and he started to talk about stuff I think normally blacks don’t talk about around whites. He was talking about how lame the city was, and how he couldn’t smoke, and how he was outside once smoking and some lady (I’m assuming white) objected so he blew smoke at her until he left.
The guy was obviously a thin-skinned jerk with an attitude, which describes a lot of people, possibly even me, but there was something distinctly black about his thin-skinned jerkiness. Had the guy been white, no one would hesitate to call him out, but a black guy?
But maybe that’s just racist.