Understanding the Racism In Businesses
I recently had a racist experience at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia a few weeks ago. After almost a week after leaving the hotel, the Assistant General Manager called to share his dismay I didn’t enjoy my most recent stay. He had me recount all the incidents I thought were racist during my stay, so I did so. I wasn’t expecting any remedy from the incident because most times places like these hate to admit they have a problem with discrimination, especially if they didn’t see it happen.
Upon recounting how events unfolded according to Marley K, the manager (who is Indian) made it a point to share with me all the remedies made regarding my concerns. One remedy was architectural, making the rooms beneath the gym sound proof so military members using the facilities won’t disturb sleeping guests as they drop weights on the floor. They will also consider not placing non-military personnel in rooms beneath the gym (when possible) to ensure their guests can have a good night’s sleep. That’s all fine and reasonable.
The three other things that have supposedly been “improved” after my complaints included providing customer service “training” to the two racist employees, choosing to “highlight” the things they could have done better to make my customer service experience more pleasurable. Improvements such as not giving a guest 75 one-dollar-bills, find larger bills — the customer comes first. This should be common sense if you can get a job at a hotel’s front desk, but hey… whatever.
Another expected outcome after customer service training will be to greet every customer the same way instead of forcing customers to ask for help, making the guests’ customer experience more pleasurable. Especially when the customer can clearly see you the racist employee treating other customers in a more “enthusiastic” manner.
I was not satisfied with the hotel’s remedies, but I can’t say I expected anything different because this is how racism allegations are handled most times. It’s the reason most victims don’t report incidents of racist customer service. It’s hard to prove and even when there are multiple incidents of racistly behavior, businesses simply slap on the ole diversity training band-aid, allowing racist bad actors to continue servicing customers poorly.
Colleagues of racists see racist customer service happening all the time and do nothing about it. Black folks and other people of color complain about racist customer service, and they do nothing about it because colleagues don’t speak. This leaves victims like myself injured and out on a limb all alone. Profits and paychecks over people. That’s the American way. So what else can people like me do besides not patronizing the establishment again?
Sometimes patronizing another business in the same family doesn’t work. Some businesses have a history of employing and sympathizing with racists and providing racistly customer service (restaurants like Target, Starbucks, Denny’s, Cracker Barrel, Zara, Moschino, Gianvito Rossi, and the list goes on).
Lax Remedies Aren’t Enough To Stop Workplace and Business Racists
The only thing those racist employees could realistically be re-trained on is how to greet customers in a more professional manner. Even then, if you’re a racist with a penchant for acting racistly on the job, no amount of training or retraining will get that out of you. You can’t possibly serve someone properly without displaying bias. What’s in you, is in you, and it will come out, eventually.
Businesses like these would rather blame poor customer service and give victims like me some hotel points or a free nights stay rather than testing to see if their employees have a racist animus against certain races, ethnicities and nationalities of society. Testing is the only way to weed out bad apples. Many places offer such tests free, as long as you allow them to use the info in studies (you remain anonymous). And while some people will object to use of this sort of testing seeing it as more bias, we need to start somewhere to test for implicit and explicit biases in people seeking positions requiring human contact.
Protesting the testing is yet another sign one may just be a little racist. Protesting perpetuates racism by questioning the need, question the validity of allegations, and coddles racist. Not to mention, when racists employees are allowed to stay employed, they moved up the ladder to become managers for corporate employers, where they go on to commit employee discrimination. It’s simply one atrocity after the other.
Lax remedies and denials don’t make things better.
Here Comes The “Diversity” Spill
After spending 10 minutes on the phone with the hotel manager listening to him explain away the type of racist behavior I’ve seen all of my life in the deep South, he reminds me he has a diverse staff and Marriott is big on diversity. He said something like “As you can see from my front desk staff, they are from all ethnicities and nationalities… and blah, blah, blah.” I zoned out after that.
I know all about his kind of diversity, the tokenized kind. I was director responsible for making sure my staff reflected my service area. Diversity and inclusion is a land mine of experiments that rarely work properly. It’s usually a show.
You know the workplace diversity and inclusion ploys, the kinds where people are hired because of the color of their skin to give the appearance of being a culturally centered organizations. The kind where the job does annual diversity trainings, bringing in usually a Black woman and sometimes a White ride-along to share with you in how non-white people should treat and speak to Black people and other people of color. Those trainings are a crock of poo because if you don’t believe you have a problem, you will receive nothing from diversity training. The only reason most people attend those trainings in because your job made it mandatory to meet some compliance standards.
Most of us know diversity in most corporate workplaces is a showcase of America’s melting pot mantra, without the melting happening.
Having business workplace diversity philosophies doesn’t mean a workplace is free of racist employees within their ranks. In fact, discrimination and racism can be worse in these environments because often the various the races, nationalities, and ethnicities employed by many businesses are racist. Yes, minorities are racist.
Workplace Diversity Spills Are… Racist
If an employer or business tells you after you allege a racist act has occurred that the business is heavily vested in workplace diversity and refers you to their website… that’s racist. And it’s deflecting. They are already shifting responsibility away from the business and placing on the patron.
Having workplace diversity has nothing to do with one’s individual racist attitudes which may cause them to engage in racist behavior in the workplace. It just means you have a lot of races working in one place. My racist predator was a Hispanic woman, which depending on which Latin America country they come from, they have a huge racism problem which they pack up and bring to America when immigrating. This “diversity hire” may be smart, speak well, look nice, have great references, and punch all the right tickets. Unless you give diversity hires a test to determine whether or not they are racist and suitable for employment, you know nothing about your workers or colleagues except they punch America’s race metric for diversity.
Minority racists keep their racism under wraps. Their racism only manifests itself in the workplace when the diverse hire accidentally exposes them self. Most racist know how to hide their racism at when they are in mixed company meaning the people they dislike also work in their workplace. A racist diversity hire won’t let that cat out of the back until they get the secret code from co-signers in the workplace, or unless some comment is made by a racist colleague which lets the racist diversity hire in question know the colleague is also a racist who proudly acts racistly.
The pair gets together in secret and discuss their dislikes, the act as a team to do racist shit covertly in the workplace. So having a significant number of diverse hires doesn’t guarantee you anything except the appearance of a diverse workforce just like having a business’s diversity policy doesn’t mean its staff is going to work diligently to follow it.
Not even a little. Not even for their paycheck and some perks. No business can control its employees. Employers should recognize this and take responsibility of their rotten eggs. Instead of keeping them and retraining them, fire them and cause them to lose something in the same manner their victims lose precious moments of their lives because of workplace racism.
Why Racists, Regardless of Race, Don’t Deserve Second Chances
I know some people will disagree with this, but follow me for a moment. Racists (not people who do unknowingly do racist thing) don’t deserve second chances, especially adult ones. Racist go around covertly and in concert with racist allies or accomplices in their workplaces intentionally inflicting injuries upon people in the racial group (s) they don’t like or disapprove of.
Racists in the workplace get pleasure from injuring others while they get paid to come to work and act racistly. They are getting double the pleasure on the businesses dime.
When an employer sits down with its racist diversity hires (which rarely happens because most employers can’t grasp Brown people being racist against Brown people), they are basically giving their employee a slap on the wrist. There is no loss for their bad behavior. No loss means they don’t feel any negative impact from their actions. As a result, they will wait awhile, and do more racist stuff even more covertly when no one isn’t looking, this time without getting caught. Corporate America condones racists and racism by covering all racists and their sins under the diversity umbrella allowing the practice to flourish like it always has.
Employers have essentially taught their racist diversity hires how to avoid detection. Customers coming in contact with these racistly discriminating, perpetrators will continue to be victims. Now racist victimizations will occur in covert ways, ways neither the business nor the customer will easily discover, if ever.
No workplace diversity policy, no amount of culturally competency training, and no amount of workplace “oversight” will prevent a workplace from experiencing racism, so don’t insult victims with your shitty diversity policies. It’s a worthless piece of paper. Likewise, don’t tell victims a work place is diverse because your employees look like the rainbow with marketing propaganda to match. Believing such nonsense makes an organization appear to be scapegoating their policies and co-sign workplace racism by racist employees. Racism is complex, just like the people who perform those intentional, calculated acts of racism.
Diversity does not eliminate racism. Racists can come in all shades. We Americans have a long way to go in understanding how racism remains so prevalent throughout our society, and how attitudes of non-Black minorities in corporate America often aid in supporting racists without them knowing it.
We accept it. We condone it. We excuse it. We ignore it. We disclaim it away. We’ll even create a policy for it. No legislation or policy will stop racism, because it’s in a mans heart when he takes the job. It’s time corporate employers come to terms with the fact workplace diversity doesn’t end discrimination and begin addressing racism differently.
Marley K. © 2019 All rights reserved.