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The Black Guy

Racism in America Ep.One
Courtesy of Reckless Tortuga

It has happened to the best of us. You are in the office and you
overhear a conversation. To colleagues are discussing a mundane
event and one mentions a name. ” John”, “John who?”, ” Black John.”
“oh Black John”. Look I’m not gonna get into a tirade about labels
with this one. Lord knows I’ve done it. But one thing that is inescapable
is the fact that is if you are the only man of color in the office you will be
labeled as ‘the black guy.’

Now with this being said there are certain things that some folks feel is
acceptable which are not. To help both parties I’ve created a cheatsheet:

1- High fives, giving skin, fist bumps with optional blow it ups, are not
acceptable if not initiated by the black guy.

2-Assuming basketball is the sport of choice. The black guy might be a
hockey phenom but a misguided comment might void his appearance on
the company team.

3- Race jokes. We don’t like race jokes about anyone but white guys. And
when we say that we mean mostly Republican, backwoods, rednecks.
AKA Klansmen.

4- Assuming our highest level of education is High School.  (personal pet peeve)
Can’t count how many times people look at me surprised when they hear I have
a college education. WTF?!!!

5- The angry black man. Ok this one is tricky. Black men, please practice resolve
in the office. It’s nonthreatening when a white guy gets mad in the cubicle but
for some reason 911 gets called when we raise our voices. Can’t call it. I’ve seen
it many times. White guys just walk away and allow themselves to be cool. So,
Black guys leave and take a walk.

As a worthy note to my brothers: You will be blamed for things. I know in an
office setting blame placing is commonplace. Even more so if you’re the black
guy. Sorry to tell some of my good white friends this but the odds are not in
our favor. I’ve been in situations where I was blamed for things months after
I have moved on. Really? How to handle this? CYA. (cover your ass). Best policy
in the book. They can’t sink you if your arguement is air tight.

If you are new to the corporate workforce and are reading this I hope you take
these things to heart.

— Posted Live From The Outside World

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