Is This Racist? Why or Why Not? (#2: [Not] Getting the Job)

“The guy told me, ‘When black people get turned down for a job, they inevitably,’—and I promise he used the word ‘inevitably’—’they inevitably ask themselves if they were denied the job because they’re black.’ Yes, that’s how he said it. Yes, he’s black. But there’s more. Then he said, ‘White people never have to ask themselves that question. The question, “Did I not get that job because I’m white?”‘ He said that, word for word. Basically word for word.

“I mean first off, what’s he know about being white? I really don’t need to say any more than that. Second off, f*ck yes I ask myself that question when I don’t get a job. It’s like this guy hadn’t heard of office quotas or affirmative action. Me being white has prevented me from getting jobs. I know it has. Same way me being a man has kept me unemployed, but I don’t hear any women complaining about that.

“What? Is the question we’re each asking ourselves different, you mean? Me as white, him as black? No, it’s not different. I ask, ‘Was it because I’m white?’ He asks—or how he puts it, all black people inevitably ask—’Was it because I’m black?’ There’s no difference. We’re asking ourselves the same question because we’re both asking, ‘Are they racist against me?’ Same exact question. Go ahead. Show this to anybody who thinks people can’t be racist against whites. I’ll sign something if I have to. The racism against me has only one real benefit. It’s that when I get a job I know it’s because of my merits. I don’t have any woman or color advantages to get a leg up, and it feels good to know that.”



[This is the second installment of the “Is This Racist? Why or Why Not?” series. You can read the first installment here.]


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