I had a HORRIBLE work day today; not because our full day of meetings did not following the agenda I created or because Shop launched later in the day than I had anticipated. Actually, what upset me today was pretty significant, and it really had nothing to do with work. It had more to do with my co-workers and the fact that I learned that no matter how far I go in my career, in a lot of arenas I'm still an outsider looking in.
Well, here goes the most painful part.
We took our out-of-town vendors to lunch today. It seemed like a good idea even though the day was not going quite right. . at all..
I volunteered to drive to Whole Hog - at least one of my attempts to go above and beyond with looking like a Team Player.
We were well into lunch when A mentioned that she saw a HI-larious video. She tried to describe what it was about, which didn't sound funny, but we wanted to laugh with her, so a few people found the clip on their iPhones. Some of them smiled some of them giggled, so I thought I'd give it a looksey too. Of course, it turned out that that video was one of the worst I had ever seen.
It was an interview of this black man that lived in the projects who was describing the attempted rape of his sister and how he saved her. He was poor, and as it tends to turn out, and could not speak the standard English language to save his life. The sadness behind the story was lost on my lunch dates. All they could hear was Ebonics and all they could see was this poor black family. I was horrified. I made a face, and looked out the window.
Well, we return to work, and I'll be honest I carried some hurt with me from that experience because I just could not understand how I worked with this group of people each day to end hunger and poverty around the word, provide opportunities to poverty-stricken families, and to educate, and they found this particular video about a woman that lived in poverty and was almost raped even a little bit funny. If she lived in Nepal, or Slovakia, Poland, or even Uganda or Cameroon they would've seen her as a human being. I guess it's hard though when she's just Black. But still, I wondered to myself, Who are these people?
I went through my day anxious to the end, so I could go home and wash my day away, but it just wouldn't go nicely.
As I left for the day, I popped in to wish my co-workers and vendors a good evening, and what-do-ya-know? They're getting one last ha-ha out of the video. This time to music!
I'm tactful. I'm professional. I'm open-minded. I decide to not say a thing.
But what made my co-worker, A, text message me after the fact and explain that she apologized for offending me, but she wanted me to know it was not because she's racist? Well, in her defense, I've actually never met a true racist who thought they were racist either.
This is a look into the life of a Black woman who grew up poor, came up a little but is committed to never forgetting the legacy she was born into.