Racism in the workplace - page 17

Not to be a downer or anything but I have noticed some harsh things said about patients and sometimes even co workers in my unit when they think no one else can hear them. Has anyone else dealt with... Read More

  1. by   ZASHAGALKA
    In the late '50s, as a result of Jim Crow, our nation WAS separated by force of law. It took lots of talking, with the force of conviction to back it up, to bring about an official end to Jim Crow and an open acknowledgment that things were not as they should be.

    But, the civil rights movement was an emotional surge of energy that could not sustain itself. So, we drifted back into separate enclaves, however voluntary this time, the problems merely settled into complacency; they were not and have not been solved.

    I'm delighted that there is a 21 page thread about the topic. Talk leads to action and action is STILL needed.

    We are only minimally closer to MLK's dream 40 yrs later then we were in 1968. Some have been able to 'overcome'. Yes. The world is different and opportunity is available for those that persist at it.

    But in far too many cases, 'overcoming' is a burden that prohibits the hope to even try.

    So, we DO need to talk about it. More so, we need to form the consensus that leads to some action on it.

    Far too often, such conversations lead to accusations of racism on all sides and the familiar emotional protection of retreating back into the semi-goal of 'tolerance'.

    Tolerance is the fuzzy center from which we can all be 'comfortable' not making the changes that still need to be made. It's a laudable goal, but not enough.

    It comes down to integration or isolation: same as the debate 40 yrs ago. And that leads to the true fundamental question: whose society is it?

    And THAT does deserve talk, and talk, and talk, but eventually: more.

    I'm actually quite proud of this thread. Talking to each other and not past each other is a good place to start.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 8, '06
  2. by   madwife2002
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    In the late '50s, as a result of Jim Crow, our nation WAS separated by force of law. It took lots of talking, with the force of conviction to back it up, to bring about an official end to Jim Crow and an open acknowledgment that things were not as they should be.

    But, the civil rights movement was an emotional surge of energy that could not sustain itself. So, we drifted back into separate enclaves, however voluntary this time, the problems merely settled into complacency; they were not and have not been solved.

    I'm delighted that there is a 21 page thread about the topic. Talk leads to action and action is STILL needed.

    We are only minimally closer to MLK's dream 40 yrs later then we were in 1968. Some have been able to 'overcome'. Yes. The world is different and opportunity is available for those that persist at it.

    But in far too many cases, 'overcoming' is a burden that prohibits the hope to even try.

    So, we DO need to talk about it. More so, we need to form the consensus that leads to some action on it.

    Far too often, such conversations lead to accusations of racism on all sides and the familiar emotional protection of retreating back into the semi-goal of 'tolerance'.

    Tolerance is the fuzzy center from which we can all 'comfortable' not making the changes that still need to be made.

    It comes down to integration or isolation: same as the debate 40 yrs ago. And that leads to the true fundamental question: whose society is it?

    And THAT does deserve talk, and talk, and talk, but eventually: more.

    I'm actually quite proud of this thread. Talking to each other and not past each other is a good place to start.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Well said I couldnt agree more
  3. by   RNCRNA2BE
    Quote from mssfelder
    To RNCRNA... mighty funny you felt the need to respond in length! Until you walk a mile in my mocassins you do well to stay off my path. I do good work as I am sure ALL conscientous nurses strive to do but racism is alive and unfortunately well. Responding in threads is better than donning hoods, giving poor care, work place violence, leaving the profession or ignoring the REAL ISSUE. Cmon...be 4 real.
    I'm not saying ignore it. I am black and native american by the way, but it really brings me down when I have to constantly read about prejudice and racism. I am not going to live my life worrying about what others think of me. I do have a lot of opinions about the issues, but I can't let it run my life, because then it would take up all of my life. I was sure that ppl wouldn't understand where I am coming from. This is just not a battle that I want to fight. My battle is within. My revenge is striving to a better person, educating myself, and just living my life the best way that I can. People can say or do what they want, but no one can touch your self respect, integrity,loyalty, or anything that you carry within unless you let them. Many have died rather than done so.
  4. by   mssfelder
    Point taken. Thank you and have a blessed day!
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from RNCRNA2BE
    I'm not saying ignore it. I am black and native american by the way, but it really brings me down when I have to constantly read about prejudice and racism. I am not going to live my life worrying about what others think of me. I do have a lot of opinions about the issues, but I can't let it run my life, because then it would take up all of my life. I was sure that ppl wouldn't understand where I am coming from. This is just not a battle that I want to fight. My battle is within. My revenge is striving to a better person, educating myself, and just living my life the best way that I can. People can say or do what they want, but no one can touch your self respect, integrity,loyalty, or anything that you carry within unless you let them. Many have died rather than done so.
    I absolutely applaud this sentiment.

    But, for too many, that inner strength does not win the day when the world tells them, in so very many ways, to take your welfare check and STAY OUT OF OUR SOCIETY. And here, I'm not speaking of racial differences so much as socio-economical differences.

    We must find a way to convince those that view such assistance as payment for 'what is due' that such aid can truly be the stepping stone to 'claim what is within my power and hope to achieve'.

    That will take changing the mindset of a whole subculture that views education as 'caving to the man'. Whose society, in fact, is it? For many, the definition of our society MUST change: both within themselves, and with real and verifiable proof from within the society as a whole.

    The hope that you keep alive in your soul is not universally accessed. We must find a way to make it contagious.

    And, neither those that access society daily, nor those that feel shunned from society, can do this alone.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 8, '06
  6. by   RNCRNA2BE
    This is well expressed,as are most of your posts that I have seen, but I only agree partially. Sure, something needs to be done, but talk? It's obviously not working. Talk only works if people are willing to listen and understand. What I have seen is as soon as you bring up racism people just shut down and get defensive. Trust me, I am black and native and have a boyfriend who is white. Most people don't want to admit where there was wrong-doing. What I have learned is that a problem can not be fixed until it is admitted that there is a problem. Maybe if someone can get that to happen, then that's where the healing will begin.
    Last edit by RNCRNA2BE on Sep 8, '06
  7. by   RNCRNA2BE
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I absolutely applaud this sentiment.

    But, for too many, that inner strength does not win the day when the world tells them, in so very many ways, to take your welfare check and STAY OUT OF OUR SOCIETY. And here, I'm not speaking of racial differences so much as socio-economical differences.

    We must find a way to convince those that view such assistance as payment for 'what is due' that such aid can truly be the stepping stone to 'claim what is within my power and hope to achieve'.

    That will take changing the mindset of a whole subculture that views education as 'caving to the man'. Whose society, in fact, is it? For many, the definition of our society MUST change: both within themselves, and with real and verifiable proof from within the society as a whole.

    The hope that you keep alive in your soul is not universally accessed. We must find a way to make it contagious.

    And, neither those that access society daily, nor those that feel shunned from society, can do this alone.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.

    I agree with you. My sentiments are unique, unfortunately, and it took a lot of soul searching to come to where I am now.
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Rosa Parks just didn't get a bug in her ear one day. The talk about the unfairness of Jim Crow was growing. Something HAD to be done. Ms. Parks was simply a catalyst. If not her, then it would have been someone:

    Just bringing up the issues led to action and action produced results.

    I agree with you: talk is cheap. But talking is where ideas spring forth and, you never know where that will be expressed in a newfound conviction that challenges all previous assumptions.

    So while I agree that talk is cheap, the ideas that spring forth can be powerful. Those ideas can change the world.

    Look at how many people have read this thread. If even ONE of them gets a new understanding, a new conviction in their hearts, if even ONE person can empathetically 'walk in someone else's shoes', then this thread is worth its weight in gold.

    Is there racism in the workplace? I think we've sufficiently settled that. Now, WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I challenge each of the 7,765 viewers of this thread, and everyone else that comes along:

    WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from RNCRNA2BE
    Talk only works if people are willing to listen and understand.
    In the 30 plus minutes since my last post, 179 new readers have read what we all have to say in this thread.

    If only some of them actually listen and understand, that alone makes it worth the effort to talk about it.

    To each of those new readers - and the older readers: how are YOU convicted to be the one person that challenges all previous assumptions within your environment?

    Where is the spirit of Rosa Parks within you?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  11. by   wanetta
    Quote from Annointed_RNStudent
    What does anyone think about hiring prejudice, it's not only with race, there are male nurses that don't get hired in OB just for being males, there are people that don't get jobs for being black, or being mexican, or being fat or being an ADN for that matter, Prejudice is everywhere, and it's just one more thing to add on top of everything in a profession where everyone needs to be working together!!!
    I totally agree. I'm from the north and have been living in Mississippi for over 10 years. I work in a long term care facility . I've been called a yankee numerous times by residents, family members and staff. When discribing me to others that is what I am referred as. And of course my accent.. At times I have even been referred to as "damn" yankee because I chose to live down here. I have never felt offended by this because it was just an adjective. I've heard black people talk about other black people as either light skin or dark skin. and like the above poster, I believe we should be working together.
  12. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Rosa Parks just didn't get a bug in her ear one day. The talk about the unfairness of Jim Crow was growing. Something HAD to be done. Ms. Parks was simply a catalyst. If not her, then it would have been someone:

    Actually, Rosa was hand-picked to do what she did. And while she was a catalyst, she was part of a well thought out plan and had the support of an organized movement and the NAACP. The point is it takes more than just a willing spirit as much as we would like to believe it is that simple.
  13. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from wanetta
    I totally agree. I'm from the north and have been living in Mississippi for over 10 years. I work in a long term care facility . I've been called a yankee numerous times by residents, family members and staff. When discribing me to others that is what I am referred as. And of course my accent.. At times I have even been referred to as "damn" yankee because I chose to live down here. I have never felt offended by this because it was just an adjective. I've heard black people talk about other black people as either light skin or dark skin. and like the above poster, I believe we should be working together.

    I've never been to Mississippi but having spent my entire life in Georgia, I've never heard a Northerner (seriously) referred to as a Yankee.

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