Racism in the workplace - page 7

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   mcleanl
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Tamar Jacoby, from the book, "Someone Else's House", discussing the 1965 book "Black Ghetto" by Integrationist and Psychologist Kenneth Clark:

    "Clark's central metaphor for segregation was a prison or concentration camp, and as he saw things, the long, enforced isolation had wreaked so much psychological havoc that many blacks had lost the capacity to seek their way out. Though careful not to blame the victim, he spared nothing in his description of this "racial damage": a combination of defeatism and impotent anger that, he said, made blacks suspicious, predatory, and continually resentful and left them ill-equipped to compete in the mainstream. Each individual was trapped by a "core of doubt" - a belief in his own inferiority and "the pervasive failure of his group." Many were so bitter that they would not even try to do well in the white world: to them, success seemed humiliating - a kind of betrayal to the race - because it meant seeking white approval and submitting to standards used in the past, to keep blacks back. Even his own accomplishments, Clark admitted, felt like treachery. What he feared was that, even when white resistance disappeared, the black man's "own inner anxieties" would hinder his movement into the mainstream."

    See, I like this book so far. The writer is suggesting that racial relationships is a sort of 'meeting in the middle'. But, the different groups, as a result of our social legacies, have difficulty reaching out to a common middle ground. We are, to put it bluntly, a dysfunctional family. And each of us has our own reasons for simply not talking.

    There's lots of emotional and social 'baggage' still lying around.

    So, just like the sister, or brother, or parent that so many haven't spoken with in 10 yrs, it's just easier to forget that there is even an issue to worry about. That doesn't make the hurt and the estrangement go away. It just means you don't have to deal with it for the moment.

    That moment has been the last 20, no 30, yrs in our history.

    The greatest accomplishment of the Civil Rights movement was to make bigotry ugly. It has been driven underground. The majority of whites might still hold residual bigotries, but most recognize them for what they are: undesirable and wrong.

    The next stage, if you ask me, has to be the same intolerance for black 'defeatism'. We must attack that just as equally and ferociously as we are bigotry. Calling a child 'oreo' for doing well in school is simply intolerable. Our next generation has to be taught differently then excelling in school is caving in to 'the man'.

    Most social scientists will say there is progress here: there is a growing black middle and upper class EXACTLY because many are surpassing these 'internal' boundaries. But, at the same time, many are being left behind, mired in a sub-culture that preaches that the only real successes are anti-educational: pro sports, music careers, and 'pimping'. Just listen to a rap song or two. It's an expression of anger, yes, but also a clear expression of the problem.

    If 'the system' holds no hope for someone, how will they EVER integrate into that system? We must dispel the notion that 'the system' is a white man's world. After all, MLK's biggest contribution was his insistence that 'the system' be colorblind, an equal avenue for all that could be equally accessed by all.

    The gulfs that still hinder us must and can only be closed by claiming and advocating for fostering the hope that lies in believing in 'equal access'. It's not enough to merely work to make it a reality; we have to work to make it believable - not just by those that have benefited from the successes of the past and handed down those social mores to their children - but for those that don't have those advantages, as well.

    The crux of the 'American Dream' is nothing more then the BELIEF in individual empowerment.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.

    Wow,
    I am so glad you posted this and I hope people really take the time to read it. The racial issues between blacks and whites are so complex and in addition we can throw the whole "class" (can I use this word?) issue into the mix.
  2. by   NurseLatteDNP
    Did you all see the new Survivors previews? They made it where different races are competing with each other. There are 4 teams, each is a different race. What do you think? Is that pushing it to far?
  3. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Tommybabe
    Why aren't there more African American nurses?
    There are many black nurses in DFW, Texas. I am proud to say that I'm one of them.
  4. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from kiyatylese
    Did you all see the new Survivors previews? They made it where different races are competing with each other. There are 4 teams, each is a different race. What do you think? Is that pushing it to far?
    I think it is a shameless ploy for ratings. Shame on CBS. The last thing we need is more division.
  5. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from mcleanl
    Wow,
    I am so glad you posted this and I hope people really take the time to read it. The racial issues between blacks and whites are so complex and in addition we can throw the whole "class" (can I use this word?) issue into the mix.
    I happen to think that the current issues are more socioeconomic class rather than race alone.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Aug 25, '06
  6. by   buildingmyfaith57
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I work at a long-term care facility in a large metropolitan area in Texas and, yes, I see certain stereotypes ans statistics come to life with my CNAs. Virtually all of the CNAs are young, black unwed mothers with several children fathered by multiple men. Many collect food stamps because they have offered to sell them to me and the other nurses. They brag about the housing assistance they receive from the state. One of my former aides, a 29 year old woman, had five children and one grandchild.

    I'm a young black female who was born on the West Coast and raised with an open mind. I still have an open mind.
    hi commuter i just wanted to say im a white person and i don't care what you're skin color is you and i are sisters bought to this world for a purpose. if this world could just wake up and see there are different skin color people out there fighting for our freedom. what if someone were pass out on the sidewalk would it matter what skin color they are as long they have help to save your life?
  7. by   LADYFLOWER
    Quote from earle58
    i've had pts use the 'n' word..usually elderly and demented pts trying to identify one of the staff.
    if a pt says "there goes that 'n'", i immediately intervened and said No! there goes mr/mrs so and so".
    i don't care how elderly or how demented.
    and i don't care if i have to repeat myself 100 times.
    i just will not allow use of racial epitaphs on my time.

    leslie
    Thank YOU! Don't ever let it slide.
  8. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from TheCommuter
    There are many black nurses in DFW, Texas. I am proud to say that I'm one of them.

    There are a lot of us in Atlanta also.
  9. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from LADYFLOWER
    Thank YOU! Don't ever let it slide.
    what's even more upsetting is i would go to the bed of an pt. who was giving the nsg asst a hard time during a.m. care.
    the pt would be calling the n-word to the nsg assistant.
    the nsg assistant went ahead w/her care, even smiling at the pt.
    hrs later, same patients would still be using this word, addressed to some of the black staff.
    i'm not sure what i expected but i found myself getting flustered w/the staff.
    i understand they're in their workplace, but i found this whole 'n' calling highly upsetting.
    i seemed to be the most upset!!!
    i spoke with the offending pt(s) and told them their behavior was unacceptable.
    and these were hospice pts i was upset with!
    but i couldn't/wouldn't let it slide.
    and then i brought the targeted staff aside and told them that no one has the right to use that word with you. no one.
    they said "we hear it all the time".
    so complacent!
    i don't understand the apathy.
    i understand the complexity of racism in this country.
    but zero tolerance has to start somewhere, doesn't it???

    leslie
  10. by   Roy Fokker
    Personally - pretending race doesn't exist is not the same as creating equality. Race and racism are more than (just) stereotypes and individual prejudice.

    Racism is certainly a "learned" phenomenon - I don't think I've ever seen racist children*, have you?







    *: And by children, I mean kids. Sandbox. Not teenagers.
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Aug 25, '06
  11. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    Personally - pretending race doesn't exist is not the same as creating equality. Race and racism are more than (just) stereotypes and individual prejudice.

    Racism is certainly a "learned" phenomenon - I don't think I've ever seen racist children, have you?
    pretending race/racism doesn't exist?
    who said that was synonymous with equality?
    i'm saying that's what is creating the apathy.
    no one is saying that it is stereotypes and individual prejudice.
    but- why not start with yourself?
    granted, it's not changing the larger picture.
    but what would happen if everyone (on an individual basis) just started rejecting the use of this vulgar epitaph?
    it has to start somewhere roy.
    and it's not just with racism.
    we certainly don't have world peace.
    but i can do everything i can, to make my corner of the world a little bit better.
    it has to start somewhere.

    when i was growing up, my mom was best friends with a black woman.
    this black woman and her kids were the only black family in town.
    when she left her husband, they came to live w/us.
    we started getting eggs thrown at our house and called all sorts of names because of befriending this black family.
    as a child, i did not understand the hate and the ignorance spewed towards this family and now, my family.
    the black family (i'll call them the jones) wanted to stay inside our house.
    they feared for their safety.
    i remember being spittin' mad at the senselessness of these hate crimes.
    me and the jones kids would go outside to the playground.
    all the white kids started trying to beat them up, throwing stones, bottles.
    i started to try and fight them all.
    i wouldn't let me or the jones kids walk/run away.
    and i couldn't contain my fury.
    my adrenaline pumping, i remember turning to one of the joneses and demanded "WHY AREN'T YOU MAD???"
    i couldn't stand to see them hovering.
    suddenly the older jones kid got this look in his eye, kind of a get-it moment, and turned to the crowd and roared "NO MORE".
    the look in his eyes shocked the bejeebees out of all the onlookers and perpetrators.
    between him and me, everyone ended up backing away.
    from that time on, the violence stopped.
    when we got on the school bus, the kids left us alone.
    some even said hi.
    my point is it has to stop somewhere.
    you have more power than you think.
    everyone does.
    no more.
    it starts with you.

    leslie
  12. by   Gods child
    Quote from earle58
    pretending race/racism doesn't exist?
    who said that was synonymous with equality?
    i'm saying that's what is creating the apathy.
    no one is saying that it is stereotypes and individual prejudice.
    but- why not start with yourself?
    granted, it's not changing the larger picture.
    but what would happen if everyone (on an individual basis) just started rejecting the use of this vulgar epitaph?
    it has to start somewhere roy.
    and it's not just with racism.
    we certainly don't have world peace.
    but i can do everything i can, to make my corner of the world a little bit better.
    it has to start somewhere.

    when i was growing up, my mom was best friends with a black woman.
    this black woman and her kids were the only black family in town.
    when she left her husband, they came to live w/us.
    we started getting eggs thrown at our house and called all sorts of names because of befriending this black family.
    as a child, i did not understand the hate and the ignorance spewed towards this family and now, my family.
    the black family (i'll call them the jones) wanted to stay inside our house.
    they feared for their safety.
    i remember being spittin' mad at the senselessness of these hate crimes.
    me and the jones kids would go outside to the playground.
    all the white kids started trying to beat them up, throwing stones, bottles.
    i started to try and fight them all.
    i wouldn't let me or the jones kids walk/run away.
    and i couldn't contain my fury.
    my adrenaline pumping, i remember turning to one of the joneses and demanded "WHY AREN'T YOU MAD???"
    i couldn't stand to see them hovering.
    suddenly the older jones kid got this look in his eye, kind of a get-it moment, and turned to the crowd and roared "NO MORE".
    the look in his eyes shocked the bejeebees out of all the onlookers and perpetrators.
    between him and me, everyone ended up backing away.
    from that time on, the violence stopped.
    when we got on the school bus, the kids left us alone.
    some even said hi.
    my point is it has to stop somewhere.
    you have more power than you think.
    everyone does.
    no more.
    it starts with you.

    leslie

    Wow, we need more people like you in this world.

    I can't believe that someone posted something on here which basically said oh well, just deal with it, we can't change it. If that were the case I would probably be a slave today. The truth is we can make a change. Some people are just unwilling to put forth the effort to do so.
    Last edit by Gods child on Aug 25, '06
  13. by   zahryia
    Quote from Miss Mab
    I have a thought that's pretty much off-topic and yet related somehow. I was just talking to my BF about this today. Feel free to stone me because I already feel pretty bad about it but it "is what it is"

    Background--grew up a CA liberal/PC/schooled in diversity/supporter of social programs/education/blah, blah...

    I have been working in an inner-city ED for just about a year. I now think I am BECOMING racist. I don't need to give examples but the absolute worst stereotypes are being played out pretty much every shift. By all? No. But enough to where I just realized yesterday that I think I am getting resentful.

    I already know, time to change the scenery...I'm already burnt out---for my sake and my patients. Just wanted to throw that out.
    Miss Mab,

    I'm not going to sit here and pretend that these situations don't exist, but I would like people to understand that people are different coming from different regions and SES. Personally, that situation is as foreign to me as it is you. I can guarantee you if you came to some parts PG county in MD, you wouldn't find that mess going on.

    And although I've never personally dealt with them personally; having worked at the health department, I know plenty of white folks that fit the above bill.

    I really feel if this country promoted traveling at a young age, that we would see that people are different with from all walks of life with different experiences.

    Anyway, that's my thought for the week. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend everyone!

close