Manager said something covertly racist - page 5

I was at a leadership conference recently with my manager and several other supervisors (1 manager, 4 supervisors total). During the conference, we were asked to simulate how we would communicate... Read More

  1. by   Flatline
    Quote from NurseUnforgetable
    Hmmm. Interesting. Are you saying the OP is not telling the truth of what she witnessed and heard? Given that the OP correctly stated what she witnessed, what information could possibly be missing that would change the context of what was said by the manager? Are you saying that it is not offensive for the manager to say, "You're not a Juanita Lopez" instead of, "you are not a housekeeper"? Hmmmmm.
    I am not saying she is lying, only that situations described out of context can be misleading and that I have not read anything overtly offensive.

    I am 100% saying that using Juanita Lopez as a name descriptor for a housekeeper should not be offensive in and of itself.

    1) What does Juanita Lopez convey beyond a name? Maybe there is legit a Juanita Lopez on the housekeeping staff? Like i already pointed out, zero ethnic or national origin information can be taken from a name, it is just a name and any ethnic or national origin information taken from the name could itself be seen as stereotyping.

    2) Even if she said, "Hey you are not Hispanic or Portuguese" that in and of itself is not pejorative. What if 100% of the housekeeping staff actually was Hispanic or Portuguese? Then it would be an accurate representation of the profession. I am a male nurse and understand the fact that nursing is deemed a female profession and the vast majority of the time nurses are represented as female. Is it sexist that they do that? No, it is an accurate representation of the demographics of the profession.
  2. by   JKL33
    These losers were fighting over the chance to impersonate a housekeeper.

    I'm dying to know if the second contestant was actually hispanic and/or named "Juanita Lopez." But I guess that would only really determine whether she was an epic loser instead of just a basic loser.
  3. by   Emergent
    Quote from Neats
    Ok what you wrote smacks of insensitivity but do you really know her true intentions? I am trying to figure out why you want this reported, what are your true intentions?

    I am a German Jew who happens to speak German. People all the time ask me if I know any good German restaurants, any good German beer and do not get me started on being Jewish. My friends are always asking for my input about money matters, and potato pancakes at our potlucks...is this racists? Maybe your manager was thinking of her favorite housekeeper? Maybe your manager was remembering the housekeeper who made a difference in her life?

    I grew up in Canada in the Yukon...I have been known to dance like some natives and people laugh at me (think Elaine on Seinfeld) heck I laugh at me too. I have overheard my friends talk about music and then start to remember me and my silly dance...they start that silly dance holding their hand to their mouth sounding out a wa...wa....wa...I have never thought it was racist I have always thought it was because they are thinking enough about me, and love me as a friend. If you witnessed this you would assume they are being racist, but I know their true intentions and it is far from what your mind is thinking.

    Todays interactions are filled with different cultures and we are suppose to honor each one I get this but I am going to communicate at times that may sound insensitive. I am going to offend some one I just know it, I am very honest and tell it like it is. Does this make me horrible...no it makes me human and I would appreciate if you were not in such a gosh darn hurry to slap me down because I am human, all because I am not as sensitive as you would want.
    People are offended on a daily basis, this should not be a crime or you should not lose you job unless of course it can be proven you are intentionally causing discrimination.

    I would just let your manager know what she said was interpreted as a racists remark and made you feel uncomfortable, at least I know where your mind is and will try very hard to not offend you when I do communicate with you. Life is not so right and wrong there are many more gray areas. This is being a sensible, caring about others, human being.
    Can you refer me to a good lawyer?
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    I continue to be amazed at the capacity of human beings to become outraged at just about anything. This is a tempest in a teapot, IMHO. Was the remark about "Juanita Lopez" PC? Nope. Was it something to get all worked up over. I don't think so. There is so much else to get offended about these days. Let it go.
  5. by   applewhitern
    Sounds like you are over-reacting to a comment that probably was made innocently. None of our housekeepers are Hispanic, though, but if they were, I wouldn't have taken her comment as racist.
  6. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    I disagree. I think the comment was insensitive and yes, racist. It expresses the social acceptance of overt racism for certain races and complete revolt of the same for other specific minorities. For example, I bet if the other manager had said a name like "Latifa Jones" instead of a Hispanic name there would be an uproar. And I guarantee if she had even that thought on her mind, she would've double checked it and said to herself not to do it because she knew the repercussions that would follow - she would've immediately been branded a racist. But something told her that it was OK to make a generalized Latino name as a joke and expect people to not be shocked by it. Yes, there are bigger issues to deal with in healthcare, but I also feel it's ignoring an equally large problem by telling OP to just let it go because this is the type of overt racism that people take for granted. It's like when Borat made an Asian penis size joke at the Oscars - it wasn't bleeped (there's a 5 minute delay), the people who are responsible for censoring the broadcast felt it was an OK thing to do. Now had he made a joke about a physical aspect of a black person, his career would've been over.
  7. by   Flatline
    Quote from NuGuyNurse2b
    I disagree. I think the comment was insensitive and yes, racist. It expresses the social acceptance of overt racism for certain races and complete revolt of the same for other specific minorities. For example, I bet if the other manager had said a name like "Latifa Jones" instead of a Hispanic name there would be an uproar. And I guarantee if she had even that thought on her mind, she would've double checked it and said to herself not to do it because she knew the repercussions that would follow - she would've immediately been branded a racist. But something told her that it was OK to make a generalized Latino name as a joke and expect people to not be shocked by it. Yes, there are bigger issues to deal with in healthcare, but I also feel it's ignoring an equally large problem by telling OP to just let it go because this is the type of overt racism that people take for granted. It's like when Borat made an Asian penis size joke at the Oscars - it wasn't bleeped (there's a 5 minute delay), the people who are responsible for censoring the broadcast felt it was an OK thing to do. Now had he made a joke about a physical aspect of a black person, his career would've been over.
    What does Latifa communicate to you? Are you associating a race, ethnicity, or national origin with that name?

    If a race, ethnicity, or national origin was associated with housekeeping, why you associate that with a negative? Is housekeeping somehow a negative profession?

    We don't know what the demographics of housekeeping even are, it could very well be an accurate representation of the demographics in that facility. What if there was a Juanita Lopez in housekeeping?

    As a male nurse, It would be ridiculous for me to get upset every time I see the profession represented by women because it is an accurate representation of the demographics.
  8. by   FolksBtrippin
    I think this is a do nothing situation. A wintry disney song comes to mind. I'll spare you.
  9. by   amzyRN
    If you really feel like it was racist report it to the anonymous compliance hotline. I wouldn't confront my manager because of the power differential. If it were a co-worker I might say something privately but I wouldn't want to jeopardize my job or advancement for something like that. If they would have been blatantly demeaning or cruel that might be a different story, but what you describe is more subtle and obscure.

    I think there are Hispanic people who might be offended and it's not okay to make people feel uncomfortable or hurt, especially when morale is so important in the healthcare setting.

    While there's nothing wrong with being a housekeeper the comment came across to me as racial stereotyping which is unprofessional, especially for someone in leadership. It's just in poor taste in my opinion, but sometimes even good people put their foot in their mouths sometimes. I would probably let it slide.
    Last edit by amzyRN on May 2

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