Recently, I reported an incident of work place racism. My manager then proceeded to tell me all the wrong things. Literally all the things that you should not say!!!!!
As expected, nothing really changed, and I started to think about why I even felt the need to report it. After all, it was pretty mild racism. Probably a 3/10 on the racist comment scale. And I don’t think that I’m naive to the circumstances. I know that in any situation I face in life I am prone to hearing racist comments, I know that these instances of workplace racism are extremely ordinary, I know that reporting this to my supervisor is not going to create any sort of change within the system. But I still did it.
When you, as an employee, reach out to a supervisor because you’ve experienced some sort of office racism its pretty much just because you need a little validation that you are valued and respected. Most places in the world, I classify in my head as not-safe and I just wanted to mark where I worked as a safe space. The incident threw me off balance and I really just wanted somebody to say “That sucks and I’m sorry that this happened to you. I want you to know that you feeling safe and not being hassled by racist comments from other employees is important to me. And while I can’t promise you that this won’t happen again, I will do everything within my power to make sure that this workplace is an inclusive and safe space.”
Honestly this just made me realize that people on the management level need some general training on the right and wrong things to say when employees come to them with incidents of racism/sexism/other forms of bigotry because I really think that all we really need is a little reassurance.
If you’ve reported workplace racism to your supervisor and they told you all the wrong things than I will just tell you now. That sucks and I’m sorry that it happened to you! Feeling safe and not being hassled at work is really important and I hope that you find a workplace that is inclusive, welcoming, and safe. Love ya.