So, this picture was posted at my job. My old, white, male coworker screams across the office (he’s already loud to begin with) “Aye Dook? Is that you in that boat picture?” My response, in an equally loud voice level, “Lenny, all brown people don’t look the same.” That’s when shit got real.
Now, he starts doing that backtracking thing folks do when they’ve been caught being unfunny, but rather offensive – “I didn’t mean it like that…you’re just the only person I can see wearing a funny hat like that.” Really, Lenny? I’m the only person you’ve ever met in your entire 60 years on this earth that would wear this hat in public? Really?
I didn’t make the comment to imply Lenny’s racist, even though he has told me his son can’t find a job because of affirmative action (mind you, he’s the 2nd white male at this company to make this SAME statement regarding employment for their white kids and affirmative action). I don’t think he’s racist. I think he’s ignorant, but not racist. I don’t look like the girl in the pic. In addition, I’ve never attempted to “recognise” someone by an article of clothing or an accessory. I’ve never seen someone wearing a blue shirt and said “hey Bob! Oh! It’s not Bob. That blue shirt through me off cause Bob’s the ONLY person in my world who would EVER wear a blue shirt.” We’re not cartoon characters!
I don’t think Lenny’s joke was racist. I don’t think my statement was implying it was. I do think most of us are wayyyyy too sensitive.