Racial discrimination does not have to be obvious and overt. In fact, here in 2020, employers generally try to stop these types of clear discrimination that obviously violate employee rights. They know that it’s illegal to allow that type of behavior.
That does not mean that the biases underlying that racial discrimination do not exist, though. They still do, and they can lead to microaggressions. These can lead to direct discrimination or could create a hostile workplace where people of a certain race do not feel respected or even safe.
A microaggression is something small that happens, based on a person’s race, that makes it clear to them that they are viewed differently. These can still make that person feel like an outsider.
For instance, perhaps a white worker is working alongside someone from an ethnic minority population. The white worker remarks to their coworker that they are impressed that the person is so articulate or so well-educated. It sounds like a compliment, but it’s not. What it’s actually doing is reinforcing the idea that the person from that minority population stereotypically wouldn’t be educated or articulate, so they stand out.
One girl was told, for instance, that she was the “whitest black person” that another person knew. This is a highly offensive statement to make, as it devalues both the girl’s own personal identity and that of her race and ethnic group as a whole. And yet, things like this happen in schools, workplaces and other settings all over the United States.
Have you experienced discrimination on the job? We understand how frustrating this can be. Make sure you look into all of the legal steps you can take.