Monday, July 24, 2017

I said that wrong. (Other-Race Effect, II)

I have to leave in 15 minutes to catch my bus for my 5th shift in a row--a bit much on my legs, but my body has adjusted, but I want to say, wow, am I running into different communication styles at work!

To begin with, there's me. I put it wrong in my last post--I wasn't saying I was a racist--just not "not a racist"--that is, not immune to soaking up and acting in a way that reflects the racist society I live in.

We need a new word for that (maybe it exists?), since "racist" can mean anything from that to the guy who shot up the black church.

I acted in a way that reflects the inbuilt racism of the society I live in: I didn't like that I did that, but it doesn't reflect my beliefs.
But of course the way we act without thinking, bypassing the frontal lobe, does reflect some big, maybe parallel reality, and it can be disturbing to see it in action, in one's own self.

But then, ha--my workplace is so different than the up-to-date Social Justice Warriors on Tumblr, for instance, who are so super aware of unconscious slips (micro-aggressions and the like), they are likely to tip the other way---into represesion and censorship of speech.
They keep such a tight rein on their speech, who knows what's going on.

And at my new work, it's unreconstructed speech.
I have to laugh---it's kind of refreshing.
A customer told me she was buying clothes to go to a wedding of her old girlfriend and that woman's girlfriend.

And one of my coworkers, a black woman, said,
"Oh, I'd love to go to one of those kinds of weddings!"

Ha. I had just been working with my editor to write a caption for a photo of trans actor Ian Alexander that didn't sound like we were presenting him as a side-show---"here's one of those kinds of actors."

But my coworker clearly meant it with friendly respect, and I was glad the customer took it that way---and so did I.
This job is like the opposite of my editing and writing work, which is all about finding what's wrong, or somehow off, figuring out why and coming up with other options.
At the thrift store, yesterday I asked for clarification of some vague policy and set off some chain reaction that I still do not understand, but it ended with 3 people (2, managers) telling me, basically, not to ask because they couldn't answer.

And now I'm going to catch the bus! XO Fresca

Follow-up post: "Little Nicks to the Spirit"