I'm SO tired of ya'll...
As a POC if you've ever worked in corporate America, or been the "token" in the workplace, then I'm sure you can understand how exhausting it can be mentally.
One thing you'll realize quick as a POC in corporate American is that no matter how lazy, disrespectful, disobedient or how much your white co-workers abuse their situations, you CAN NOT even THINK about doing the same. If so, it will be a problem.
Let's just say your white co-worker Jimmy decides to come in whenever he feel like it, works about 20 of his 40 hour work week, shoots the shit with people in the office, calls out "sick" almost every week and leaves early all the time. Now others notice his habits, but say and do nothing.
Now let's say you (A POC) comes in late for the first time since starting the position five years ago, then you better bet your jolly ass someone is going to ask you about it or if "everything is okay?"
Don't be fooled. That question isn't out of concern. It's a passive aggressive way of basically saying... "I'm monitoring you. I'm checking for you. If this happens again, then expect to be reprimanded or even written up." If you think i'm lying, then try it.
Simply put ....YOU CAN NOT GET AWAY WITH EVEN A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE SHIT YOUR WHITE CO-WORKERS GET AWAY WITH. PERIOD!
Then, if you even have the audacity to bring up that a white co-worker has done worse, it's apples to oranges or they're solely focusing on your situation. Also, God forbid you have a taste of aggression in your voice then you're considered "hostile." Moving forward you now have a target on your back and best believe they are thinking of ways to get rid of you because they don't want a "hostile environment."
As for Jimmy? Oh Jimmy is still coming in late, leaving early, using "sick" days as vacation days and teeheeing all over the office because "you know how Jimmy is." Meanwhile, you're in your office seething at the double standard and privilege. Unfortunately beloved that is the way of the world.
I'll share a little story with you...
While working in corporate America I had a supervisor and a few co-workers that literally did whatever. They were Jimmy. But I minded my own business. Why? Because what they did didn't really effect me.
One day I went to lunch with a friend and I was gone for about a hour and a half, but that's not really normal for me. My supervisor texted me while I was on my way back to the office "Where are you???" Yes, there were 3 exclamation points. Knowing that nothing was wrong other than the fact she may actually have to do some work or that too much time has passed since she was able to sit and talk to me for 45 mins, I said "Ummmmm on my lunch break why?" She had the caucasity to text me back "You've been gone for over an hour."
Now before you try to wave the white flag for her let me give you the scoop. My supervisor probably works 15 hours out of a 40 hour work week. Whenever her boss is out of the office she develops whatever illness is trending in the news and "can't make it in." She comes in late. She leaves early and will use a good part of her day talking to me about absolutely nothing. She passes her work on to me and has left me high and dry multiple times. So with that being said, can you see how I had the right to roll my neck when I read that text?
How. Dare. You.
But, I had to remember the simple fact. She is white and I am black. I can't break the rules. If I break the rules, I get reprimanded and "put in my place." If she breaks that rules, then people just roll their eyes and go about their day.
For those of you who think you're safe because you "mind your own business," then I'm sorry to say you aren't either. I, and a few others, were those people. Hell, we are those people. You think to yourself..."If I just do my job, keep my head down and mind my business then no one can say anything." That seems like a pretty safe assumption right? Nope!
The question then becomes "what exactly do they do?" Now, you're in a fight of justification and potentially at risk of losing your job. Meanwhile, Jimmy? Well he is still walking around socializing, updating his Facebook status, calling out sick, coming late and leaving early. But no one questions him....ever!
Jimmy would have to do something so devastating to the company that it would be hard for them to recover. But even with that? It will still be a process before he is "let go" possibly with a severance package. Jerome though? Oh, he will be fired immediately.
What makes it even worse is when you point out the blatant racial discrimination, then everyone is surprised and claims to not "see color."
If you find yourself being a Jimmy do us all a favor and leave the Jeromes of the world alone. First, recognize your privilege. Then stop abusing it in our faces.