Monday, March 1, 2010

What to Say to the Haitian in the Office?

by today Urban Chameleon contributor

I know that white people in corporate America can be passive-aggressive and non-confrontational but I didn't realize what lengths they will go to avoid showing compassion for another human being.

I am a first generation American of Haitian decent. So, as you might imagine, the past month and a half has been sureal for me. In the blink of an eye, I watched my beloved Haiti reduced to rubble. Like every Haitian on the planet, I could not sleep the first week. I came into work everyday, only to keep the CNN livestream gonig and continue emailing back and forth with firends and family. At times, I just broke down and cried right there in the office.

The day after the earthquake, I took some time to send an email out to the entire firm letting them know that my family members had been spared and direct my colleagues to websites where they could donate and/or help. I figured, I would keep a step ahead of inquiries by sending out a firm-wide email. Little did I know, there would be NO inquires.

Other than the black folks at my firm, to my surprise, NOT ONE WHITE PERSON responded to my email. And as if the electronic silence was not enough, the face-to-face was mum as well. Day in and Day out, I walked into the office past a couple of dozen white traders on the trading desk and not a word. My manager? Nothing, I could not believe it.

So, finally I was inspired by my cousins and just started rocking a bandana of the Haitian flag straight across my forehead with my corporate suit to work.

Do you know that these white folks still didn't get it!~!!!!!??? Just last week in the conference room, the first thing one of the traders asked me was if I was on my way to the gym for a run. Are you serious?

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1 comment:

  1. My brother is married to a first generation Hatian. She hates African Americans. She married my brother, because she thinks he isnt African American, b/c our mother is white, and our father is black. She hates his children that he fathered by a Puerto Rican, b/c she hates puerto ricans. She, and her family, completely look down on American Blacks, and personally, i find that ridiculous..she doesnt even consider herself black, and she is one of the darkest people i have ever seen> While I dont like what happened in Haiti, there is no way i would support them, their country and their racist ideology..and i would encourage african americans to take a good look at how Hatians really feel about us before we send another cent to that country.