Recently in class, we have been talking about racism and the fact that racism is now more subtle whereas in years gone by, racism was more overt.
For 9 years now, I have tried earnestly to understand why, as an adult professional, I experienced so many adversities working with whites and other non-black professionals in the workplace. I have attended management classes, became very introspective to seek to understand myself and my management style etc. It was not until recently that someone told me what I suspected but was too afraid to utter. During the years I have worked in the Lehigh Valley, I found on many occasions that I would give a directive to someone I supervised and he or she would give me a hassle before completing and sometimes would not follow through. But if a colleague that was white and even in a non-supervisory role would issue the same directive, there would be no issue. I have experienced disrespect and isolation in the work place if I did not compromise standards and safety issues or behave permissively. These incidents would occur and I would question my approach and try new tactics catering my approach to each staff member. I would consult my peers and even superiors who would all agree that it was not “appropriate” to behave in an insubordinate manner towards me and that they themselves would not tolerate such behaviors. Curiously enough, no one has ever spoken up and/or coached the staff members being insubordinate.