this afternoon

A co-worker just stopped me in the hall and said, “Do you think it’s rude that, when I walk into the employee lounge, and there are twenty people from India in there, that they’re all speaking in their language?”

“No,” I said.

“Well, I do.  I mean, who knows what they could be saying?”

Having friendly co-workers makes your job easier.  The vast majority of my white co-workers would not be as friendly with me if I were not white, and especially if English was not my native language.

This has been an episode of “a day in the life of white privilege.”

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2 comments so far

  1. K on

    Yeah, and who knows what your co-workers who speak only english could be saying about you behind your back!

    I actually get self-conscious when I am around people talking in another language but I know it comes from having kids shit-talk about me in other languages in elementary school. It’s a residual thing, and I know that now people probably aren’t saying anything about me, and even if they are, well, what can ya do? Does your co-worker also hate pressing 1 for english?

  2. marchioness on

    I know that someone over at Stuff White People Do brought up this issue, and the paranoia that white people in America have when faced with folks who aren’t speaking English. They don’t even know you – why the hell would they be talking about you?

    Yeah, the best part about it was that, in the act of telling me this, she was trash-talking the people in that room. So rich.


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