How to perpetuate racism

If you are a regular here on my blog, you know that I don’t get into controversial topics like this very often. But I have had this thought running through my head most of the day, so I decided to get it out of my head and onto my blog. It’s really more of an opinion piece than I normally write, but I’d really like to get your thoughts on this, too.

This current thought-stream stemmed from the incident at Harvard this week, where a black man (who happened to be a Harvard professor) was spotted breaking into a house (which he happened to be renting). When the police arrived, this professor refused to calmly sort out the matter, shouted all sorts of nasty things at the officers, and was arrested for disorderly conduct. (You can read the news article here.)

Now, here’s my line of thought.

Was it racism that prompted the neighbor to call the police when she saw “two black males with backpacks on the porch” because one of them was “wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry”?

I don’t know. I hope that she would have called the police regardless of the color of the men she saw breaking and entering into her neighbor’s home. And I assume the professor would have been extremely grateful had she caught someone (other than himself) actually trying to commit a crime.

Here’s where I have the problem. In the professor’s mind, she was being racist because she reported two black men trying to break into a house, even though that’s what was happening! The racism wasn’t there until the professor injected it into the situation. She was being a neighbor; he saw a racist. He is the one who brought it up.

The title is “How to perpetuate racism”. We don’t do it by reporting or imprisoning criminals, regardless of their skin color. We do it by intentionally pointing out the things that don’t matter and making them a big deal. Here’s what I mean.

When a person uses the phrase “African-American” to refer to a black person, or when a black person demands that he or she be referred to as “African-American”, I believe that is helping perpetuate racism by placing black people into a separate category than other people around them. It’s pointing out their differences and making those their defining characteristic. The same holds true for Asian-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Native-Americans, and the rest.

“Now,” some would say, “we just want to hold onto our culture and customs. That’s why we call ourselves that.” Great – I have no problem with family traditions. We have customs in our family, too. But we don’t force them on our neighbors or expect others to treat us differently because of something that really has nothing to do with them.

Our family eats homemade pretzels every Christmas; it’s our tradition. I really hope you don’t treat me any differently because of it. Will you pretzel-haters out there start calling me a “pretzel-lover”? Will you avoid me the day after Christmas because you know we ate pretzels the previous day? Will you define us by our culture of Christmas pretzels?

Silly? Of course. But why should a country of origin a couple of years, decades, or centuries ago be any different? Does my family background define me any differently than the pretzels I eat?

The fact is that many people who demand to be called “African-American” are from families that have been in America longer than mine! I have traced my family’s move here, and it wasn’t all that long ago.

Should I, then, demand or deserve to be called “Austrian-American”? And even moreso because my blond-haired, blue-eyed son fits a German-Austrian stereotype better than many lighter-skinned blacks fit the African stereotype?

Do you see that every time we point out these things and make an unnecessary distinction, we are actually growing the very cancer we say we want to remove?

It’s not racist to call a black man “black” any more than it is to call me “white”. Most people just really don’t care that much. Neither do they care where your family came from or what your family had to go through to get here.

It’s when we focus on those things that we not only allow racism, we actually continue it.

You want the solution? I’ll offer it in another post entitled “How to end racism”.

68 thoughts on “How to perpetuate racism”

  1. Outstanding…I agree 100%.

    My children are half Korean and half white (American) but I will slap you down silly if you try to give them any special privileges because of it. They are no different then you, and they and I expect them to be treated as so.

    My wife is Korean, came from Korea and received her citizenship back in 1999. She is no different then anyone else either and her nor I will allow her to be treated any differently, wether it be special treatment because she is Asian, or discriminating her for the same. She is an American, period.

    My grandson, now he is 1/4 of each of his heritages, which one will you then chose to call him by or treat him by. NONE, he is an American as well and as such will be called by no other name in front of it. He is who he is, he is not black, he is not white, he is not korean or he is not mexican, He is all of the above, but more so he is a human who is American.

    He is however the most handsome lil' guy around… (; )

    He also will not be treated different, he will get what he gets because of his merits not because of a label someone chose to place on him.

  2. I have to say, you did a thorough and good job laying out the facts of a situation that has been driving me crazy (er) for a long time. Well said and well spoken.

  3. I have to say, you did a thorough and good job laying out the facts of a situation that has been driving me crazy (er) for a long time. Well said and well spoken.


  4. Daniel Goepfrich

    Jason posted a comment that got messed up and not posted. Here is what he said:

    "Something that bothers me possibly even more about that story is that the person who called the police didn't even recognize his own neighbor! I think (usually unfounded) fear plays a big part in feeding racism and perpetuating stereotypes. In this case, the people in the neighborhood were so locked into their cocoon of safety that they wouldn't even come out to meet each other, let alone establish relationships that would have prevented this situation entirely. Instead of calling the cops, the neighbor could have been bringing over the spare key to the professor's house to let him in! Fear is crippling! If we could get past the fear, we could celebrate each other's heritages instead of using them to perpetuate a stereotype."

  5. Moving on, the article says the professor went in through the back door SHUT OFF AN ALARM and went back around front to work on the jammed door. Now when the police arrived they should have wondered one, why has the "robber" stayed, two there is an alarm and it's disarmed, and when they saw his id and Harvard id, they should have gotten the picture then and left. And I am almost certain if the man were white they would have said "sorry to bother you sir". So maybe some racism there? And yes the professor was way out of line for being so belligerent it's unfortunate that such an intelligent individual as a Harvard professor chose to act in such a manner. So he was at fault there.

    1. Daniel Goepfrich

      Apparently, that is exactly what happened (same article –

      In tapes of the subsequent police transmissions, an officer presumed to be Crowley can also be heard saying the "gentleman" — Gates — was being "uncooperative." The officer acknowledges the man claims to reside at the address and calls for Harvard University police to respond to the scene.

      Though Crowley confirmed Gates was the resident when he arrived, the officer later arrested him for disorderly conduct, a charge that was later dropped.

  6. But whether we want to admit it or not racism occurs and probably more than we think. I have witnessed it on more than one occasion. With my mother, when I was growing up because of her accent was treated very poorly at grocery stores and such and it would infuriate me. And my son's father has been discriminated against. We went job searching for him some time ago and he came out of a restaurant saying they told him they had no applications. So I decided to see for myself. I went in and asked for an application and was handed one right away. Granted he got some from other places but this situation shouldn't have happened. Another incident was when he called an office of some sort I don't remember what office and was told that the gentleman he wished to speak to was not in. So I called immediately after and asked for the same gentleman and was put through to him right away.

    1. Daniel Goepfrich

      You said: "But whether we want to admit it or not racism occurs and probably more than we think."

      There is no doubt about that at all. People are treated unfairly all the time, simply because of their skin color or cultural background.

      The point in my post is two-fold:

      1) Distinguishing a certain group of people purely on color or family background actually enforces the differences and thus perpetuates racism.

      2) The stereotypes that we have of certain people groups came from somewhere – they're not just made up. And as long as those stereotypes keep getting validated – even by only a few people – they will not go away, again perpetuating racism.

  7. So you cannot say that these situations don't exist and they happen a lot more than we realize. And sometimes minorities need someone to care. This country has always been and still is dominated by white men. Except now we have a mixed president (and it does irritate me he claims to be black and not mixed) but we still have a very long way before everyone TRULY has as equal an opportunity as anyone else because right now this is just not the case. White men have a leg up on everyone else even with affirmative action. And if we didn’t have such laws who do you think white men who are in high positions will want to hire? Other white men, people like themselves because we like to surround ourselves with people we relate to and trust.

    1. Daniel Goepfrich

      That's true – but it has nothing to do with color. Frankly, it has everything to do with sin. Racism is a spiritual issue, nothing else. (I will deal with this in my coming post "How to end racism").

      It is also true that – because racism is a spiritual issue – there will never be a time in the world as we know it where "everyone TRULY has as equal an opportunity as anyone else".

      1. Now that I disagree with entirely. When we are born, we are all as American Citizens afforded the same opportunity as the next. From birth on those opportunities change caused by parental guidance, education and the education system, the church, peers, etc. But 2 people born in THIS COUNTRY at the same time has the same ability and opportunity to put their life where they want to. Some have to work harder than others, but that's odds, not OPPORTUNITY.

        1. Daniel Goepfrich

          Like it or not, because of stereotypes and racism, some people will never have exactly the same opportunities as some others. By it's very definition, if one person is refused a job application, for instance, for it to be given to the next person, that is a loss of that opportunity, thus making it unequal.

          Just because we all have the same *rights* as American citizens does not mean that we are all afforded the same *opportunities*. That said, many people are not willing to work harder to overcome racism, instead opting for handouts or crime (regardless of color).

    2. That's funny, most of my employees were black or hispanic. I think part of the whole point isn't that there isn't predjudice it's that a whole lot of time it is perpetuated by the entitlement attiitude (I'm throwing a temper tantrum like a small child so YOU must be predjudice or I demand you call my African/Asian/European American or YOU are predjudice, etc, etc, etc.) We ARE the most diverse nation on this planet and we still have problems with predjudice despite that fact, BUT we make it all worse when we run around screaming it's there all the time instead of taking and ACTIVE AND NON-BELLIGERENT road to sort things out. (stepping off my soap box and waiting for the tomatoes!)

  8. As far as making race so important. I do not believe race or ethnicity should be the one thing that defines a person but it is important. I do not think it should be the first thing people notice and it drives me crazy when people describe a non-white person in a story or whatever when race has no relevance to the story. But if race or ethnicity is to be considered it should not be dismissed. Here's what I mean. When someone looks at me for instance I would hope that the first thing they think about is not what my race is but if for whatever reason it comes up I don't want to be considered a "white girl" because I am not. I am half white and half Korean and I am proud of both.

  9. So if you have a friend let’s say that’s Asian and they hold this culture close. You decide to go over there home one day and they want you to take your shoes off and they have a dinner table that you have to sit on the floor to eat. Should you not follow these customs and dismiss them because they are unimportant and have nothing to do with you? I think as Jason said we should celebrate each other’s heritages. I think it is absolutely interesting to learn about different cultures and while I may not agree with everything it's intriguing to explore and learn about.

    1. Daniel Goepfrich

      Again, this is an example from inside the home. However, if this Asian held a public office, and I scheduled a meeting with him or her, I would not expect to have to hold to Asian culture in this person's office.

      1. I don't know how I feel about that I could be taking what your saying wrong but the beauty of America is that we can all be so different and thats ok. To say we have to hide that in our home and when we come out all appear the same to me defeats the purpose of our freedoms. You get to "express" your caucasian culture when you step out of your home by the way you are dressed. So should someone that wants to continue to dress in their traditional clothes have to change because other people dont like what they are wearing? Or if that same Asian friend happens to be a president of a company that you're doing business with and he wants shoes off in his office. You shouldnt be imposed to do this? Is it really hurting anyone though?

    2. That's just called being polite. Polite people would take off their shoes and sit on the floor. That's not even necessarily celebrating their culture.

  10. My son as my father already stated is 1/4 of four different ethnicities (korean,caucasian,latino,and african-american) and he is my dream baby. He to me represents peace, gives me hope that maybe one day all cultures can come together and EMBRACE each other’s differences not just tolerate or ignore or worse hate them. And I believe he should be proud of everything that he is that is why I have chosen to teach my son Spanish and I want my mother to teach him Korean. And will encourage his interest in African heritage and it may be a million times removed but it's his ancestry and I think it's important. Back to the "melting pot" we should consider America a "tossed salad" (got that from a sociology class :)) but really, a mix of lots of different people and heritages and customs that all coexist and embrace all the differences.

    1. Erica, I surely don't want to offend by asking the following question. All I'm doing is making my point. Where is your son's father now?

      1. You know where he is ( I think) or I'll tell you in person but that has nothing to do with the color of his skin. It has to do with the poor upbringing he had and poor decisions he made as a person. And yes maybe when the police profile him they may be right but there have been times I did not discuss that he's been harassed and was doing nothing more than waiting for a bus to take to work but because he fit the profile of someone they were looking for so they decided to pick on him. But what does where my son's father is have anything to do with what I said? My point was that there is rascism even in or especially in prestigious neighborhoods and amoung police and you can't place ALL the blame on the proffessor for the situation. They were all wrong.

        1. Daniel Goepfrich

          Unfortunately, this is true – many times people respond to stereotypes, whether they are right or wrong in each situation.

          However, equally unfortunate, because stereotypes are sometimes true, those who enforce the law do not have the luxury of giving every person the benefit of the doubt.

          And sometimes their guess is wrong.

  11. 1) Exactly. Poor decisions he made as a person. You can't use him as an example when he perpetuated the very situation that you're asking people to clear their heads on. He is a perfect example of the stereotype that you're asking us to ignore, yet you use him as an example of racism that was uncalled for.

    2) They didn't "decide to pick on him." He fit the description of what would have been a criminal, and low and behold…. They were right. Their profile was justified.

    3) As for the professor. It doesn't matter what color his skin was. When he initially refused to provide ID, the police are then trained to be skeptical or suspicious. White, black, green or grey, give the police a reason to suspect something and you'll be treated as such. His beligerance got him where he went, NO OTHER REASON. We can't presume otherwise. We weren't there. We can only assume the police followed the protocol they were trained in.

    1. Point 3 is EXACTLY the point the racism groups want to ignore or pick on. HE REFUSED to provide identification. That will get you in trouble regardless of color, most of the time of course. My uncle is a 40 year old white male and is ALWAYS getting himself in trouble for being argumentative with the police. It's a fact. You argue, they go after you. Should he counter sue because of reverse race discrimination? If the officer is black or just behave himself, get this, even if he was wronged, then take it to the judge or higher ups to be dealt with through the right channels? Hmmm. Do things properly and in order? What a concept!

  12. The point I'm making about stereotyping is that it is wrong and needs to stop. The examples are not uncalled for because in each of the situations I talked about he was not doing anything wrong. And yes they did pick on him because he was in a white neighborhood waiting for a bus. The police officer proceeded (from my son's fathers story) to sit there and harass him and threatened to take him to jail and all he was doing was waiting for the bus.

    1. Daniel Goepfrich

      Like I said above, as long as there are even a few people who live up to (or down to) their stereotype, they will never go away.

      However, people can choose to act on them or not. In situations with law enforcement, they are to make the best judgment much quicker than most other people because of the nature of their job.

      And sometimes they just get it wrong.

    2. Assuming, your son's father was telling the truth. I'm not saying it's an outrageous story, because I have one similar. I have also seen suspicious characters walk away from a situation when the police could have arrested them.

    3. Exactly. He fit a certain profile and when they investigated (which they're HIRED to do) they found a crime being committed. You can't say "all he was doing was waiting for the bus" when he had illegal substance on him. He WAS committing a crime, like it or not. So when those officers profiled him, and investigated it, they were correct.

      What you're forgetting here is our police are hired to INVESTIGATE suspicion. It's a pure judgment call. If they didn't investigate those suspicions, crimes would go unsolved and unnoticed. When they arrested him, he would have successfully transported something illegal. He would have committed a crime.

      1. I think you are confusing stories. He was doing nothing but waiting for a bus, he did not have anything on him and he was not arrested during this incident he was waiting for a bus period. The police officer was harrassing him, I dont remember all of the details because it was a couple of years ago but you are taking the situation out of context. Dont think I'm sticking up for him because he'smy son's father because I'll be the first to tell him he belongs locked up but in no situation is prejudice ok in my book. He was not doing any criminal activity at this time and to say that it's ok to harrass someone becuase of a record is not right.

  13. Regardless of his record or whether or not he has done wrong things in the past does not make them correct for profiling him in that situation, he was not who they were looking for and he did nothing wrong at the time so they were picking on him because he is black. Period. And to say that that is ok because he is a criminal is wrong because I'm sure you've made poor decisions in your life so are we allowed to judge and profile you for the rest of your life for those decisions? No we shouldnt so you can't do it to him or anyother person, so no they were not justified. The point is in each of these situations he was innocent or whatever and you cannot say that its ok to treat people this way because they're appearance fits the stereotype and they've made mistakes before. And you say it's wrong for them to profile white people with the label that they don't care and arent willing to help when thats exactly what you are doing, you are fitting the profile they have for you and vice versa and it's never going to stop until we can see eachother as individuals and stop judging entire races on mistakes of other individuals.

    1. Daniel Goepfrich

      You said: "It's never going to stop until we can see eachother as individuals and stop judging entire races on mistakes of other individuals."

      You're right – at least partially. My next post on this topic will elaborate on what else it takes to end racism.

    2. I disagree. Dress, appear or present yourself as a thug, you'll be treated as such. And rightly so I might add. Dress "loosely" or present your self "loosely" as a woman (as we discussed the other night) and expect to be treated as such. Dress, appear or present yourself with respect and get treated as such.

      When you put yourself in public, you are a presentation. One that will get a reaction. When you present yourself in a certain manner that fits a profile (knowingly so I might add), what gives when you're actually surprised when someone reacts to it? You react when you see that woman dressing loosely, why is it so wrong when someone reacted to the way HE appeared?

      1. Because him dressing in loose clothing and being black is not hurting anyone at all. "well if he had a gun, if he's in a gang, or maybe he's just trying to go to work and he worked at a factory at the time and I know no one that goes to work in a factory in slacks and a polo. The woman dressed loosely whether or not she tempts another womans man into an affair is an if but she WILL affect small children in some way especially if they continue to see it.

  14. Daniel Goepfrich

    I'm going to try to reply within each section, when necessary, to keep thoughts together.

    You asked: "Did the neighbor start with racism?" I hoped she didn't, and today her call was released that showed that not only didn't she identify their race, she actually said that she couldn't make out their color from that distance.

    According to the 911 tapes, she said:

    "They were two larger men — one looked kind of Hispanic but I'm not really sure, and the other one entered and I didn't see what he looked like at all," she said. "I just saw it from a distance."

    "I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key, but I did notice that they kind of used their shoulder to try to barge in and they got in," she said.

    So I would have to say that any form of racism did not originate with her.

  15. Daniel Goepfrich

    You're exactly right. However, holding to one's culture in one's home is far different than expecting me to respond to your culture outside of your home in the public arena.

    This is actually the same argument that people use about public religion. And to an extent, they are right. I have no right to force my belief system on anyone – but that doesn't mean that I have to hide it in public. There must be a balance.

  16. And in this country it is ok to celebrate your heritage. Try to celebrate your heritage in a ton of countries all over the world and you can be thrown in prison and/or executed. This is still the most accepting country in the world despite some of it's deep problems.

  17. So, now.. let's say this happened to a white man.. or two as is may be, and two black officers responded to the call and the caller was black. 1) Would all the publicity happened? 2) Would he have also gotten an invitation to the white house?

    So, now tell me what is wrong with this picture…

    And to answer Erica's question as to the phone call and the description of the two men by the neighbor.

    Because there are many different races and colors of people in the United States (I will use only the US as an example since that is where it took place), it is common, and expected by police to get a full description of the perpetrators (or purposed in this case).

    It would be naive for me to think that I could call 911 and tell them that my neighbors house is being broken in by two men and not describe them. This goes to color of skin, color of hair, to color and type of clothing. If I were to only say two men an then they ran.. how would the police find them.

    Would they just pick any two men walking or running down the street? A full description is needed to help the police be more efficient. No racism involved, just the facts Dan'O.

    1. Daniel Goepfrich

      I noticed in the article today that the caller did not identify the color of the men – just that there were two trying to break in. She specifically said that it was too dark to identify them, but that one of them looked like he was pushing through the door with his shoulder.

    2. You hit it on the head here. Even if she had said 2 black men, it is wrong to assume prejudice. The police don't find criminals without a description. It is just a fact.

        1. When you call, they start asking you all kinds of questions to get the info. Not really anything you need to know necessarily, it's just what they do. Lol, I have had experience with calling though!!

    3. And as I stated it could have been (and apparently is) standard for them to need to know the race, my point was they would have to ask me for me to even think about it because it is not the first thing that comes to my mind. And as Daniel posted the real phone call and it shows what she actually said I don't believe she was being racist but the initial article said she said two black men and you cannot say if she was being racist or not with that information.
      Just because I think there could have been racism doesnt mean I think the situation was handled right. I also think its absolutely ridiculous that this got to the president.

      1. So which side perpetuated the racism in THIS particular situation? Again, we're back to the media and the victim pulling the race card for two officers and a police department doing their jobs. Literally nothing more. How are we, as a majority (wow, was THAT politically incorrect?) supposed to keep a clear head on the stereotype when the minority race pulls that card at every chance they get? It seems like a battle from both sides and one's waiting for the other to bow down and give

        1. Daniel Goepfrich

          That's another reason it doesn't go away – because it's used in victim mentalities. Again, if people would stop pointing it out, it wouldn't carry near the weight that it does.

          1. It is similar (though DEFINITELY not the same!) as these ongoing school shootings. Now this is what i mean, Do you think there would be as many problems with school shootings if the media wasn't there in two seconds? It's the glory, it's the recognition, it's the fame. Again, not in every case, BUT if there wasn't so much attention given, I believe the cases would be far fewer. Now, it is the IN thing to cry race and get the media sympathy "oh poor me, the big white man is picking on the poor (insert nationality here) man. They just got a get out of jail free card because it has been made into such a hot button, most people are now scared into not fighting it and the people have been silenced. I can think of a dozen more parallels but i don't want to take up any more space than i already have. Let me just leave it with this tonight. Racism happens. It is a fact and it is wrong. It is in the foundation of this country that all men are created equal. But that doesn't give any of us, myself included, the right to cry foul and go running to the media to get out of the bad decisions that put us in the position we got ourselves into. Take personal responsibilty for your OWN actions and let the authorities, that God himself has placed over us, sort it out.

  18. I hardly think that racism will decrease simply if we dont talk about it or bring it to media's attention. Yes I think this is going too far when we get tons of people involved and go to the media but stopping this is not going to lessen the racism, we will just think it's lessened because we will hear less about it. And people certainly don't have to point out their ethnicity to be discriminated against it's pretty obvious when you look at a person whether or not they are white.And they get discriminated against without asking to be treated differently because they look different or sound different.

    1. No, you're right. But you have to start somewhere, and it seems the media is the stirring pot to do that.

      The problem is, the race as a majority DOES ask to be treated differently. e.g. affermative action, minority scholarships, minority programs, etc. If you want equality, you should ask for it as a whole.

      1. To ask for it as a whole means that all of these minorities would then have to have as equal an opportunity as anyone else for it to work in everyone's best interest. As stated above though that is obviously never going to come to pass so if the "underdog" (whether this is a minority or just someone in need) needs help then they should get it, they should have to work for it but they should get it. Obviously affirmative action and minority scholorships and such were put in place because those in charge saw fit to do so.

  19. If minorities just sat around and let things happen then we would still have segregation and what not. Now dont get me wrong there are definitely people that pull the race card and its just not true but there are plenty of people that are discriminated against. So what's their solution drop everything they've grown up to know the second they step out of their house and become "white"? And make sure they don't have an accent and speak english perfectly so that they don't fall victim to racism? Well as long as they dont have white features they will still be looked at differently.

  20. So this is my main point out of everything I've said instead of asking people to hide their customs at home or change what they look like or how they talk or whatever we should embrace eachothers differences. I don't understand why this is so hard. If someone wants to dress in their traditional clothing so what. If someone wants to continue speaking their native language so what. If they dont want to become a cookie cutter image of the (white) people that want them to change and be like them so what. Thats what America is about right? Diversity. So why don't we just accept the diversity instead of trying to make everyone the same. And you cant always leave it up to authorities becuase they are human and they judge too. I think everyone that has commented on this blog should take the time and learn a new language and a little about the culture of the people of that language it will make us all better people 🙂

    1. Now, define diversity for me. I'm all for your hopeful image, I just don't see it as realistic.

      Is diversity and the celebration of one's heritage a display of past culture? Or is it wearing pants half down their crack and a hat to one side? I surely wouldn't hire someone that showed me their undergarments. I still have a professional image to display. If someone came in with "culturalistic" clothing on then I would have no problem considering that person for a job, but when they come in with their pants half way to their ankles, I have a problem with that. That has nothing to do with culture, it's the image of a thug.

      1. I personally don't consider that a culture but if you do why is it such a problem? It doesnt appeal to you so what, so don't dress like that (not to sound childish or nasty but really why does it matter)?. Although unattractive someone wearing their pants to their crack and hat to the side doesnt hurt anyone, if they belong to a gang and carry a gun yada yada but these can be completely seperate. If all you have against this person is the bagginess of their clothes than you should have no reason to dislike the person themselves, you may dislike their choice of style but again thats the beauty of America, individuality.

        1. No, but bring it into the workplace. Not only do I have an opinion, but I must present my business in a fashion as not to offend my patrons nor make them uncomfortable. A famous statement that MY boss makes (as you well know who he is) he says "Wear my brand, take my money, do it my way. Represent my company as I would when you wear my brand."

  21. Now if they come in for an interview with their clothes like that then I completely understand not hiring them. But if you're making this decision when they come in for an application I have a problem with that. It will hurt you in no way to simply give this person an application and if you make a decision after you've looked at their credentials, I say thats just if thats what it's based on. And to require a certain dress code in the work place is understandable as well, "a professional image to display" but to judge them for wearing these garments on their own time I disagree with. I have tattoos and piercings and a lot of people don't agree with them and I don't cover them up when I go in to pick up applications. But they can be covered in the workplace and for interviews. I am a hard worker and I am in my opinion intelligent so I would find it very unfair for someone to judge me due to what I choose to look like on my own time.

    1. I ALMOST agree with you. BUT… When you come in "on your own time" to get an application, that truly is your first interview. Your appearance has a great impact on whether or not you will be called in for an "official" interview. When you ask for an application you may be on your own time, but you're asking the employer for their time and money.

      I have been a supervisor a good percentage of my working career. Trust me when I say first impressions are the most important. If a person that wants the application cares, they will present themselves in such a manner when requesting the form to be on "my time." That not only applies to clothing, but appearance (shaving, haircut, etc) and hygiene.

      The only way I can recommend you to get past the initial "judgment" is to start your own business so you can write your own rules. That's the benefit of our free America. Not many other countries can you do such a thing.

  22. I think the race thing is wrong, but out there. Previously it was discussed about getting denied applications because of race. I wonder how the person was dressed. I saw when a company I worked for advertised for a worker. The people came in to get applications, some in business attire others came in with there boxers showing, ripped clothes, you name it we saw it for 10 days. I understand you are a individual, but if you want a job dress appropriately for what you are applying for. I have worked with people of all races in my life. I have witnessed reverse prejudice also. I knew one person who would not talk to a white person unless it was unavoidable, militarily required. It is sad that he judged people without giving them a chance and then made it out to be their fault. It goes both ways. If I placed a German flag outside my home or on my car, I am sure I would be looked at differently. To the melting pot discussion, you must try to assimilate into society instead of wanting the country to add your language to everything. If you draw attention to your difference why be surprised when people notice your different. I think we need to think about all this to understand how we perpetuate racism ourselves.

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