Did I ever tell you about that time I quit my job because my boss used a racial slur?
No? Probably because I was, in a way, trying to protect him. You see, I know ^he didn’t really mean it^. He was ^just joking^. He honestly thought he was being funny. Really. He was in a room full of white women, who knew that he was kidding, so no harm, right? Except….
Three years ago I wouldn’t have quit my job over it. It would have made me uncomfortable, but I would have ignored his behavior, as my co-workers did, because he was kidding. ^Obviously.^ And he was my boss. Three years ago, I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it to my husband that evening at home. Except….
Except the ^joke^ was that I should call my son this racial slur.
You know, to get him used to hearing it….
I couldn’t stop thinking about being at a company/family event and any of my boys hearing him say something like that. A co-worker assured me that he would never say anything like that in front of Squirm. As though that made it okay.
My white privilege (aided by my professional qualifications, tbh) allowed me to find a new job pretty quickly. And my white privilege allows me to tell people this story without being accused of Playing the Race Card.
Three years ago, I was one of those people who was offended by the concept of white privilege – how dare anyone suggest that I hadn’t worked hard and earned everything in my life?