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One concept that stood out to me was the component of the system titled “Labor Market. ” The statistics do not lie in the unfair judgment of black people in the workforce. These biased conditions include: “unemployment, labor force participation, employment, job assignments, promotions, pay, authority, working conditions, benefits, and more,” (Reskin, 21).
In the workplace, oppression is occuring in the form of limiting opportunity for moving up in the company. Having worked in the same manual labor job for five summers, I can attest to a low number of black, or other minority workers in the same concentration of work. One way leaders could work to address this issue in the labor market is having blind interviews. Much in the way the best experiments are run under double blind standards, the interviewer could first listen to the interviewee’s responses for the first 15 minutes, then the employe could face the potential employee for the duration of the interview. Also, there should be no discrepancy based on race in the pay offered to the same position. Another concept that stood out to me was the discipline, incarceration, and criminal justice system. The position of power is crucial in this component of the discrimination system because those in authority are making all the decisions. In prisons, there is little opportunity to make your own decisions and when those in power are not consistent in their position, it deviates from the core of the judicial system. In addition, justice is to be upheld by employees of the correctional sect of society, yet that’s not the case for incarceration and disciplinary facilities.
One way leaders could work to address the concept is being trained to be less judgmental on race. In training perhaps officers can be trained on seeing the act or behavior before they see the race. For example if there is an active shooter in a school, it matters very little the race of the shooter, but the behavior is the real problem. Referring to the workplace system, I have the most interaction with the privilege of my race. When I apply for jobs, I may have a better chance of getting the job simply because I’m white. I do not agree with this bias, yet it occurs so frequently. Furthermore, when I interact in stores with different employees, they treat me different. I know that I would not be under suspicions for shoplifting if I wore a bulky jacket.
However, someone of a different race may be watched more closely from their entrance to an establishment and any “unusual” behavior that followed would only “confirm” the bias that the individual should be watched more closely. In addition, based on my ability, it would be likely that I receive more responsibilities in the workplace because I’m perceived as competent. I have two examples that occured in the five summers I worked at a cheese company in Wisconsin. One example of competence is: a group of deaf customers were checking out their items and I needed to see an I. D. and had to communicate that gestures rather than words. After the individuals left, my coworker turned to me and asked, “Why would you go out with a whole bunch of other people who are the same, if you can’t hear? ” I replied, “Just because we don’t know sign language, doesn’t mean others shouldn’t go out. They want to enjoy their vacation too. ” In retrospect, I would not be talked about as a customer at another store because my mannerisms are up to the “norm” of sounding and acting like everyone else. That incident spurred on my goal to learn sign language and I am now a third semester student of ASL.
Another example of the discrimination system in the workplace occurred this summer. My manager in the production department knew that I was attending college and constantly held my education over me. He made comments like, “Can you not do that because of your superior intelligence? ” I often replied with a comment about being the same as everyone else in the department and that others had more experience in a specific task that I didn’t know how to complete. This example has more to do with education than ability, but is still relevant that college does not always equal experience. Moreover, education can be a facade of ability and when an individual fails to meet the requirement, their education is an easy target to attack. In conclusion, after reading this article, I want to learn more about how neighborhoods are discriminatory in each state of the United States. From a psychology course, I know that North Minneapolis has the lowest rating of trust between neighbors in America, but I wonder if that is true of smaller towns? After speaking with Momo, I found that Interstate 94 was purposely planned to divide and segregate the blacks and whites in that area of Minneapolis.
How many other routes of transportation were erected to keep people to their “own” sides? Beyond this article being difficult to process, the underlying truth is the same, discrimination occurs in all facets of world. It is of utmost importance for me, to live out what my parents taught me: if they’re Black, White, Asian, Indian; you aren’t better than the next person, you treat everyone with the same respect you want to receive.
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