Our bowling work party is this weekend. First of all, more than half of the people who voted to go to this place are not coming. That means that more than half of the people who RSVPd with a "yes" to this party are folks who wanted an outdoor picnic, but got voted out by the people who decided not to come. OK, OK, I’m letting it go now, but still it irritates. Grump grump.
Secondly. We are a great workplace as far as teamwork goes. I have never heard a glimpse or glimmer of discrimination, harrassment, cliques, bullying – nothing. Believe me I’m looking for it, and I get all kinds of complaints in my office, but nothing more than basic personality clashes. We all get along really well, and I truly don’t think this is naive white girl not noticing – not here. Oh, there’s subtle and not so subtle exclusion in this community, in business in general, in lots of places – but in day to day interactions on the job site, everybody seems to have mutual respect, and equal opportunity for growth.
When I put out the sign up sheet for bowing teams, we ended up with two all white teams and two all black teams.
I just wonder why. It doesn’t bother me deeply, it’s just a tickle. I almost want to insert myself in one of the all black teams, but they’re full up and, I mean, they picked the teams themselves. We’re all playing each other, so we’ll all still hang out. It’s just – one of those funny things. Probably will always be that way in this country. You have black churches and white churches, black tables in the break room and white tables. If I went to a black church, I would be embraced and smothered with love and welcome just like any other person. And same for the reciprocal in many cases (I won’t naively say "all" cases). If I was on one of these bowling teams, nobody would have a problem, nobody would think it was funny. But it just shakes out that way – we tend to divide ourselves into "likes" and "not likes," and race is the easiest thing to look at and see whether you’re "on the team" or not. Maybe one day we’ll have so many mixed race folks in this country, we won’t be able to tell who’s on which team anymore (this, according to my husband who could speak infinitely more intelligently on the topic, is sort of a problem for Brazilian civil rights – because nobody can decide who’s black enough to be oppressed and who’s white enough to be oppressing, and that stymies the civil rights leaders who don’t know who to recruit and who to vilify). I am really happy that this is our big problem at my job, this tiny vestige of the racial divide. Goodness, at my last job I had a guy telling the new white girl to be careful of the niggers, they’ll git her if she ain’t careful. I get none of that here, and it’s great. It’s just interesting to observe human behavior. Isn’t it?