For fifteen years, I worked for probably one of the most diverse companies in the world, Intel Corp. There were blacks, Hispanics, Caucasians, Indians, Asians, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc… you name it. This was a company that allowed me to move up the ranks from technician to middle management by the sweat of my brow. Never once did I feel racism was dictating my ultimate outcome within the business. And never once did I anticipate that to happen. However, the current racial over and undertones in the media has seemingly triggered a slight change in my psyche due to being constantly made aware that it exists. So now, in the thirty-eighth year of my existence, in my head, do I wonder more than ever whether the white man next to me thinks I think he’s a racist, and vice versa. Many of our generation and the generations to come will be handicapped due to anticipated racism whether or not it exist in certain situations.
I knew a very smart, highly educated, and personable black guy at Intel a few years back. Unfortunately, he did not stay with the company for very long. He would often mention or indicate unfair treatment during our conversations. Everyone could tell that he just wasn’t happy in the environment. I might be mistaken, but I think he anticipated racism because of either prior real life experiences or through the everyday narrative of racism presented to us in the media or elsewhere.
I am also reminded of the little girl recently who got freaked out because she was anticipating something bad to happen to her dad when they were pulled over by the police. The recent events highlighted in the news and social media had a negative psychological affect on her. See the video below
There have been many studies done relating the psychological impact on African Americans due to perceived racism which I will not cite here, but I recommend everyone to do a simple Google search with the words “psychological affect and perceived racism” to find research papers on the topic.
In conclusion, as we are increasingly made aware of racism among us, our psyche will change, and we will begin anticipating racism more and more in everyday situations. This anticipation will result in a type of handicap that will affect performance of blacks at work and school despite their potential and giftedness. I hope a strategy can be implemented within the movement that takes in account this negative affect on our children for generations to come.
The featured public domain image is courtesy of http://onehistory.org/blackimages.htm