On 25th February 2020, around 10:00 am, I interviewed Wayne through video chat on the Zoom platform. The minority is a black accountant working at the most white accounting firm. The number of people in the group is 15. As my interviewee is a Muslim, the majority culture of the group is Christians.
Did you know you’d be in the minority before you met the others? If so, what thoughts and feelings did you have about being a minority before meeting the other members of this group?
In nearly all my endeavors till this point, I have been part of the majority. The thought of being the majority has never come across my mind till I became just that. Before meeting other members of this group, I thought that the minority have feelings of fear or anger which could lead them to earlier and immediately reject a perspective that is distinct from theirs. They are frustrated with how they have been rejected in the white society. I also thought that when the minority is someone who is black.
If you didn’t know ahead of time, what was it like to walk in and realize you were in the minority?
Walking into the organization, I realized I was in the minority group. While at the workplace, I was exposed to unequal treatment and less authority over my life (Wagley 1). When working at the company, I felt that they did not like me despite my efforts. Most workers told me to forget being promoted and that they would I see them get promoted as they were whites.
When you first met this group, was it obvious that you were a minority? If not, did you let others know, or just try to blend in? Why or why not?
It was not obvious that I was a minority when I met the group. i believe that the skin color cannot be used as a metric to define a person. I believe that both people with white and black skin color should have the same rights. As I am a social person, I tried to socialize with the employees at the workplace. However, after a short period, I realized that the people from the white race were not willing to socialize with me. The working environment seemed hostile because no individual wanted to socialize with me.
If your minority status was obvious, what was it like to be unable to hide it?
As a black in front of a nearly white workforce, it would be difficult to hide my minority status because of my skin color. My skin color is a characteristic that defines me from the majority. It is easy for anybody to differentiate me from other people easily.
How did the majority treat you?
The experience of the treatment from the majority in the workplace was devastating. They perceived me as an inferior being, and thus I was subjected to systematic racism (McCluney et al. 106). Racial harassment that I was subjected to entailed the undesired behavior associated with my black race, which infringed my dignity and developed an offensive environment.
When I was walking into the company, I could see people from the white race gathering in their own area while gazing at me. In the world of minority, I felt insignificant in the huge white laborforce who did not like me and who were converging on me. These people desired a piece of me, and they did not offer a shit of how I felt about it.
What thoughts and feelings did you have while first getting to know those in the majority?
I felt terrified when initially holding a conversation with those in the majority. As I have been reading books and other black history discrimination resources during the 18th century, I felt terrified. For a long period, people from the white race feel inferior compared to those from the black race. Also, I was not comfortable holding when holding any discussion with people from the majority group. I know that the whites have the authority to live in fear of losing control and rejecting the merits of diversity or can select to become radically. White men have exceptional cultures and strengths and are terrified to discuss what makes them who they are.
If there was another person also in your minority, what was your connection like with them?
Just like me, they felt that the majority discriminated against them. Fortunately, on a Saturday morning, we met and discussed the experiences of working at the company. As she was a woman, she would cry terribly for the experiences she had gone through. She narrated that she had been stereotyped at the workplace. In addition, she claimed other than discrimination; she incurred psychological expenses to one of the few black faces in a dominantly white environment. Then, I realized that we had a similar connection to the experiences that we had gone through as blacks in the workplace. I advised her to be cautious to express emotions of pleasantness, particularly to racial issues.
This interview has changed my understanding of what it is to be in the minority. I have understood that it is not good to show anger, frustration, and fear despite a hostile environment. Also, embracing empathy is the biggest something that I am attempting to practice every day of my life. When I am cold, I have understood that being empathetic is more powerful and rewarding.
Wagley, Charles, and Marvin Harris. “Introduction. The Minorities in the Americas.” Minorities in the New World. Columbia University Press, 1958. 1-14.
McCluney, Courtney L., et al. “Structural racism in the workplace: Does perception matter for health inequalities?.” Social Science & Medicine 199 (2018): 106-114.
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