- Posted August 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Everyday racism: Your stories
He applauds those who have and must face racism and prejudice in their life. 'For those who do not or have not personally experienced prejudice/racism on a day-to-day basis it's hard to compare it to anything else that you may have experienced,' he says. 'So for those who are in the same situation as I am, I would let them know that they are stronger than most people who do not face adversity as soon as they walk out their door in the morning.'
This story is part of CNN iReport’s Everyday Racism project, an effort to shine light on and spark discussion about racism in today’s world. Please note that CNN cannot independently verify the events described in this post.
- Jamescia, CNN iReport producer
I graduated from a Connecticut college in 2011. Afterwards, I jumped from job to job as most recent college grads would tell you is the norm for most, if not all of us. However, I moved from job to job finding that racism and prejudice followed me everywhere. From the local grocery store where I worked in my town (a customer told me that I couldn’t wait on him because the color of my skin was too dark. My supervisors put me in the back cooler to keep me from “making the customers upset”). Nothing was done to alleviate that problem, nor was I ever offered an apology. I went from that job to a job at a local car dealership (South Korean Manufacturer), and found that it was no different from my last job.
After the first few hours, I realized that the workers and the owners of the company alike had a new nickname for me, “Bruce Lee”. Considering that Bruce Lee is a famous CHINESE martial artist, I found the name unfitting for myself. As the days progressed, so did the daily nicknames and racism. Co-workers would ask me “do your parents own the nail salon and the dry cleaner down the street?” to “Bruce Lee could you round house kick this person?” and “Hey Bruce how did you get a job driving cars (since you’re Asian)?” Needless to say, it would have been fine if there were an HR department or a supervisor to speak to. However, the HR department was never implemented in this “car dealership” and the owners/management of the company was actually the largest perpetrator for racist remarks (both in my direction as well as in the direction of customers and potential job applicants).
Well you might be asking why I didn’t pursue any action further than just speaking to an HR department or a supervisor. Well, I spoke with the corporate HQ for the specific car company and they basically told me that they were sorry that I had to deal with that but this company based in Torrington was not affiliated directly with the car company. Puzzled, I thought to myself; “Well, they use your name on all of their cars, you send them brand new makes and models every quarter, and I’m sure that they still follow the regulations and restrictions that you put in place for them.” Undeterred, I decided to take another step, speaking directly to the government. After a six-month down period, they contacted me to let me know that my case was dropped.
Clearly, I’ve exhausted my resources in terms of trying to make a difference. The one thing that I’ve learned is that regardless of where you live, what job you have, what car you drive, if you’re a minority living in the United States you will face direct or in-direct racism everyday. As far as a happy ending? Well I now work full-time for a great company, living on my own, and have a very good relationship (with a Caucasian girl).
Moral of the story; people always have their own opinions and you can't change the way people are. Racism will always be prevalent in the United States as much as we believe we've made progress. I can only imagine that I've had it fairly easy as compared to other minorities, however, I wanted to share my story.