In the article, “Anti-black discrimination in public places,” Joe Feagin talks about the discriminatory actions that occur outside the home. These actions range from avoidance to police threats and harassment. The actions in the study brought up by the author were targeting racist actions against middle class blacks in a select group of cities.
The study, done in the late 1980’s showed me some interesting things. First, the 79% rejection and poor service rate was outrageous. I would have never guessed it would have been that high. Secondly, I found it very interesting that only 60-70% of the people gave a verbal response to the discriminatory actions. If anything like that ever happened to me I would have a hard time holding back my tongue and my temper. I know that some people don’t always hold their temper but I can’t be so quick to place judgment on those that lose their temper.
On page 220 a professor at a mostly white school talks about how people don’t always recognize her middle class status. It seems as though she forgot to mention something about how we shouldn’t treat people differently no matter what their class is. She is no better than the lower class people. I myself am no better than the lower or upper class people. People put too much emphasis on class and I think today’s class system is taken way too seriously. There is not that much of a difference from an upper middle class and a lower class person, just the same as an upper lower class and a lower middle class person. It all comes down to a person’s perspective on things.
I think that a middle or upper class work place would definitely shield some people from some discrimination. Many companies have a zero tolerance policy for many things; ranging from sexual harassment to discrimination. I work at Circuit City and they have a policy like this. I think what we read on affirmative action earlier in the year comes into play with this article too. I think affirmative action has definitely helped out with workplace discrimination. Now we just need something to combat discrimination on the street and racial profiling.
I remember when I started at Circuit City; I thought that discrimination wouldn’t be a problem at all. However, I witnessed some customers discriminating against sales people. They will go up to the white sales man and ask them a question instead of the African American man. It also happens with the Indian and Asian sales people we have.
On page 216 Joe Feagin talks about the relationships between the types of discrimination and the sites at which they occur. He basically says that discrimination by means of rejection and bad or poor service is directly linked to certain public places and on the street. I can’t help but agree. I think if someone has been discriminated in the past at a certain public establishment, they should just take their business somewhere else.
I believe that ignorant people can ignore. If they don’t know they just assume. Sometimes people don’t care to get to know someone and it’s just easier to judge and assume. I try not to do that myself but I think everyone does it at one point in their lives. It’s almost the same as normal people offering medical advice. They don’t know what is wrong but everyone will offer their expert medical opinion and advice. Everything adds up to show me that the ignorant people ignore the obvious and advise people on everything that is difficult.
- Gallagher, Charles. Rethinking the Color Line McGraw Hill Publishing, 2007