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Why Can’t We Get Beyond The Anger?

A question that has been haunting me recently is why African-Americans are still so angry about being minimized today. After all, it’s been 54 years since we outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Right?

Even when the Starbucks Philadelphia situation occurred, I looked for a way around believing that blatant discrimination occurred.  I glommed onto the article that said there had been break-ins in the neighborhood recently and the barista was just being cautious.

Even when the Starbucks Philadelphia situation occurred, I looked for a way around believing that blatant discrimination occurred.  I glommed onto the article that said there had been break-ins in the neighborhood recently and the barista was just being cautious.

But in my heart, which has been troubled since trying to make sense of the #blacklivesmatter incidents, I suspected it really was discrimination. I still say that training won’t help, but that’s another story.

Well, a recent situation in a Westin hotel in Pasadena, CA gave me THE answer to the question, “Why are African-Americans still so angry?” The Washington Post ran an article on June 16, 2018, that a black woman and her 5-year-old daughter were enjoying the hotel’s pool when a white man approached them and asked if they had showered before entering the pool. The photo in the article was misleading, showing a lifeguard at a pool, so I presumed the white man was a hotel employee. He wasn’t.  He was a guest, just like the woman and her daughter. They moved to the other end of the pool, and he followed and asked the question again. He then taunted the daughter. It was caught on video and a hotel employee intervened….with the woman and her daughter. Okay, you can read the whole story – I’m not going to regurgitate it here.

But in that article was the answer to my haunting question. The woman told the Post:

She said she always knew that she’d have to have a long talk with her daughter about racism one day but didn’t think it would happen when her daughter was so young.

“I expected to have that conversation but never at five years old,” she said. “I was sickened by the whole ordeal, but what hurt me the most was that in this day and age I had to leave that area and go to the hotel room and explain to my daughter why that man approached us.”

Well, there you have it, folks. Fifty-four years after equality was established by law, it still doesn’t exist, whether the discrimination is overt or subtle.

And we wonder why the younger generation can’t get beyond the anger?

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Carol Anderson
Carol Andersonhttp://andersonperformancepartners.com
CAROL is the founder and Principal of Anderson Performance Partners, LLC, a business consultancy focused on bringing together organizational leaders to unite all aspects of the business – CEO, CFO, HR – to build, implement and evaluate a workforce alignment strategy. With over 35 years of executive leadership, she brings a unique lens and proven methodologies to help CEOs demand performance from HR and to develop the capability of HR to deliver business results by aligning the workforce to the strategy. She is the author of Leading an HR Transformation, published by the Society for Human Resource Management in 2018, which provides a practical RoadMap for human resource professionals to lead the process of aligning the workforce to the business strategy, and deliver results, and writes regularly for several business publications.

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