The cafe owner’s logic is that his chiefly white customers want their coffee served by white people.
I’m going to assume everyone here is intelligent enough to realize what I’m about to say is not intended to condone the cafe owner’s attitude, logic, or what he said to the man in the interview.
Instead, it’s to point out a few things. Such as the fact that this is considered such a big deal. Gasps of disbelief aside, this happens by everyone to everyone.
Somebody obviously went to a media source to talk about this. We’re talking about a full grown man here.
If you read the article, and look at the cutline for the accompanying photos, you will practically have to wipe the emotional drivel off your shirt. It’s the sort of “there, there, you poor thing” routine one would offer to a five-year-old nobody wants to play with at recess, as if his psychological condition is in danger due to another man’s rudeness.
Yes, yes, I understand he was turned down for a job because he was black. But that’s not the biggest (and unwitting) insult dealt to him.
You know what’s worse to a man than having someone dislike you for reasons that have nothing to do with who you are? Someone who patronizes you, inferring you are so weak and pathetic that being offended might destroy your self-esteem.
It’s why men will endure the miseries of sports camps and boot camp and obey someone who yells and screams at them, but file for divorce from a wife who never swears at him and makes his breakfast every morning because she won’t stop patronizing him. Whether this is sensible isn’t the point. I’m merely pointing out a fact of life.
For saying this, I will get accused of not understanding his plight because of my “white privilege,” which is another way of saying “I’m going to criticize you for your remark on race by making a racial remark, rather than actually engage in a debate.”
Unlike the masses, I refuse to live in la-la land. If I see an elephant in the room, I’m going to point it out, not spend the whole evening pretending like it isn’t there.
This sort of thing goes on all the time, and not just against black men. Everybody does it. I’ve known white people who have had difficulty obtaining employment at ethnic restaurants for the exact same reason; the ethnic clientele want to be served by someone from the same race. The owners are not discreet about this fact. Neither are the customers, who openly complain when they are served by a white person.
Rude? Yes. Prejudiced? Yes. No argument with me there.
At Microsoft, they used to employ a bonus system known as stack ranking. At the end of a project team, members would rate one another on a scale that determined their bonus pay. The problem was the system was like musical chairs; whoever got the bottom rating got penalized. A second consecutive low ranking got you a pink slip in your Christmas stocking.
Several friends of mine who worked there often described their intense stress upon discovering they were the token white member of a team made up entirely of another ethnicity. Guess which person always got the lowest ranking?
There’s a reason why they canceled the system.
None of these acquaintances of mine ran to the media or filed a lawsuit. They filed an application to another company and moved on.
As for baristas, are we really going to act like they don’t discriminate in favor of young, attractive females over middle-age men? Come on, now!
There’s a reason why there are bikini barista stands and not speedo barista stands.
So let’s dispense with the pretenses, if that’s possible. Discrimination goes on every single day all around us. The difference between this instance and the countless others is this cafe owner spoke his mind, whereas everyone else comes up with some excuse or lies as to the reason. So really, what’s going on here is a man is being attacked for his honesty.
I’ve found myself in all sorts of situations, whether it be for employment or searching for an apartment, where I have gotten “the look” from the other person. We all know “the look.” It says “We don’t want to someone like you but we can’t say so openly, so am I legally required to provide another justification for preferring someone else.”
And let’s get this out there, as well: Whenever companies post employment opportunities with the whole bit about their commitment to increasing diversity in the workplace, they might as include “No Irish Need Apply” sign to go with it – even though that is actually a historical myth.
Discrimination is a fact of life. It has happened to lots of people, including myself. It happens all the time.
Was it right? I’ll let you be the judge of that. The café owner has gotten a bad reputation for it, and it certainly caused a backlash from the community, so my guess is it was a poor decision on his part to be so open about it.
More importantly, though, the man’s rights were not violated. He did not and does not have a right to employment at the café. Discrimination may be frowned upon, but that doesn’t mean it should be illegal. What happened to me wasn’t a crime. My rights were not violated.
Again, I will repeat this for the slow minds out there who may stumble across this. The café owner was foolish to tell off a black man applying for a job, but why the melodramatic sob story? I understand someone posting a Facebook comment or blog post highlighting the story within the context of how employers still discriminate based on race and why, but stop treating those who are discriminated against like they are emotionally delicate flowers who need coddling.
Real men persevere in the face of adversity, not whine about it. If this had happened to me, I wouldn’t want to be portrayed as a victim in need of pity. Life goes on.