I had a partial staff meeting this morning. I missed the first 30 minutes of it due to other work, but when I got there, they were actively engaged in conversation about nothing that pertained to me. Lucky for me, I had taken along my notepad to do a packing list for my trip to NY. So, as they talked, I mentally matched up my tops, bottoms, and shoes for the weekend. We got to a part where I actually needed to listen--we discussed the importance of capturing someones race in our recruitment system, for purposes of importance. Since I'm no longer the sole black person in the department it really shouldn't bother me, but whenever anyone mentions "race" in my workplace, I get extremely uncomfortable--I know my director and the things she says. As she was telling us about the need to guess someones race if they don't disclose it, she picked me as her example. I sat on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear what nonsense would come out of her mouth.
Director-"Let's say Lisa comes in and I am interviewing her..."
Director-"She doesn't disclose her race on her application, so I have to guess..."
Me-(thinking, again) shit shit shit shit...
Director-"I may think she is Native American, Indian, or Black. Her hair is always different, so she might come in with long wavy hair one day and she looks Indian, but have curly hair the next, so I really don't know!"
Me-(I chuckled, thinking) Dammit I wish Kevin was here.
Director-"If I didn't know she was Black already, I may not know just by seeing her, so you have to ask. The lady that cleans my nails-I thought she was Hispanic. The other day though, her sister and daughter came in and looked nothing like her. So, I asked her what her background was. I found out she's half Hispanic and half black--I guess she got her mom's coloring and her sister got her dad's".
Me-(thoroughly confused at this point)- This B is crazy. I've never even seen a Hispanic doing nails. I bet she's lying.
That was mild, compared to what I thought would happen. This is the same person that questioned whether Black people's heads were shaped differently than White people's--considering Black people look so much better in wigs....