On a recent episode of The Unwritten Rules webseries, the main character Racey deals with negative attitudes of Black co-workers. She was teased for being a “whack” girl; a play on the racial descriptions white and black. The episode quickly became a hot topic of discussion as viewers expressed differing opinions on the subject.

One viewer stated:
I think the episodes are entertaining, but why do middle and upper middle class black people act as though all poor and working class black people are the same, This is just as bad as the white stereotypes they rail against. Many of the most accomplished ‘black” people came from humble beginnings, acting as though the only thing able to make one successful is money and a “white middle class” prospective seems quite ignorant to say the least. (Youtube viewer 9xxxxxxxxx)

A different viewer stated:
Stereotypes or not…there are black ppl who act like the employees downstairs, and there are black people like Racey. There doesn’t seem to be a biracial experience either, it’s just people who “look” the same, but act differently, the same can be said for white people who act like the family on full house or the family on Honey Boo Boo. People are people, they’re gonna act differently. The problem arises when ppl don’t show social ediquette or one group puts another down because of appearance.(Youtube viewer cycarter25)

Our Legaci question: Do you relate to Racey’s experience as the Black employee from “upstairs”? If so, how did you deal with the situation?

Jessica Ann Mitchell

Jessica Ann Mitchell has a M.S. in Public Relations and a M.A. in Pan-African Studies. Mitchell specializes in multicultural outreach and communications. She also writes on her personal blog at OurLegaci.com. To reach JAM email her at info@OurLegaci.com.

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7 thoughts on “Dealing With Negative Feelings From Black Co-workers”

  1. “Facy Fish” lol hilarious. I think that these types of people or more jealous than anything. I’ve felt like Racey before, people at work expect you to be acting a fool with them and when you don’t they think you’re stuck up.

  2. I totally relate ro Racey. But, I realize a haters job is to hate so I let them do do their job and I do mine. I’d love to be friendly and have a great relationship with everyone everywhere but in reality that unfortunately doesn’t always happen. I just do my job, remain respectful and friendly to everyone and go home to my life. I don’t let everyone’s opinion affect me because sometimes opinions could be created from a dark negative or a controlling place in that persons life.

  3. I read in this article that Black women do this to each other. I want to emphasize that Black men do this to each other as well. I have been in Raceys shoes so many times I have lost count. I never knew that benefiting from my parents decisions and hard work, (starting their own business’s, being successful, being good stewards with what they were blessed with, and then passing that down to their children by sending them to the best schools and having expectations that nothing less than our very best efforts is acceptable always and all ways.)would have such huge consequences within the Black Community. You would think my parents diligence has betrayed the entire community. Black people, like the people playing dice at work act like they have no choices available to them to do better for themselves. Just stupid. At this stage, if you play dice in the break room, then count me out. I don’t give a shit about you because you don’t give a shit about yourself.

  4. The object is not to be concerned too much about the negative feelings from the episode depicted in the “wack girls” video at work. Although, I have to admit that is was funny. However, black professionals don’t behave that way toward each other in an office setting. Professionals learn how to mingle in any circle. And when you are amongst your true peers, you know when you can let your hair down and when you have to keep it at a certain level.

    Black professionals know that it is taboo to play dice at the office regardless if you are on your free time or not. GHETTO folks are the only ones who would do such a thing. By the same token, you should not go around perpetrating a fraud. In other words, don’t try to project an image of someone who you are NOT! Find the balance and keep it moving.

  5. I don’t think that either party is wrong here. As a mailroom employee, I understand the feeling, particularly when a black woman comes down from upstairs eating asparagus. If she had collard greens, I know things would have been different.
    I also understand being an executive and not thinking that it matters what the “lower level” employee’s think and feel about you. Would Racey have felt the need to socialize with white employee’s from downstairs? I doubt it.

    However I take the mail room into the 5th floor at my job. I still stay down and continue to be the way I am. I’m not necessarily a “company man,” as it were. what I do is not who I am. I am who I am and what I do is something entirely different, not thread throughout my being. However who I am is in large part defined by my being a black man. So I never get treated in such a manner by the brothers downstairs, as it were.

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