This is a beautiful and inspiring story of how diversity, equity, and inclusion can triumph over bigotry. I would like to share my own story of confronting bigotry.
I work for a fortune 500 corporation and we have an active diversity office. The other day we had a mandatory racial sensitivity workshop. The workshop leader, Lata'nya, was body-positive plus sized lesbian person with color. We did this exercise where everyone sits on one side of the room, and to make explicit the implicit bias of whiteness we ask members of a historically marginalized group to go to the other side of the room. We chose pacific islanders, and there was only one in the room. It seemed kind of mean to make her go sit alone on the other side of the room, but that was the point. So the rest of us can visualize how white-people microagressions oppress her.
The next group was native Americans, there were two. They crossed the room and sat with the Cambodian girl. One by one, the moderator called out marginalized groups: blacks, women, handicapped, cross-dressers. As each group crossed the room, the moderator explained how large the "hidden minority" that is oppressed by whiteness is.
Finally I was the only person left on my side of the room, sitting alone, while everyone else in the room faced me. In front of the group stood the moderator, hands on her hips, jerking her neck horizontally, and in a voice that can only be described as "sassy" she asked me if I had anything I wanted to say to the group that was now staring at me looking ready to lynch me.
I paused, looked directly at the moderator and said very slowly and clearly: do you have a problem with me because I'm jewish?
As if she had received her MKULTRA go-code her demeanor changed on a dime. All of the sudden she thought I was the best person in the room and she wanted everyone else to know she thought so. She came over and sat next to me and delivered her workshop from there, constantly turning to me, asking my opinion, agreeing wiPost too long. Click here to view the full text.