Racial inequality has long been an issue in this country. Most of the attention lately has been on interactions between law enforcement and people of color. However, the likelier place for you to experience racism is at work.
What makes it more challenging is that many people do not think they are racist, nor intend to be, but ignorance and humor are no excuse for being offensive. Although you may suffer blatant hostility and persecution from some colleagues, it is more common that you will face these types of racial discrimination instead:
Discrimination can occur before you even obtain a job. During the hiring process, an interviewer cannot ask you questions regarding your race, ethnicity or family history. Questions based on cultural stereotypes are off the table as well; for example, asking you about your financial background, religious beliefs or appearance.
Once you have been at a job for years, it is reasonable to expect promotions and pay raises for excellent performance. If you have yet to receive these despite eligibility, whereas your non-ethnic coworkers with the same or lower qualifications have moved up, then it may be the result of racial discrimination.
One of the most subtle and difficult to challenge forms of racism is microaggressions. These are small, seemingly unimportant actions that set you apart and put obstacles in your way that others do not have to face. For example, you may have to change your hairstyle to make it appear more “professional” despite cost, inconvenience and personal expression. Supervisors may ask you to handle tasks that are beneath your position because of stereotypical associations between race and job duties. You may undergo stricter discipline than other employees for the same violation.
If you report these incidents and they become worse or you receive punishment, then your employer is also guilty of retaliation. Both this and discrimination warrant legal action on your part.