How I Confronted a Racist White Law Firm Partner on my Birthday…
So, today is, November 29, and it is my Birthday… and I was feeling rather more “entitled” and “privileged” than usual. Well, I sort of wanted this experience to be one of my birthday gifts (to myself) too as I knew that there were many lessons to be learnt by all witnessing parties, including yours truly.
I am not racist. I have best friends that are White that would die for me and vice versa. I have dated White women and women other races. I am as open-minded as any human being can be about race. I am not convinced that if one is White he is automatically racist. I have met amazing White folks in my three decades (30) years of living on this great land. However, I am convinced that most Whites don't (honestly) understand what it's like to be a Black person (man) in America. As Chris Rock said it, "I'm a rich Black man, and even a handicapped poor White man would not want to trade place with me in America." Sometimes Blacks will call me too White sympathizing and sometimes Whites will call me too militant. But I call myself BRUTALLY HONEST and TRUTHFUL. I got it from my PARENTS! LOL LOL LOL
Yes, I am well aware that White males are the de facto “privileged” group in America; however, I wasn’t necessarily raised to so accept. Their privilege emanated from having conquered lands first, but mine rather emanated from Almighty God. Therefore, thanks to my upbringing, I have always reserved the right to walk with my head held up high without any regards to societal norms.
Anyhow, there is a particular White man, who happens to be a partner in one of the most notable law firms in that Chicago Loop that we’ll name “Hypocritical Law Partner (HLP)” that I had met at a usual spot near the loop at which I had met some many notable gentlemen who had eventually become friends and brothers to me over the past year or so. I remembered this man very well because in the two previous meetings that we shared, I overheard him tackle many topics in which he presented himself as a different type of older White man to the other gentlemen in the clan (which were mostly Black or African-American). In fact, the second time I had met him, we exchanged business cards, and I promised to send him an email containing my resume to elicit a response of some type from him. However, despite his personal knowledge of my existence through our dialogue, I never got either a formal or informal response from Mr. “HLP”.
Unfortunately for Mr. “HLP”, out of all the days we could have met again, he was unlucky enough to have met me on my most “entitled” day of all. YUP – today, my birthday, a day on which I feel the most “ENTITLED”… LOL!
The moment he walked in, I heard the distinctive rich, confident, entitled, and nearly condescending older White voice of his, and as always he was awaiting the arrival of his favorite daily newspaper. However, this time, the moment I laid eyes on him, I saw the most GUILTY LOOK I had seen on someone’s face in a long time. I also noticed that one he saw me, he had tried to camouflage to a corner with the hope that I would magically forget about him…
NOT A CHANCE, Mr. “HLP” I said to myself. Today was your “lucky day”, well make it OUR LUCKY DAY… a day of EDUCATION and AWARENESS of how RACIST some White-run law firms are.
Accordingly, prior to approaching him directly, I laid the foundation talking in general terms about Black candidates that I had known applied for key positions at White law firms in the loop that never got an interview, YET, many of those law firms were predominantly White. I even mentioned a particular young lady that I had met (who was the type that I always only wanted to be a lawyer and passed the Bar the first time (accordingly)) and yet was still sleeping on her Mother’s couch because of racist law firms that simply don’t hire enough Black lawyers.
You see, I was giving Mr. “HLP” a chance to self-redeem as he got redder and redder while he awaited his favorite newspaper. HOWEVER – when he failed to so do, it was MY MOMENT TO POUNCH and SHINE ON MY BIRTHDAY…
Accordingly, I pointed to Mr. “HLP” with my fingers and said the following:
< LIKE THIS GENTLEMAN HERE, he had portrayed himself as a different type of older White male law firm partnership owner and I had sent my resume to him accordingly via electronic mail (email), yet I never got either a formal or an informal or even a “BS” response from him>
Mr. “HLP” a short 5’4” older White man was clearly rattled, reddened and looked like that K-12 student who had never been called upon before by the teacher whose worst nightmare had materialized right in front of the people that he had bamboozled over the years to believe that he was different… or at least that he knew of their plight etc.
… Mr. “HLP” responded as follows:
“Yes, you’re right, you did send me your resume, but there is nothing I could have done, and I simply sent it to my law partners…”
To that I responded:
< Mr. “HLP” with all due respect, I know that you had the power to have at least sent me an acknowledgement email either as per industry norms or at least schedule a bogus interview to indicate that you were truly impressed by me enough and that unlike other Black candidates, you had met me personally before, and had personal knowledge of my existence.>
Mr. “HLP” replied:
“It was out of my hands… there is nothing I could have done... they were not interested.”
To that I asked:
<Mr. HLP, how many Black professionals work for your law firm because at a glance I did not see one single Black face… and why did you not let me know that there was no interest in my credentials? >
To that Mr. HLP gave me the following response:
“We have a few… and I believe we even have two Black lawyers… the rest are working on other positions... HECK, “THEY” don’t apply… it is not my fault…”
To that I responded:
< Mr. “HLP”, did I not apply? Did you even bother to respond to me at all even to tell me that I was not a good fit? Did you even show me any type of respect at all to acknowledge my achievements? Or did you even like them? Or did they bother you so much that you had to ignore them?>
Mr. HLP was then fuming… He ran out of words… to that I said, Mr. HLP, you guys in the LOOP must do a better job hiring BLACK MEN AND WOMEN…
I proceeded to educate him about the “The 7-9AM City Racism Test (CRT 7-9)” that I created as part of my research. That if he truly is an enlightened White elderly law partnership owner, he had the duty to act better and do better…
I asked him if he had ever taken a look at or compare the proportions of Blacks or Whites were attempting to get to the beautiful Chicago Loop firms between 7AM and 9PM CT every morning and if so, if that comparative analysis was not UNCONSCIONABLE to him.
At that point, Mr. HLP said, again: “they don’t apply”… to which I replied, sir with all due respect < I did, but you didn’t bother to respond.”
Mr. HLP fumed out and I’m sure it is a moment of TRUTH that he will not forget until his very last breath.
Please share this article with as many powerful White men who hold positions of power yet don’t hire enough Blacks or minorities as a whole. These men should ask themselves why they choose to either consciously or subconsciously do so.
I will not personally call them “racist” as that requires evidence and proof and no one should be called racist without any proof. HOWEVER – think about it, has there been ANYTHING that “smells or looks like RACISM” more than that? And if it smells like racisms and looks like racism, it more likely than not is because people are so aware of the law that almost no one in his right mind would OVERLY discriminate illegally.
So, this was one of my gifts to myself and the World at large on my birthday (smile). At some point, I will be created a MOST RACIST WHITE LAW FIRMS LIST as part of MOST RACIST US ENTITIES SERIES LIST and will not hesitate to hire spies to investigate firms that disproportionately discriminate against Blacks and other minorities.
Maya Angelou is known to have said… “Once you know better, you should do better”, and if you don’t, you can ask yourself who you really are. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. Older White men are a US Society-established entitled group by default and those of them that know better must do better otherwise, they cannot argue that they are not racist. TRUMP was my candidate, but rest assured like most older White men, he, too, is plagued by racist thoughts and stereotypes. HOWEVER, that in and of itself doesn't mean that any one of us is USELESS because of our thinking. Even things that other consider to be bad in humanity or the human body have unique roles and often serve as counter points to secure a balancing act. We all have a role and mine is to challenging the thinking of ALL HUMAN BEINGS to ask them, WHAT IF YOU WERE COMPLETELY WRONG? Is that even remotely possible? That's what true intellectuals do!
Modern White males are more conscientious and admit their privilege. Some love it too much and were too bamboozled by their Fathers to reach a State of non-entitlement and privilege. Others just love being "White" too much too care about non-Whites. HOWEVER, there is HOPE... I have met and talked to White men that made me feel that AMERICA will remain one of the best nations on EARTH for years yet to come. This article is for the others that are lost in the sea of RACISM. WAKE UP MY WHITE BROTHERS. The racism World is too DARK for a lifetime. I LOVE YOU, even if you remain RACIST and pray that GOD will show you the way!
TODAY was one of my birthday gifts… I will always treasure this moment. By the way, I pay homage to my Father's genes. As a young man he was known to walk with firearms cocked in his head under the brutal PAPA DOC (Francois Duvalier) regime. My Father was a fearless man. And my Mother is still the most brutally honest person I know. So, before you judge me, blame it on my amazing and SMART GENES (smile).
Dr. Pete Lorins is the Chief Editor of LorinsPOST.com. This article was sponsored by LORINS.biz, a multi-industry consulting firm that provides the following types of services… Management of Law Firms, Medical Clinics, Businesses...Project Management, Sales, Marketing, & Leads Generation...Research & Engineering... It can be reached via www.LORINS.biz