So when the nasty woman at work confronted me in the company cafeteria, angry because I complained to our manager about her pattern of racist comments, what happened? Besides me not apologizing.
This all went down last October, by the way, but I didn't want to blog about it while the woman was still working at the company. Not that I think she is likely to ever read this blog - she had no interest in anything, as far as I could tell, except for her son's life and money. She was a little too interested in her son's life, actually. Long before my confrontation with her, she had grossed out everybody on the team, during one of our rare team lunches, by telling us that she put magazines with images of Marilyn Monroe around the living room for her son, so he could have someone "classy" to look at - and she didn't get any more explicit than that, but the rest of us knew what she meant - TMI!
Although why she thought a drug-addicted manic-depressive adulterous suicide is classier than your usual woman in a stroke mag is an interesting question.
Anyway, when she got in my face I said something along the lines of how outrageous it was that she should look down on the other people at the Social Security office in Harlem when she was there on behalf of her mother, who had only been paying into the SSI system for the past ten years, having emigrated from Russia, while the people this woman felt she had to hide her gold earrings from had been most likely paying into the SSI system their entire lives. (And mind you, this was on top of her prior statement about how African Americans were not nice like foreign-born black people.)
Her response was not to deny that she was racist, her response was to say that I had to understand that she grew up in Russia and never saw a black person until she was 23-years-old. As if that was an excuse - especially since this woman hadn't been 23 for about twenty-five years.
Well I almost laughed in her face. And eventually she gave up trying to get an apology out of me and went away.
But unfortunately, judging people on the basis of ethnicity or national origin is not unique to this woman. Later on I recounted the saga of the Racist Woman at Work to an acquaintance and she said: "oh, she's Russian? Well that's what they're like."