Workplace Harassment: I’m a Chinese American woman…

I’m a Chinese American woman. I work for a high tech company and I have known my boss for over 25 years. Shortly after we began working from home due to COVID19, he commented to me that the pandemic was the Chinese people’s fault because of the weird stuff “they” eat. Although I’m well respected and well compensated for my work, I often experience racist and sexist microaggressions from my white, male boss. I often speak up against these microaggressions. This time I did not and I have regretted not speaking up. I provided feedback in our company survey because I feel that this type of speech can embolden others to escalate their aggressive or violent tendencies, but as usual I saw no response from my management.

My boss often says he feels he can “speak his mind” with me because he considers me a good friend, but I feel that is just an excuse to express white, male privilege without consideration for others. I have encountered many experiences like this at work. Sometimes I feel encouraged because I have seen improvement in his behavior over the years, but sometimes I simply feel exhausted and ready to retire. I am cisgendered and straight and I use my privilege to volunteer and speak up agains hatred toward the LGBTQIA community. My husband uses his privilege to fight against classism. We’re all privileged in some ways, and I want to encourage people to see and use their privilege to speak for those whose voices are not heard because they do not carry privilege in certain areas of their lives. We can empower ourselves by using our privilege to speak up against injustice.

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