Okay, so maybe maybe I'm a racist but how can I know for sure?

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    I am now working in a non jewish workplace filled with many different races and cultures and I cant help but notice some differences in the way people of certain races act for example when i encounter a caucasian person first thing in the morning MOST of them will either say good morning to me or when i say good morning they will respond in kind, when i encounter a black person in the same situation MOST of them will never say good morning to me but when i say good morning to them they will either nod or mumble a most unenthusiastic response has anyone else encountered this type of thing? and am i a racist?


    I’m not a big fan of so-called “Palestinians”.. but… that’s not the point.

    You’re experiencing differences between some sets of people and others. Sometimes people classify “bad experiences” as racism. As long as realize that not ever person of every race acts the same, I don’t think it’s racism. Keeping your eyes and ears open and seeing that sometimes different cultures act differently, and understanding the meaning of these reactions is, in my opinion, wisdom, and will teach you to how interact with people of all cultures better.


    The Goq – no. and yes. unabashedly so. you should be ashamed of yourself. Outsider, you too. Disagreeing with someone’s right to a land is not racism. Disliking someone because of their race is. And imagining negative behaviors and stereotyping a race with it is reprehensible.

    If two people where you work didn’t say good morning and were bald, you wouldn’t notice that. Hopefully. And if you did and then made public statements about bald people, you’d be an idiot. This is worse. Have a good night.


    its racism if you now stereotype black people as rude or something like that. To notice a trend in your particular workplace? Just dont stop greeting certain people

    Realize though that if some coworkers have diff cultures they may have different behaviors. I think this is what outsider meant. For example, in East Asian culture, looking an official or guard in the eye is not done. In english culture, it’d be considered rude. There are different behaviors even among different places you were raised. Consider the stereotypical NYer vs the typical out of towner. What would be common for one would be ‘quiet’ for another, etc. But i dont think i’ve said anything new here!


    Hmmm…. Do they speak English? 😉

    I think it depends more on personality than race. Everybody is different.

    It is very important to be polite to colleagues and a simple “good morning” goes a long way especially at the office. I guess not everybody is aware of this.

    Don’t let that stop you from being yourself.


    Honestly, I think everyone is at least a bit racist, sexist, and everything else to a certain degree. We all have stereotypes about people, women, men, fat, thin, Christian, Jewish, Asian, old, young, attractive, and ugly. It comes from our experiences. There’s good and bad in every group. And every group DOES have it’s differences. Women and Men are different, Talmud even teaches us so, but society would have us believe otherwise. Even the US gov’t treats different groups differently, but they don’t call it racism, they make up other names like affirmative action, reservations, internment camps, racial profiling, embracing diversity and the like.


    thanks for the feedback all, i really dont consider myself a racist but its hard not to notice the differences.


    The comparison to bald people is silly, since bald is purely a physical characteristic and not a culture; any commonalities are coincidental. Just like people of any culture can be 6 feet tall.

    On the other hand, behaviors can be attributed to cultural background, and that does sometimes mean that people belonging to a certain race or ethnicity can be expected to behave in a certain way. For example, Asians are usually close talkers.

    Understanding cultural differences and learning to accept traits in others that are unlike your own is embracing diversity. Attributing random (negative) behaviors as being part of the cultural makeup of a certain race or ethnicity and then expecting to find those behaviors in others from that group is racism.


    Noticing differences in people does NOT make you a racist.

    Maybe some people aren’t morning people. I am, but after 3PM don’t bother looking at me. I’m tired, cranky and hungry.

    I notice differeces in the Chasidic sects such as dress (streimels), but this doesn’t make me a racist. People of the same color ARE different.

    Just be polite and continue with “making” all the kiddushim HaShem that you can.


    The term “racist” first appeared in the English language in the 1930s.

    If you are indeed a racist, who said that’s a bad thing? American media?

    Historically, racism was not considered inherently bad according to basic moral code, judging from the thousands of years of socially-accepted racism.

    The current Western world we live in condemns racism. They also promote gay rights.



    You’ve done nothing wrong.

    Just continue to be a mentch.


    LAB: +1


    If you are speaking American English, “race” is a function of skin color, and believing one race to be superior to another verges on being an apikores since you are throwing into doubt the ikar in Humash that HaShem created everyone quite recently (Yaakov Aveinu was aquainted with the son of the common ancestor of all people). That’s make you very close to the “multiple creations” idea embraced by some goyim which is clearly apikorsis. If we are descended from a common ancestor who lives only 150 generations ago, all humans should be genetically close to identical (which, BTW, is what DNA analysis suggests).

    If you are speaking British English, “race” is just a function of ethnicity and culture, and at most regarding other “races” (Americans would say ethnic groups) as annoying is quite rude in mixed company.


    akuperma, see what the Humash has to say about Ham.


    You’re nothing compared to these guys. I’m shocked that YWN allows such comments on their site.

    Healthcare.gov Failures Surface

    That being said, the question is not how you treat those in your office who you know, but how you treat a general person with similar aspects. If you are neutral until proven otherwise, than you are not a racist (IMHO).

    Also there is a cultural divide between groups (as there should be between us and non-jews, for example). That may have something to do with it as well.


    gavra – I agree. Maybe we can add that believing that one race is inherently superior (in terms of intellect/accomplishments etc.) to another race may not be a problem, but that does NOT mean to treat them with any less respect.

    Just as you know that mentally retarded people are intellectually inferior to non-retarded people, that obviously does not mean to treat them with any less respect.

    And no, I’m not saying that blacks, or any other race, are retarded.

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