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Race Relations At Work

Jody is a part-time employee at Atelier Briella. The rest of her time, she works at another studio. Let's call that other studio "The Other Studio Here". A little background on Jody: she is black, has a bachelor degree in engineering and a MBA, and is very competent.

This story is about what happen to Jody at The Other Studio Here.

Lianne (who is caucasian) is the owner of The Other Studio Here. Because of inappropriate use of funds, and lack of proper budgeting, Lianne has found herself in a hip of financially problems. So, one of the solutions that she came up with was to apply for food stamps for personal use. However, Lianne is too ashamed to go to the department of human services herself to apply for the food stamps because she does not want people to recognize her there. So, Lianne asked Jody to go to the department of human services  and pretending to be Lianne, Jody was supposed to fill the application out and talk to the social worker, so Lianne could get some food stamps. Jody categorically said "No". Lianne then went on to say that since people already expect black people to be the one applying for food stamps, Jody should blend in at the department of human services, and no one will catch her. Jody still refused to lie to the government on behalf of Lianne, and added that it is illegal to pretend to be someone else. Moreover, Jody told Lianne that if she were arrested, she could very easily go to jail, face a $250,000 fine, and ruin her whole future for some food stamps that were not even for her. 

When Jody told us the story at Atelier Briella, some people were quite offended, and others were just trying to make sense of it all. 

1- One school of thought was that it shows how some people still think about race and even though we have come far, there is a very long way to go. Clearly, there are many black people that are doing very well for themselves and for Lianne to even suggest that Jody (a very educated black person) commit an illegal act  because Lianne is too ashamed to go to the department of human services herself is quite unnerving. 

2 - The other school of thought is that this situation shows how some people think that they are really privilege, and someone like Lianne will not hesitate to push other people to ruin their lives for her benefit. However, this school of thought suggests that this whole situation is way above race, it shows the selfishness, and the entitled behaviors that have been gripping our society for a while now.

Which school of thought do you agree with? What do you think about this whole situation. We would love to have your opinion.


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