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Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Fri 19th Dec '08 9:42AM
4597 Posts
Spanners's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03
Hey All
So I've found myself in a rather uncomfortable position at work. My office isn't a particularly diverse place in terms of race and religion which I'm fairly sure is just chance but things have been taking a rather unpleasant turn lately.
There are people at work who have definite racist tendencies - one in particular who in the early days of working with us was using the 'n' word on occasion until I had a very serious word with him about it. I've said to him on a couple of occasions that (although I strongly disagree with them) his beliefs are his own business as long as he keeps them out of the office.
Well in the past few days he's 'declined' and yesterday he started making massive generalisations about Asian people (all of which he calls 'pakis') and how the majority of them cause crime and are in gangs. I felt I had to argue this point with him at length and was rather apalled when others in the office agreed with him.
He left work in rather a mood (apparently because i disagreed with him) and apparently had a word with one of our managers about it who then went on to ask me not to argue with him about it any more.
Now my question is was my manager's response completely illegal? It seems to me that telling someone not to object to racist behaviour in the office is telling them to condone it. Which really can't be right.
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Fri 19th Dec '08 10:48AM
4678 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03
It probably depends on exactly what your manager said. It's probably not illegal as the legality of it would judged on what he asked you to do (not engage your colleague in debate over this issue) rather than the implication of it (that your colleague's views are right). His counter would be that he would say the same to any two employees arguing (did he say anything to the other guy as well, do you know?) Your best bet may be to ask your manager to tell the employee not to use racist or offensive language in the office (because it's illegal), but then of course that's not going to make you popular with your colleagues.

Having mostly had degree-based jobs it's probably fairly shocking, but those of us who have worked in admin / less-skilled offices tend to encounter this sort of moronity regularly. I used to try fighting against it too but after a while I just learnt to avoid certain people, and certain topics in certain situations. Unfortunately a large percentage of the population are Daily Mail readers, and an even larger number would be if there were tits on page 3
  

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Mon 29th Dec '08 8:34PM
169 Posts
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Member Since
16th Jul '08
How depressing. I think Demian sums it up rather well. I'm fairly sure his behaviour is illegal as it's inciting racial hatred and is offensive language and he can be arrested or cautioned for it. I remember watching one of those follow the police TV programs and a PC cautioned an Asian man for refering to another Asian man as a 'paki'.

The gentleman you mention sounds like one of those people who can't stand having his opinion argued with. I'll bet the tea in China he has to get the last word in and he went to the manager to silence you on the subject and so get a win in his brain. If you fancy playing games with him try just casually mention say what a fantastic cultural heritage India has or something and see if he just can't help himself but be a racist git. Or to test his character find something else to disagree on totally seperate from racism and I bet he will just argue on and on because it's in his nature.

Your managers response it just aweful. Either he has racist tendencies himself or just wants a quiet life. Suspect it's the last option. Most managers are like that especially where I work. Doesn't matter how wrong something is just so long as its not going to spoil their day.
 

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