YOU CALL THAT A COMPLIMENT?
Editor’s Note: We asked readers for the worst “
compliments” they have ever received. Here are some of their
responses. For more “compliments,” go to
I took a state-government-sponsored development
course for secretaries aspiring to become professionals. I was the only African American in a class of 15.
During our introductions the first day, I said, “I have
one son.” The instructor blurted, “You only have one
child? Good for you!” And she actually clapped and
then the others started clapping too! Our last assignment was to prepare a paper and present [it] in front
of the class. The instructor put a gold stick-on star and
drew a smiley face on my paper; everyone else received
a numbered score with comments.
It is not a compliment but a question that aggravates
me all of the time. When I am asked where I am from,
all too frequently Americans from all ethnicities will
respond with something regarding “inbreeding.” I am
from West Virginia.
As an American Indian with a graduate degree, I have
been told that I’m an “exception to the rule.” I always
wondered what rule that is and have sometimes asked
the person making the comment. This usually results in
uncomfortable stammering and the assurance that they
were paying me a compliment. I understand the intent,
but the impact may be more significant. This situation
usually offers the opportunity to have a good discussion, however, and should be conducted diplomatically.
Least favorite compliment: From a straight man to me,
a lesbian, when he finds out I am lesbian: “How can you
be? I find you very attractive” or “You are so attractive, I
never would have guessed you are a lesbian.”
CEOS OF COLOR INCREASINGLY RARE
I would hope things would be different (“Why Are
So Few CEOs People of Color and Women” –
DiversityInc.com, Nov. 7), but as Carter G. Woodson
says, unless the thinking of a man/woman is changed,
there will really be no difference.
The results of structural racism have had a great
negative impact on people of color. But hypothetically,
if more people of color were in positions of power,
there would be more diversity of thought in
conjunction with diversity of color. Businesses would
probably reach heights they never thought achievable.
People of color have greater value than is perceived
by those in leadership today. People of color
potentially can open up the business to other markets.
Plus, I don’t think companies will ever really be global
companies until more people of color are in the power
seat. Sad to say, but many diverse groups don’t trust
those currently in power today.
This sector would be in a better place if people of color
and women were at the helm in larger numbers … we
need the private sector to diversify. Wall Street should
give us the opportunity to show them our “true” talent
and leadership capability.
CON TAC T US…
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