Target has come under fire by Hispanics and 3 former Hispanic employees have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the popular store. The lawsuit alleges that Target warehouse managers frequently used racial slurs against Hispanic employees. In addition, a Target warehouse memo has surfaced that was passed off as a directive to help managers deal with Hispanics. However, that memo is very offensive. Target corporate officials say this is an isolated incident and the memo was not distributed throughout the company. That remains to be seen and, of course, Target is denying everything.
The memo says that not all Hispanics “eat tacos and burritos” and it all says not all Hispanics “wear sombreros.” It says that some Hispanics might be undocumented and that Hispanics tend to be less educated than other employees. It goes on to say that Cubans are refugees but more intelligent and that when dealing with Hispanics managers should be very direct as Hispanics tend to shake their heads when asked if they understand even though they don’t understand. In short, this memo paints the typical stereotype picture of Hispanics and if you know anything about stereotype then you know that they are usually wrong.
Target has not done anything about the person or persons who wrote and distributed this memo and it remains to be seen if the company will do anything at all. Target assures reporters that they are devoted to multiculturalism in the workplace and they say they are going after the Hispanic market with plans to sell “Hispanic merchandise.” Hispanics are now the largest and fastest growing minority group in the US. Just exactly what constitutes “Hispanic merchandise” remains to be seen as Target has not said. Do they mean they are going to start selling sombreros? Personally I find Target’s multicultural memo OFFENSIVE! I find the allegations made by the 3 former employees concerning racial slurs also OFFENSIVE! Target should apologize to Hispanics and FIRE the people that were behind this memo. And as for the plans to sell Hispanic merchandise? SAVE IT Target!
What in the hell is Target thinking. I see MOST Hispanics in the US and Mexico wearing the same clothes as everyone else does. I see them using the same cooking utensils, towels, bedding, cameras, etc as everyone else does. So what is “Hispanic merchandise” that Target is going to start selling. More offense to Hispanics? Maybe and you can bet your bottom buck that I’ll be checking several Target stores out when they start selling this stuff and reporting on it here.
This is just one more proof that racial discrimination in the US is alive and well in this 21st century, sadly. The fight for equality and an end to racism in the 1960s never really put an end to racism. It simply went underground and became more subtle but it’s just as alive today as it was then unfortunately. I myself have encountered this racism several times in my life even thought I’m half white. It is not fun to experience to say the least.
It’s sad that someone at Target took it upon themselves to promote the Hispanic stereotype and it’s too bad that person or persons apparently know nothing about Hispanics. Instead of finding out they simply took the stereotype and assumed a lot of WRONG things. But this subtle or not so subtle racial discrimination not only exists in Target but in almost every other workplace in this country. It’s sad that people just won’t move beyond skin color and I have a suggestion for and to Target.
Why don’t you just treat Hispanic workers like your treat workers of other races???? Why don’t you treat them as PEOPLE FIRST!!
But that might be TOO EASY right? In fact, it just might be far too easy to treat any person of ANY color or ANYTHING else as a PERSON FIRST. Think how different society might be IF we did start treating eachother as people first. A lot of our social problems might well dissolve literally overnight. But, then again, that might be too easy as well.
Contrary to what some people might think all of the little racial slurs in the workplace do not go unnoticed. Many Hispanics do not know how to deal with such slurs so they keep quiet and walk away. I myself do not! Obama said that as a young man he chose to be a black man. His mother was white and his father black. I too had multicultural parents. My father was white and my mother Hispanic. I chose to be a Hispanic as a young man and I was very proud of it too. But I paid the price more than once. I had white friends but my closest and best friends were mostly Hispanics. I learned Spanish and I embraced Spanish culture and ways. But along the way more than once I encountered racism and had to deal with racist slurs.
I’ve been called everything you can imagine when it comes to Hispanics. I even lost some white friends once they found out I was “part Mexican.” Those comments and those loses of friends often hurt and I didn’t know how to deal with them. Today I simply let the racist person know how really ignorant they are and, yes, I have a big mouth. But it is the truth as it requires NO intelligence to be a racist! In fact, it does require a lot of STUPIDITY and IGNORANCE to be a racist! So I let people know. Sometimes I’m nice about it and sometimes I’m not.
I even encountered this racism within my own family on the white side. I’ll never forget going out hiking in New Mexico with my cousins white husband and how the entire time all he could talk about was “(bleep) Mexicans.” He raked us Hispanics over the coals that day and had nothing good to say about us at all. At one point I asked him why he lives in New Mexico if he hates Hispanics so bad. He had no real answer other than he lived in NM because that’s where his job was. My response to him was to suggest he go find a job in some other part of the country which he didn’t like I could tell. He kept on and on and I got pretty sick of him. He was getting angry with me because I kept refusing to agree with him. Guess he needed my agreement to verify or justify his racial hate. I finally asked him if he had any clue that I was HISPANIC and came from a HISPANIC family. No he had no clue! I then let him know just how I felt and how offensive I found his hate speech. Further, I let him know that this was the first hiking trip I’d ever gone on that I absolutely hated thanks to all of his racist talk against MY PEOPLE! I’ll never forget the look of SHOCK on his face. He apologized several hours after we returned home but I never went hiking with him again. In fact, I never went anywhere with him again. He got my point and today I don’t even speak to him. Oh yes, there he was Mr Big Man telling me how Hispanics with lazy and worthless people and he was such a FOOL he didn’t even know he was talking to one. Now is that ignorance or is that IGNORANCE!!
Racism is a very ugly thing in any form be it against race, gender, preference, religion, or anything else. It is always ugly and it is always evil too. I am of the opinion that the human race is really going nowhere until we can start to see past our hatreds and see each other first and foremost as HUMAN BEINGS. Until then humanity is just spinning its wheels in the mud. Someday that day will come when we see beyond our hate. I don’t know if it will come in my lifetime or not but I hope it does. I think most people are tired. Tired of the hate and racism. I think most people want a new path and a new way in a new and better society. I must admit this society we have right now is prettty SICK.
Perhaps the intentions behind the memo at Target were good but some thought should have been put into how such statements would make Hispanics feel. Instead whoever wrote the memo took the Hispanic stereotype and ran with it without a thought and perhaps that is the saddest thing of all in this matter. Stereotypes are SELDOM accurate and they are always discrimatory. That would be because normally they are rooted in hate. Perhaps the next time Target issue such a memo they’ll think twice about what effect the language and assertions might have on the very people they are talking about.