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Monday, June 30, 2008

Reggin Please?......Exploring Coded Racial Terms at the Workplace

I'm going to tackle this or rather editorialize this matter in a few hours. Oh and reggin is the n-word spelled backward-you learn something new (and childish) everyday.

This just in, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

Coded prejudice is cloaked dagger
Subtle slurs still shock, humiliate targets; federal officials see increase in complaints
By Dahleen Glanton | Tribune correspondent
June 30, 2008

Tomeika Broussard thought it was so absurd when she overheard her supervisor refer to her as a "reggin" that she just laughed. Then she realized it was the n-word spelled backward.

The only African-American in the small medical clinic in Los Gatos, Calif., Broussard said she was subjected to racial slurs almost daily. They were not the overt ones that most people would immediately recognize, but rather subtle, surreptitious code words that sometimes take a while to figure out.

"When 'reggin' came up, I'd never heard that word but I knew it was negative. So I had this kind of nervous, shocked laugh," said Broussard, 31, who was awarded $44,000 in damages last year in a racial harassment lawsuit filed after she was fired from her job as a file clerk. "I didn't know whether it was illegal, but I knew it was not OK. It was humiliating."

Federal officials say they have seen an increase in harassment complaints involving coded words and images in the workplace. Whether it is geared toward racial groups, religious affiliations, sex or sexual orientation, code words have proliferated in recent years through the Internet, where Web sites provide forums for creating, discussing and spreading new words promoting intolerance.

Click on the link below for more from the Tribune piece:

Coded prejudice is cloaked dagger

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