Wednesday, May 27, 2009

African Immigrants Living In Texas Just Aren't Patriotic Enough

At first, I wasn't even going to bother to read this article when I found out it took place in Texas. That fact is enough for me to feel fairly confident that the story was going to involve a great deal of stupidity and racism.

Okay, so here's what happened. Debbie McLucas is a supervisor at Kindred Hospital. Last week she decided to hang an American flag (measuring three feet by five feet) on a pole in the office that she shares with several other supervisors. This flag was also in sight of hospital visitors and the families of patients.

After receiving multiple complaints from patient families, visitors and another supervisor who shares the office with McLucas, her boss told her to take it down. How does Lucas respond? Does she follow her boss's instructions and take down the flag? Does she ask to hold an office meeting about the incident? Nope! Instead she became indignant at the fact that one of her co-workers were among those who had a problem with McLucas playing interior decorator at the hospital. She then decided to contact the media and sob to one of the television stations about how she is supposedly being deprived of her rights.

What, is this person like five years old or something? No, I take that back. At five years old, my daughter knew that she was fully capable of expressing herself without whining and crying and making pouty-faces. Why is it so many white people love talking about personal responsibility except for when it might apply to them and their actions?

McLucas can choose to feel upset or insulted, if she wants to. Nobody is trying to take that right from her. However, she has no right to place a flag there. It's no different from common workplace rules about what sort of personal items employees can display on their desks. In fact, what she did was especially outrageous because her display wasn't even limited to a desk display. For goodness' sake, the flag was 3'x5' and hoisted on a pole! It simply wasn't appropriate in that location.

To make this even more ridiculous, McLucas goes on to point out how the supervisor who was among those who complained "has been in the United States for 14 years and is formerly from Africa". Now, can someone please tell me why this one person's ethnic background was relevant to what occurred? The news article doesn't mention the ethnic background of anyone else who was involved in this. Why do YOU think that is?

The higher-ups informed McLucas that there were others who complained about her . She can choose to focus on her co-worker's feelings about it, but that doesn't make the co-worker responsible for her having to take it down. It was the boss who made the decision. If it interferes with their ability to serve their customers, then it's exercising good business sense for them to disallow it. Nevertheless, she decided to cry about the fact that the hospital decided not to let her have her way on THEIR property. I have a deep disdain for people like her. Compared to what others in her workplace are dealing with, her tantrum looks absolutely ridiculous to me.

This is private property. There's no reason why McLucas should be allowed to redecorate as she sees fit, especially without getting prior approval from her boss, at the very least. It would be stupid for them not to inform her how inappropriate her actions were, given the fact that they want to remain in business. Patients and their families have to deal with the hospital surroundings at a time when they may already be experiencing difficult, and sometimes heart-wrenching, situations. That's why corporations today spend a lot of money making hospitals more attractive. If some dumb-ass wannabe-interior decorator like this supervisor decides they should be the ultimate arbiter of what the office will look like, it really defeats the purpose of spending all that money.

All McLucas did was call attention to the fact that she is utterly unprofessional. It would have been more professional for the person who put it up to take it down as she was instructed by her boss. However, the supervisor who handled the matter discreetly and through the proper channels from the very start wound up being the one who followed the boss's orders. That makes it even more apparent who is the more professional of the two.

I certainly hope the hospital officials will remember this when her next evaluation comes up. If the hospital ever has to make cuts in her department, who do you think will be the first to go? The employee who handled her views on the matter in a discreet manner and through the proper channels? Or the sniffling wannabe-victim who took it upon herself to play interior decorator and then cried to the media when she didn't get her way? My bet's the crybaby would definitely get the axe first, as she should.

Kindred Hospital has decided to let McLucas put her flag back up after this bogus story appeared claiming that they didn't allow any shows of patriotism at the workplace. She even got a call from the hospital's local CEO apologizing for what happened. So, did she win? To answer that, maybe those who supported her racist bullshit should ask themselves a few questions.

Do you really think that the CEO called and apologized because he cared about the crybaby's feelings or because it was a good PR response to quell the negative attention she brought the hospital? The fact that the CEO had to get involved only makes it more likely that this incident is going to work against the unofficial office-decorator in the future. Nothing good ever comes from bringing the heat down on your boss from her/his bosses. This was most likely a career-deadening move. Sometimes you can feel like you won the battle, but still end up losing the war.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to Debbie McLucas, winner of this month's Special White Woman Award.


Unknown said...

let's just wait and see how loud mclucas screams "reverse racism" when they let her go...

Plain(s)feminist said...

I really appreciate that you put this into the context of "how your boss sees your workplace behavior." Without that, I might have been depressed by this. With it, I feel like the karma will come round.

BLESSD1 said...

Agreeing with Galla on this one...

omoo said...

Its too bad she snagged that award already. I had the perfect nominee--the woman who leaned over to a Dominican friend, even though she was wearing headphones, on a plane so that she could complain about Sotomayor being an affirmative action hire. Maybe they're related.