Monday, October 29, 2018

Why I Have A Black Man On The Home Page

Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught.  I have a two-year-old son.  You know what he hates?  Naps!  End of list.   - Denis Leary


Alcoholism, homophobia, age discriminationracism.  


These are the hard, real-life topics which take some real moxie to look at without blinking, those difficult issues which often create or break effective domestic staff service teams in the real world - the world in which they actually work

These are also the topics which you will never find discussed while standing in a meeting space and nervously making polite, awkward small talk, all the while juggling those little glasses of house white wines and paper plates filled with catered cheddar cheese cubes. 

Those truly interesting topics of discussion which challenge domestic workers to grow and become better service providers; those pointed discussions that help people to consider who and what they really are and have become, as whole and real, functioning human beings on the inside - not simply as their professional, soul-crushing facades on the outside - and how they find progression into self-actualization for their beings while working in these domestic service jobs, something that could be more interesting, ultimately, for everyone, than progression into the latest Household Manager pre-printed certificates or dolphin-safe organic toilet bowl cleaners.

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Plainly, now, let's begin:  I don't quite understand why we're not seeing African American images on domestic industry agency websites, those sites which should be presenting blacks as respectfully as they present whites, and reflect the population of those domestic workers who actually fill their clients' staffing ranks and scrub their clients' toilets, and cook their clients' food and raise their clients' children, and bathe and comfort their clients' dying parents, and manage their clients' contractors and provide security for their clients' homes - all the while simultaneously being more representative of the local candidate populations all around us in towns both large and small.

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I do know this: that racism (along with four or five other -isms) is alive and real in our world - the domestic industry world of 2018.

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The most interesting dying wish I've known from a personal friend, from some time ago - and in the last few hours of his life and he consciously knew that it was his last few hours  -  was having instructed his lead (white) domestic service worker that no black people were to be inside the room at the moment of his death. 

He didn't think that black people - even the very ones who'd been bathing him and soothing him and comforting every essence of his being, both physiological and psychological, for the past year - providing certainly more comfort and care than any of his family members had been willing to - should be in the room when the angels came to take him away to heaven. 

He simply thought this would reduce his chances to get through the pearly gates and he wanted to make sure the angels who came to get him, the angels who would be white, of course, only saw white people in the room upon their arrival. "Just to be safe." 

Imagine that being your known, being your conscious, and being your determined and lasting legacy for all eternity: Get the black people out of my room, so I can now die and get to heaven. 

I have no information here beyond any other mortals, but I just have a suspicion that, upon arrival to said destination, my friend was greeted by the Jesus on the left side of your computer screen, the one that many biblical historians believe, beyond any doubt and based upon studies of demographic trends which existed in that very part of the world at that time, resembled the real Jesus who actually lived and walked the earth, as opposed to the fantasy Jesus of much lighter skin tones, the one often more popular, living only in the picture frames hanging on the walls at miscellaneous churches for as long as most of us can remember.

"Oh, what I really meant when I gave that order just a few hours ago before I arrived here, that order I gave to get you people out of my room, was, um..."

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The reason I have put a black man on the home page of the website is very simple... 

...to create a visceral reaction in you - and to challenge your notions of what really matters when creating a high-performing domestic service work team. 

...to help you to think about the whats and about the whys of the colors of the people in your life, and in your career.

...to know that how we include - or exclude - the entire rainbow of others in our society, in our communities, on our websites, in our workplaces, on our domestic staff service teams, and in our lives, matters a great deal. 

And why perhaps even you, yourself, as a domestic staff worker, household or estate manager, domestic employment referral agency owner with a website that features only light skinned domestic workers, or estate owner, don't want to be around, don't want to hire, don't want to supervise or be supervised by, don't want to be employed by, don't
want to work alongside, don't want to give money to or take money from, don't want to be associated with, or don't want to be comforted by in your own last dying hours: black people.

And an opportunity for you to examine why, exactly, you may be feeling that way, who taught you to feel value with those notions, and yet more importantly than either of those: what's your plan now and where are you going with this.

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And if I have done that, and if you've had a reaction when seeing that photo and thought about some things that you haven't been challenged by anyone before in your life or in your career, then my home page and this posting about why I have a black man featured there - will have succeeded.



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