Hidden in plain sight
Racism is often a tricky subject and it’s not one I enjoy talking about.There are many times people of color can feel racism in an atmosphere although it cannot be proven. Unless someone uses a racial slur or is overheard disrespecting those of a different ethnicity their actions at times are dismissed.
An example is an experience I had in 2021 and I believe now is the time to share it. I wrote about it on Vocal in the following article but was careful to not address the elephant in the room of race. You can click on the link to get the full understanding of what happened to me. In this article will address what was missing from the original.
An unsettling situation
This website which produces soap opera spoilers under varying names had a Skype group and when I first joined I was welcomed. There were about 5 or 6 people who used the group regularly and mostly they talked about plots on the daytime television shows. There were 3 or 4 others who chimed in randomly and 3 new members joined while I was a part of it. The ones who posted several times a day were two men writers and 3 or 4 women. All were Caucasian and I was the only African American. I briefly touched on this in a different article which you can read below.
Newcomers not welcome?
After the initial welcome, I would be ignored when I commented on the posts of others. Each time I joined the Skype group I felt uncomfortable as if I were being given the cold shoulder and ignored. When I initiated the first good morning on a given day no one would respond so I stopped.
The site owner would often share 5 or 6 links to online articles about the soap opera actors and on a first come first serve basis we could choose them and put our own spin on it. Once you picked an article your name would show up beside it to let the other writers know that it was no longer available. I began seeing articles sit for up to an hour with no one choosing them. When this happened I would take 1 or 2 and go back for a third if it were still pending.
One day in the group text a writer in the group commented that one person was getting all the articles. The site owner said it did not matter who got the articles as long as stories were being written. I realized she was talking about me but I could not claim the articles if someone else already had so I did not understand the issue.
Soon after one of the writers inboxed me and said I had taken 2 articles that had been first claimed by someone else. I told her on my computer it had not been showing that anyone else had claimed those stories so after that I just wrote my own. Perhaps it was only that a close-knit group did not like newcomers. I know it was not my age because two women I have written with on other sites are well over 60 as I am and both said they did not have any trouble.
The feeling of rejection that came through my computer on Skype is not something I ever felt writing for Yahoo Contributor Network, Blasting News, Vocal, or NewsBreak. One day it was so strong I wondered if someone in the group or even the owner was involved in the occult. I say this because I have been to many locations where the atmosphere was not welcoming and seemed to be saying to me "Get Out."
I felt this same way each time I joined the Skype group and even began feeling it when I was writing. The owner's tone with me shifted and she seemed annoyed and critical. One day I emailed her about an issue and she responded that I no longer worked for her I had been fired because I wrote my own soap opera spoilers.
I did notice that the two women I knew did not join in the Skype chats and just wrote their stories. Perhaps that's what I should have done. Although I cannot prove racism I was the only Black writer and I do feel that a lot of nitpicking was done where I was concerned. I cannot prove it but the intolerance and negative vibes towards me were so thick you could cut it with a knife. Feeling like the odd man out is difficult. I would prefer someone just tell me to my face how they really feel.