White men are angry.
Not only the confederate flag waving alt-right, but civilized gentlemen sitting in board rooms. However, they are not the White men who impact the lives of working people of color the most.
The cruelest of them are the mid-level managers and supervisors who can change your life on the spot, simply because they can.
This pissed off, ordinary population of angry White men are sales managers, floor managers, and supervisors who can ruin the career and life of an employee with nothing and no one to stop them. They make decisions blatantly, choosing other White men for promotions instead of equally or more qualified people of color.
They feel safe and comfortable in doing so, because there is nothing in place to stop them. I am speaking of managers throughout major corporations in every industry.
Perhaps they have been angry for a long time or perhaps they now feel more emboldened in expressing it.
For sure, the hostile, mean and volatile election campaign of 2016 and the following racist antics of the Trump administration have magnified their hateful attitude.
My personal story is that of an 18-year financial advisor and sales director with major insurance companies. Currently, I am a sales manager with one of the largest in the world. I am Black, female, over 50 and a democrat. But, the financial services industry is a White man’s game.
I am one of 3 women in the southern states of the United States with my position and the only African American. Regional meetings always consist of a sea of White men. There are some women who are employed in other positions, mostly on the east coast, but very few as managers of a sales force.
During the election season, my managing director constantly watched FOX news in the office.
He would try and engage me in political conversations in order to convince me how Donald Trump was the choice for businessmen. He degraded Hillary Clinton and said that this country should never have a woman leader, among many other mean comments.
These things were said daily. I found myself telling him that I do not want to hear it. I want to hire, train and develop new agents, which is my job.
Now, fast forward to the current explosive political environment in which, unfortunately, we find ourselves. I have been ostracized by what should be the managing team. The managing director has completely cut me off from the recruiting department. Recruiting for me represents a tremendous amount of my income. He does everything possible in order to sabotage my success.
He does not allow me to make presentations to the agents, which is a must for my position. This causes the agents to think of my co-managers as the experts.
I am humiliated, upset and embarrassed daily.
There is so much more to my story and to this story. So it occurred to me that I cannot possibly be the only victim of this “Trump” mid-level corporate hate. I want to ask the question. How many other women and people of color in corporate America are being treated this way?
If they did want to speak, who would be there to listen?
This is impacting the lives, careers, pensions, insurance, families and health of those of us who are employed by major corporations. There needs to be a conversation on this subject. The financial divide is already disgraceful. These evil managers are making things much worse for all of us.
With utmost urgency for us all,
Mena K. Freeman