I have to rant about this, because it’s one of the things that are so wrong in this country that really gets me angry. We had an incident at work today involving a security guard racially profiling someone who’s been working here for 6 years.
Here’s how it happened:
- We use our badges to enter the front door. We also have to use our handprints to get in the data center area. We approach the security desk. The desk is there to stop people who piggy-back through the door and break in. There was no evidence of that happening, as Payman had to stop behind me and use his badge/hand.
- Three people walk in before us. They show their badges and the guards at the station let them through without a second thought.
- Payman (of Indian heritage) and myself (white) walk by the guard station. We show our badges.
- I’m not stopped – however, Payman is. They take him by the elbow and stop him in front of the desk. They then begin to grill him while checking his badge against the HR database.
- Now, I stop and go back. The guard looks at me and asks me if there’s a problem. My reply is, “Hell yes, there’s a problem. He’s worked here for six years, and you pulled him aside because of racial profiling.”
- Guard: “We’re only concerned for your safety.” Me: “I’m only concerned about your profiling methods. Is there like some sort of reported terrorist threat to our company or something?”
- Guard: “No, we’re only following procedure.” Me: “So the procedure is to stop anyone who isn’t white or looks like he’s from the Middle East? His badge and handprint should have been proof enough that he works here.”
- Guard behind desk, under his breath: “It’s not like them Middle Eastern people aren’t stealing our good jobs or nothing.”
- At this point, I slap my hand down on the marble desk top, startling the guard behind the desk. Payman looks amused because he knows I’m now really, really mad. Me: “I don’t think it’s his fault you dropped out of high school and didn’t further your education. He actually earned his job.”
- Guard: “Mr. **** checks out. You two can go now.”
- As we’re walking away, the guards are on the phone. I know they are calling my boss and anyone else they can to try and prevent any further problems.
- Payman: “You didn’t have stand up for me, you know. I don’t want you to get in trouble.” Me: “If I get in trouble, I get in trouble. And I did have to do that. Because what I did was right, and what they did was wrong.”
So I spent 15 minutes on the phone at my desk later on. Security wanted an apology, but instead, my boss got my side of the story. He then turned it around on Security and got their manager on the phone. Needless to say, starting tomorrow, there will be one less Security personnel working at that desk.
Fuck the stupid people and their racial profiling. “For your safety,” my ass. It was more about them feeling more powerful and harassing someone.