This week the Chicago Tribune's Ask Amy column took on the dilemma of an advice seeker (presumably white) who was distressed by her African-American friend's frequent Facebook references to her job as "the Plantation" and her bosses as "Overseers."
"What (if anything) can I say to get her to understand this is degrading to her? What can I say to convince her that she is not a slave and that such comments are in poor taste?" the letter writer asked.
Here's some of the response:
[Your] friend's choice to use such racially charged language to describe her employer and supervisors is not only degrading to her, but mainly degrading to them (this seems to be her point).
Not only is her language in poor taste, her employers might also want to know why she is choosing to refer to them in this way on this bulletin board within her social circle.
At the very least, your friend should be more circumspect — that is, if she wants to keep her job and/or get another one at some point in the future.
OK, but the advice conveniently avoided addressing the "What can I say to her?" portion of the question — perhaps because a reprimand could have been construed as a little, well, overseer-ish.
What would you tell her to do? It's pretty obvious that one would take measures to keep this type of joke from employers, but what about random friends and acquaintances? Given that someone seems to get in trouble for a racially charged Facebook post or tweet just about every week these days (and "It was just a joke" doesn't normally work as an excuse), we think that slavery humor might be best placed in the black-history archives.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.