Unemployed Sista Poses as White Person, Job Offers Suddenly Skyrocket

· January 7, 2013

black-unemployment

For those who think there is equal opportunity in the workplace check out this study via Techyville.

Before I begin, let me quote the late, great, Booker T. Washington who said,

“Of all forms of slavery there is none that is so harmful and degrading as that form of slavery which tempts one human being to hate another by reason of his race or color.”

For two years, I have been unemployed. In the beginning, I applied to more than three hundred open positions in the insurance industry—an industry that I’ve worked in for the previous ten years. Not one employer responded to my resume. So, I enrolled back into college to finish my degree. After completing school this past May, I resumed my search for employment and was quite shocked that I wasn’t getting a single response. I usually applied for positions advertised on the popular website Monster.com. I’d used it in the past and have been successful in obtaining jobs through it.

Two years ago, I noticed that Monster.com had added a “diversity questionnaire” to the site. This gives an applicant the opportunity to identify their se* and race to potential employers. Monster.com guarantees that this “option” will not jeopardize your chances of gaining employment. You must answer this questionnaire in order to apply to a posted position—it cannot be skipped. At times, I would mark off that I was a Black female, but then I thought, this might be hurting my chances of getting employed, so I started selecting the “decline to identify” option instead. That still had no effect on my getting a job. So I decided to try an experiment: I created a fake job applicant and called her Bianca White.

First, I created an email account and resume for Bianca. I kept the same employment history and educational background on her resume that was listed on my own. But I removed my home phone number, kept my listed cell phone number, and changed my cell phone greeting to say,

“You have reached Bianca White. Please leave a message.”

Then I created an online Monster.com account, listed Bianca as a White woman on the diversity questionnaire, and activated the account.

That very same day, I received a phone call. The next day, my phone line and Bianca’s email address, were packed with potential employers calling for an interview. I was stunned. More shocking was that some employers, mostly Caucasian-sounding women, were calling Bianca more than once, desperate to get an interview with her. All along, my real Monster.com account was open and active; but, despite having the same background as Bianca, I received no phone calls. Two jobs actually did email me and Bianca at the same time. But they were commission only sales positions. Potential positions offering a competi*ive salary and benefits all went to Bianca.

At the end of my little experiment, (which lasted a week), Bianca White had received nine phone calls—I received none. Bianca had received a total of seven emails, while I’d only received two, which again happen to have been the same emails Bianca received. Let me also point out that one of the emails that contacted Bianca for a job wanted her to relocate to a different state, all expenses paid, should she be willing to make that commitment. In the end, a total of twenty-four employers looked at Bianca’s resume while only ten looked at mines.

Is this a conspiracy, or what? I’m almost convinced that White Americans aren’t suffering from disparaging unemployment rates as their Black counterpart because all the jobs are being saved for other White people.

My little experiment certainly proved a few things. First, I learned that answering the diversity questionnaire on job sites such as Monster.com’s may work against minorities, as employers are judging whom they hire based on it. Second, I learned to suspect that resumes with ethnic names may go into the wastebasket and never see the light of day.

Other than being chronically out of work, I embarked on this little experiment because of a young woman I met while I was in school. She was a twenty-two-year-old Caucasian woman who, like myself, was about to graduate. She was so excited about a job she had just gotten with a well-known sporting franchise. She had no prior work experience and had applied for a clerical position, but was offered a higher post as an executive manager making close to six figures. I was curious to know how she’d been able to land such a position. She was candid in telling me that the human resource person who’d hired her just “liked” her and told her that she deserved to be in a higher position. The HR person was also Caucasian.

Another reason that pushed me to do this experiment is because of the media. There’s not a day that goes by in which I fail to see a news program about how tough the job market is. Recently, while I was watching a report on underemployed and underpaid Americans, I saw a middle aged White man complaining that he was making only $80,000 which was $30,000 less than what he was making before. I thought to myself that in this economy, many would feel they’d hit the jackpot if they made 80K a year.

In conclusion, I would like to once again quote the late, great, Booker T. Washington when he said,

“You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”

The more America continues to hold back great candidates based on race, the more our economy is going to stay in a rut. We all need each other to prosper, flourish, and to move ahead.

What are your thoughts and experiences with this issue?

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Discussion39 Comments

  1. JGoode says:

    I’m surprised how educated she claims to be and still says “mines”. But other than that, it’s despicable and this should be front page news because America claims racism doesn’t exist and that if it fact it does exist, it’s not the kind of racism that holds minorities back.

  2. queso (The Corp) says:

    Shiiiit that ain’t no surprise….employers look at a resume and see Shaniqua Jenkins that shi# getting tossed or some name they can’t read…shi# getting tossed.

    • queso (The Corp) says:

      Brad and Scott are getting way more calls than Tyrone and Leroy I don’t give a fuc what ur resume look like.

    • Exactly,these ratchet chicks be naming they kids all type of ratchet names,straight handicaping them when it comes to employment chances smh. Some chick named her daughter “Nike”….Wtf! True story LOL

      • queso (The Corp) says:

        U heard of some chick naming her kid LA-A?…….pronounced La-dash-a…….WTF

        • 1luv says:

          I thought that was me at first. I be reading some of these ladies names and I be like. Wait a second, I know that’s not how you spell her name.

        • Solo G says:

          it shouldnt matter what your name is they need to look at your skills rather your name wtf thats bs can say i have never had a job before and im bout to hit 19. U telling me i havent had a job cuz my name smh america is sad

  3. Welcome to the game baby. This ain’t nothing new for those blacks who pay attention very well. Things like this is exactly why my mother named all of her kids with traditionally “white” names,she knew what was going on in the real world. I’m glad this chick wised up to the game & now knows how to move accordingly. This is definitely some bogus sh*t,but she won’t be the last person to deal with this type of racism/discrimination smh.

  4. JGoode says:

    Everyone is focused on her changing names. Obviously y’all didn’t do too well in English class. The main point wasn’t about her changing her name, but changing her ethnicity. And to that point b strait, I know educated black people with what you’d call white names who have the same problem. Because regardless what ur name is, when u show up ur still black. There is no “wishing up” to that and u can’t change that and if u could u shouldn’t have to.

  5. jamar says:

    are poeple really shocked…equal opportunities has always been a lie…do we need perfect english grammar to find a job tho or to even make a simple point.

  6. Mo_2Fly says:

    Story is f@cked up, but pretty common my entertainment industry. Is it overt racism? Probably not. It’s ugly and uncomfortable, but the truth is that people most enjoy being around their own. I feel REALLY bad for the sista, because I truly haven’t discerned any solution other than ‘brightening’ her network circles.

    Some people are cruel and wear hate goggles, but MOST folks really do care about the next man, regardless of race. It’s just that when it comes to the colors of comfort, there’s a different, more hushed conversation…and I’m okay with that.

    Planning out 2013 has been a real challenge, fam. I’ve dedicated the past 12 years towards two intersecting paths within the entertainment industry. I haven’t been particularly successful at either of them. Now that I’m married, and my wife wants children, I’m forced to make some tough career choices.

    Here are a couple personal ‘racism’ anecdotes that come to mind. Trust, I’ve got more, but these service the thread:

    1. Good Ole Boys
    I work in the video gaming industry. Specifically, the journalism side. There was a time when I thought that geeks were color blind, but in truth, they want the same thing as the cool kids: A group in acceptance. A space to feel validated. At 38, I’ve been involved since this industry’s infancy, and the thing that I’ve noticed, even amongst geeks, is that there’s a subset of black geeks (minority), that stand apart, consciously or not.

    I’ve bounced from Gamers’ Republic and PLAY magazine, to my own website, PopCultureShock[defunct], and recently, Gametrailers.com. Outside of my own website – which was a financial disaster – the situation was always the same: an unbearably low glass ceiling amidst a sea of white friends. I can count on ONE hand the number of black folks on the journalism side. That certainly isn’t due to a lack of skills, or some other incompetence. The “black man must work HARDER” truism still stands, and each of those black men I’ve know either worked harder, presented better, was more capable, or was just outright better than most of his equals. All, of course, for the privilege of keeping a job.

    Black men always have to do some EXTRA sh1t to be on the same playing field. Work later. Produce better work. Take on more roles without commendation.

    There’s a brother that I work with now that – and i swear – we’ve been working together for 7 years, and only recently felt comfortable enough talking openly in the same room at the same time. For the first two years, we would only do the ‘head nod’, talking only after work hours once the office had cleared.

    At first, I thought that maybe it was my Howard U paranoia kicking in. That maybe we (both of us the same age), were relics of a bygone era. That the extra level of security and preservation was a defense mechanism that could be shed in a post Obama world. Perhaps that old scrutiny was probably leveled against hispanics now, and not blacks.

    It was last year during a hectic E3, when we were in the same room, and another black friend who I’d been trying to get in temporarily for YEARS was finally allowed to work for a day – we were all chatting about something inconsequential during lunch break – when a white co-worker, a good friend, actually, interrupted and half-jokingly asked, “Uh oh, what are the black guys scheming”. Mind you, he’d just splintered off from the conversation in HIS office where the guys – a room of white gents – were clowning around talking about gay-themed hijinks and bar-room sexual innuendo. The three of us looked at each other, and the conversation was finished. We dispersed, and finished our lunches committing again to post lunch tasks.

    I said all that to say that even amongst gamers, ‘the sh1t is real’. It might not be outright sinister, but it’s there on some level. When I was at Gamers’ Republic, I proposed to, then, Publisher Dave Halverson that he consider diversifying the reviewers. I’m wasn’t suggesting necessarily ‘black’ ( I was young and hella naive then), but at least consider the perspective of gamers that represent your wider audience. Those that don’t have the ‘luxury’ of grabbing every game on every console. It’s a subtle consideration but an important one. At the time, the magazine was staffed with people who had enough resources to get whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Hiring reviewers from different backgrounds who were just as passionate would potentially expand the audience and lend credibility to the publication. His response? “Black people only play sports games, right? I didn’t even know black people PLAYED video games. I thought that you were an exception.” He was DEAD serious. This was 1999/2000.

    Fast forward to the mid 2000′s when HAWADO, my good friend Superchan and I were doing things with our own site, PopCultureShock. Publishers trickled content to us. Usually sports games. In 2010, Superchan and I had the bright idea to hire white guys to do voice overs for our video production and to hide our faces as much as possible when it came to editorializing. Suddenly, publishers acted like we were the new shit, or that they hadn’t seen us before and lavished us with more attention. Less sports games, more regular stuff.

    That was a hard lesson. One that I’m still learning to this day.

    2. SHIFT
    Last summer, my buddy Los and I decided to shoot a spec show that I wanted to pitch to Gametrailers. I’d been at the company for 7 years and despite my background in production, running a small company, writing, and YEARS in the industry (more than most of the staff), I was still fucking editing the SAME shit. I’d done various paper pitches before assuming that my years there would validate them more, but ultimately, no dice.

    Frustrated, I went to Las Vegas on my own dime and did a short mini-documentary about the fighting game tourney EVOLUTION. The idea was that I’d work on a super streamlined budget, make the package, and pitch the idea of producing these bi-weekly shorts for the site, where the company pays me and credits me. I wasn’t trying to get rich. It was my baby step towards getting away from the desk again and creating content. I’d done it for years with PopCultureShock, but outside of my own company, nobody ever saw me as anything more than a good editor. IT was frustrating.

    When I showed the package, the bosses were impressed by two things: 1.)That it was content that GT wasn’t currently producing, and 2.) We’d done it incredibly cheap and more professionally than their more expensive teams had produced in years.

    I was asked to submit story ideas for show so that they could see a direction the show would go for the next year. I was paranoid and hesitant, but I gave it to them. And it sat there. And sat there. And there was ZERO communication. GT didn’t buy the Evolution episode, and tournament planners loved it but had no budget to buy it, so I said fuck it and put it up on my Youtube, tossing it to the EVO community. It was well received. What more could i do. Dispirited, I shelved it. There were only a few other places that would be able to use it, and GT was the biggest amongst them within this rapidly collapsing industry.

    In October, I was quickly called into a meeting because suddenly, GT wanted to make another SHIFT for an upcoming event, and they knew that I could do it quickly. Let me tell you how much direction I had…ZERO. I had complete freedom, which was awesome. They only wanted a quick piece that would showcase what made a specific community special – essentially a giant commercial – they wanted it to look good, and they wanted to educate the mainstream audience a little along the way. My prep time was exactly ONE week to educate myself about this subculture that I knew nothing about, prep my small team, and go into the great dark night.

    We killed it. My team, all black and hand-picked, a sound guy and DP, went in and produced the type of content that amongst us, we knew we could do because we’d been doing it for YEARS, but we hadn’t been paid regularly for it. The video, SHIFT: A League of Legends Phenomenon, was one of the few videos on the site to get significant traffic in YEARS, eclipsed only recently by our excellent Legend of Zelda: TIMELINE, which crushed all competitors.

    Post game, however, I heard nothing. Didn’t even get credits on the piece. Was asked by a friend (white) who runs the blog, to write up something brief about the piece – whatever I want – and this never (as far as I know) went up. Shift was essentially, an anonymous GT production.

    I remember during the production, on my birthday, that this sacrifice would be worth it. That things were finally starting to come together. Mind you, my friends at GT who pushed for this to happen were white. It’s not a color thing necessarily. In fact, Rohan ( a producer for other shows) and Ryan ( directly under the EIC) pushed REALLY hard to get me in the door to do this, knowing in my abilities. They weren’t the only ones. White friends from all over were trying to make things happen, but there’s an unavoidable glass ceiling in this industry where I’m always going to be behind a closed door.

    I didn’t get paid extra money. The option wasn’t on the table that I do my regular job and produce this other thing along with it. In fact, while doing SHIFT, it replaced my regular job so essentially, I was paid my regular wage for doing it, plus the overtime pay for working the weekend.

    Recently, there has been movement on the show. They definitely want to do more. A new set of people seem to be taking part in the creation of it -which is fine. Such is the nature of collaborative production. However, it wasn’t until I had a closed door discussion with another friend of mine that I learned that conversation had even TAKEN PLACE. I’m the last person in the loop on a show that I brought to the company. As a freelancer.

    So here we are at the dawn of 2013, and I’m really trying to figure out what to do within this industry. Later, I’m going to do another post about the FILM industry, of which I’m also a part of. The stories about the two industries aren’t so dissimilar, though.

    All I know is that i’ve got talent, experience, and drive…but I’m old and black. The hunger in my youth has been eroded by cynicism and financial second-guessing. I’m a broke man without assets, and a wolf’s gleam in the eye, even if the fur is greying. All of my friends, black directors, fighters, cameramen/D.P’s, writers – all talented and broke with nothing to show for it. More talented than their contemporaries, but we don’t have the drug habits or bullshit vices. Oh, and we have a helluva lot less cash.

    So fam, I’m at a major crossroads. I’m about finished with the game industry. Part of me wants to put in my two weeks, kiss my wife, and throw it all into the movie industry making shit that black folks won’t support. Or, correction, some black folks WILL support, but whites won’t because ‘we don’t do well overseas’. That’s another post, though.

    2013 just started and I don’t know HOW the f@ck I’m going to improve my financial standing. This much, I can promise you as sure as the moon will rise tonight: If i was white -if any of my crew were white with our talent and experience – we’d be f@cking PAID right now.

    • MoorFedayeen says:

      Who da fuq finna read all that.

      • al-ahmadi says:

        At first I was trolling you because I thought you were a common idiot, but you’re a real self righteous asshole yo. This man poured his heart out about his plight, and moreover the plight of the black man, in the media industry and that’s all you gotta say?!? You’re a dumb fuck dickhead dude! You come on here w/ your pro-black talk but when somebody drops some real life info you say that?! Smdh, kill yourself dude…

      • presto 2.5 says:

        LMFAO @Moor…

        You have to excuse him @Mo…”his head starts hurting when he has to think too much…and he only reads on a 4th grade level”

      • 4xtra says:

        Moor…you always got some smart azz come back on every single post on this site.
        If you arent interested in reading this then MOVE THE FUKK ON.
        This guy made a very interesting post and I can totally understand what he is going through. I have worked in Govt, private sector and as a small business owner in 3 states and seen the same BS EVERYWHERE.
        I can understand his frustration and the last thing we need is stupid ghetto azz sarcasm.
        I am in ATL so if you got a problem
        LET ME KNOW

    • crabapples says:

      my man that was a serious post. thanks for sharing your story. i’m glad i took the time to read it. i work in the energy industry and my story parallels yours in many ways, especially with regards to getting proper recognition for outstanding work.

      its hard to even understand how sh1t like that happens. is it racism? or is it just entrenched social behavior? i hate automatically assume that my professional shortcomings are due to racism. i always assume that I am not playing ‘the game’ the right way.

      its fuked up that we even have to deal with this additional stress. While we worry about sh1t that should be irrelevant (like perception and tone) our white counterparts only need to worry about the quality of their work. its enough to make a brotha want to give up, but we have families.

      try to keep the bitterness at bay, and keep doing outstanding work. that’s all we can really do.

    • numbers says:

      This dude. !!?????????

    • jenk0_slice says:

      That was really touching. Have you ever considered leaving the U.S.? Your potential is being wasted there. Shameful

  7. Ice says:

    We need more large Black owned corporations and companies. Without economic security, we will always be under siege.

  8. Princess_B says:

    every biz has it’s start, the important thing is to support black biz, they will grow slowly but surely,

  9. MoorFedayeen says:

    Blacks wouldn’t have to worry about this if they controlled their own dollar. End of story

    • Hahz says:

      Ok who has a plan of execution.

    • WildWild says:

      Point exactly… Do for self!!! Hell white folks don’t have enough jobs for their own people let alone us… We need to stop looking for massuh to provide for us & Do for our own!

      • WildWild says:

        Plan A. would be to stop supporting these Arab & Korean business in the hood… I’m sure we can supply the needs of our people. But we first need to Accept our Own…

        • I hear u @wild, but its like @hahz said, “who has the plan of execution”?

          • presto 2.5 says:

            It’s too late for all that…”The ppl” are too far gone…the blacks that have enuff “Power” to create movements in such a large porportion are playing for the wrong team now…able to control the masses but have been “bought out” to silence the God givin ability to influence the masses (the right way)…they too worried about losing the fame and everthing that comes with it…MLK..Malcolm..ect…was all broke/struggling like the ppl they motivated…they had nothing to lose…**Pumps Brakes**

            the ppl are dumbed down…sucked of all morals..self worth..discipline….and most of all GOD

            my answer…

            “Do your part…personally…and dont jus talk a good game…you exercise your freewill everyday…chose to think differently about things…and listen to the inner God in you…control your flesh…your words…your actions…your dollars…dont support things that you kno isnt right…whether its a view…a store…website…a trend…or whatever”…as i tell my son…

            “Why you laughing at shyt that aint funny?”

            **His answer**…”IDK?”

            Exactly!…I”LL STOP…**BRAKES**

          • MoorFedayeen says:

            @WildWild said it best. STOP spending yo money with these filthy azz Arabs and racist chinks in the beauty supply. I been said that. Everything else will grow from there. Blacks have HUGE buying power. The 60s boycott of the transit system showed us this. Leave the liquor stores alone for starts. U want alcohol then fine but cut all that other sh1t out and try to cut the drinking to a minimum.

  10. BzB says:

    congrats to her for learning how to work the system. if manipulating your name gets you interviews then great.

    hope she has the professional presence, appearance, experience and references to get the job…

  11. Mister Mister says:

    Nas said it best, “I would be Ivy League if America played fair”

    Some of the brightest minds are young black men & women, history has shown that. World history has shown what an educated black can do….but that scares white folk, their insecurities are so great that they’d rather hold the possibilities of these young black men & women back and forsake their country just so they can maintain their upper hand.

    I still feel in the immortal words of Sam Cooke, that a change gon come

  12. WildWild says:

    @Hahz Bstrizzle… I say the Minister has a plan of action but no one wants to hear that, but it’s always been one man… Adam to Zachariah only one man to lead to many cooks spoil the pot, but if everybody bring their talents and recognize Mike the man but I need Scottie this Paxton’s that, Grant on the board.. we can succeed… I think everybody want’s to be a Big I and little u hell we all equal in the eye’s of the lord, but Qu’ran also says he we’ll raise some to excel others, but if we all play are part.

    Stop it for one week we use social media for other ish we should use it for this like a flash mob.. All Gangs, Frats, Soro’s .. the leaders in the community, the lil nikkaz on the corner band together and say no one is to shop here for one week.. u can get gas if you need it, but nothing from anyone other than our own… and shit will change, hell the corner store may go out of business… So some of us who left the hood and know finance or accounting should holler at these young brothers with that doe, and buy back our community.. America is for sale might as well own some ish in our own hood… We on the corner all day long hell if we own something maybe our ish wouldn’t look so f’d up and then let’s treat each other with some damn love, I know how it is shopping with our own we have a poor professional attitude, but we need to be trained and we all need to do our part someway somehow.

    @Presto, Moor, and the rest of you positive ANS brothers brother Khalid Muhammad keep doing the work beloved “if the journey was short they would have endured, but because it was long they turned back” let’s not turn back. GIVING UP IS NOT AN OPTION!!!!

  13. 4xtra says:

    The thing that is really bad about Atlanta is that the high paying jobs go to black females, gay men (black or white), Asians and white men.
    If you go downtown in Atlanta, 95% of the brothaz you see under 50 are just hangin out and not working anywhere.

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