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Copyright (c) 2013 University of Southern California
Southern California Law Review

ARTICLE: RACIAL EMOTION IN THE WORKPLACE

July, 2013

Southern California Law Review

86 S. Cal. L. Rev. 959

Author

Tristin K. Green*

Excerpt



I. INTRODUCTION
 

 
After a long day at work, a white woman sits down for a late-afternoon team meeting next to a black woman, whose binders and other materials are spread out on the table around her. The white woman nudges the black woman's materials aside to make space for her own. The black woman says, "Why are you moving my stuff?" The white woman responds, "Why are you being so aggressive? I was just sitting down." The black woman, now visibly angry, says, "Aggressive, do you even know you're being racist right now?" The white woman, near tears, approaches their supervisor and asks to be moved to another team.
 
Upon reading the title of this Article, Racial Emotion in the Workplace, two questions are likely to come to mind: What is racial emotion? And what is it doing in the workplace? We tend not to think much about racial emotion - or at least tend not to discuss it openly - and we therefore seem to lack a term to describe it. Racial emotion is the emotion or emotions related to race that people experience when they engage in interracial interaction. Racial emotion can be negative (for example, fear, disgust, anger, shame, envy, frustration, anxiety) or positive (for example, affection, respect, admiration, pride, sympathy, compassion). When a black man is told by his white supervisor that his application for promotion has been denied, and he suspects that his race played a role ...
 
 
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