Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks Forum

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Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:47 am

Need some advice. Incident happened maybe 3-4 weeks ago, but can't seem to shake it.

Two partners at the firm I am an SA at took me to lunch. They were talking about recent Middle Eastern politics and the one partner said he wished the US would just nuke all of the Middle East and just "wipe them all out." My entire family is from parts of the ME. I do not look foreign (somehow), and there is no way this guy knew my race or where my family resides. He also went on about the law school needs to stop letting "Arabs" in the school. I played it cool, kept my mouth shut, but I feel so weird about the situation even almost a month later. It doesn't help the guy is late 60s, and just an all around ass-hat. He also happens to be very influential at the firm.

Any advice? Thanks TLS

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:53 am

Sigh: It pains me to say this, but I wouldn't make a thing about it. You're going to work for people that you don't like or respect, and that's just life. If you tell someone (i.e., HR) it's not going to be good for your career and it's not going to change how these guys think. I say this as someone who works in an incredibly conservative work place where things that I view are intolerant are often said and I'm often forced to swallow my tounge.

OutoftheWoods

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by OutoftheWoods » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:59 am

You handled it the way you should so far (add sigh). The only way I'd bring it up is if for some reason you took an offer at another firm, and you just mention it as a reason why. No one should be saying those things of course, but certainly not to SA's/people you're recruiting.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by seashellstandard » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:07 am

I am Middle Eastern, too, but because Americans are generally clueless they just guess that I am Native American or some other race all the time.

I intered in a public interest office where many clients we're MENA (Middle Eastern/North African for those reading this that don't know) and the white staff would make tons of racist jokes in the office, over the phones -- this totally shocked me because here they were, supposedly working to help these communities. I felt that their racism affected the outcome of their work, like I felt that they didn't really try that hard to help MENA clients, because hey they could claim they did and still collect a paycheck. They were dismissive of them when they came in.

In the end, as an intern, I could have said something but didn't. Even the lead boss was in on it. I could have gone to the press (it's a well-known public interest office) but I just didn't have any guidance on what to do.

I think the main problem here is that, as you know, two recent wars, plus a decades long history of racism towards the Middle East has created a defining "other-ness" of MENA people to such an extent that racism again Arabs/Pakistanis, etc is supported in this country by many people. Look at what this guy at your law firm can get away with -- comments advocating genocide. There is a deep-seeded racism against MENA people in this country, and the problem is what whoever you complain to is likely racist as fuck as well. I would still write everything down, keep track of his comments. Might be able to do something with it, someday...

foregetaboutdre

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by foregetaboutdre » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:19 am

with some exp in HR. Sometimes its best to confront who offended you privately and have a levelheaded conversation with them (e.g. I don't want to make this a big deal, but this hurt me and why). Most people in a work setting will understand and stop this behavior with no ramifications. If they don't going to HR and talking about how you let the accuser know how they offended you and they continued to harass you looks bad for the accused. just a thought - if you're going to work somewhere you want to be comfortable. if you can handle this type of comment internally than that is fine also

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kaiser

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by kaiser » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:28 am

Desert Fox wrote:
OutoftheWoods wrote:You handled it the way you should so far (add sigh). The only way I'd bring it up is if for some reason you took an offer at another firm, and you just mention it as a reason why. No one should be saying those things of course, but certainly not to SA's/people you're recruiting.

No you shouldn't.
+1

No way do you mention it to other firms. If you want to take it up with that guy in particular or with your firm's HR, that's one thing. But you shouldn't go mentioning it to other firms.

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MCFC

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by MCFC » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:32 am

I didn't read that as saying talk about it with other firms. Rather, get an offer from other firms, take that offer, and then tell the firm you are leaving about the incident.

(Obviously caveats about feasibility of getting that other offer apply.)

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by Tiago Splitter » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:32 am

kaiser wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
OutoftheWoods wrote:You handled it the way you should so far (add sigh). The only way I'd bring it up is if for some reason you took an offer at another firm, and you just mention it as a reason why. No one should be saying those things of course, but certainly not to SA's/people you're recruiting.

No you shouldn't.
+1

No way do you mention it to other firms. If you want to take it up with that guy in particular or with your firm's HR, that's one thing. But you shouldn't go mentioning it to other firms.
I think he meant that's what you tell the old firm when they ask why you left.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by CanadianWolf » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:36 am

OP: There were two of them & one of you. They were testing you. This is typical FBI & IRS tactic. Remain calm & keep your mouth shut as the test is ongoing. You're young, they're experienced--don't take the bait--and they probably prefer that you don't.

P.S. They know a lot more about you than you think. You work for them. All, or almost all, law firms use private investigators much more than you realize.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by kaiser » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:42 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
kaiser wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
OutoftheWoods wrote:You handled it the way you should so far (add sigh). The only way I'd bring it up is if for some reason you took an offer at another firm, and you just mention it as a reason why. No one should be saying those things of course, but certainly not to SA's/people you're recruiting.

No you shouldn't.
+1

No way do you mention it to other firms. If you want to take it up with that guy in particular or with your firm's HR, that's one thing. But you shouldn't go mentioning it to other firms.
I think he meant that's what you tell the old firm when they ask why you left.
Ah ok, that's more understandable.

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Post by Desert Fox » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:44 am

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84651846190

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by 84651846190 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:01 pm

Lawyers are assholes. This kind of behavior is merely one example. I have heard much worse.

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OutoftheWoods

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by OutoftheWoods » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:10 pm

Yeah, I meant the current firm. Definitely say you want the new firm for better reasons than that lol.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:11 pm

It's sad but racism against MEs(arabs primarily) is something that you can get away with. IF there were similar comments about blacks/jews/Hispanics you bet someone would be all over it. Arabs as far as I understand don't have the NAACP,ADL or something like that to fight for them.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by Magic Hat » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:34 pm

The obvious play is to confront him privately afterwards and enjoy your guaranteed offer.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by Magic Hat » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:52 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Magic Hat wrote:The obvious play is to confront him privately afterwards and enjoy your guaranteed offer.
A partner is worth a fuckload more than a summer.
You are looking at it wrong. Avoiding a discrimination suit is worth more than hiring a summer and firing them in two tears for performance related reasons.

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rpupkin

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by rpupkin » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:53 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:OP: There were two of them & one of you. They were testing you. This is typical FBI & IRS tactic. Remain calm & keep your mouth shut as the test is ongoing. You're young, they're experienced--don't take the bait--and they probably prefer that you don't.

P.S. They know a lot more about you than you think. You work for them. All, or almost all, law firms use private investigators much more than you realize.
This is ridiculous. It was just a racist lawyer saying stuff, not a calculated attempt to test the OP.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by rpupkin » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:57 pm

Magic Hat wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Magic Hat wrote:The obvious play is to confront him privately afterwards and enjoy your guaranteed offer.
A partner is worth a fuckload more than a summer.
You are looking at it wrong. Avoiding a discrimination suit is worth more than hiring a summer and firing them in two tears for performance related reasons.
This sounds logical in the abstract, but based on what I've seen while working in a couple of law firms, that's not how it works.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by dixiecupdrinking » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:54 pm

rpupkin wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:OP: There were two of them & one of you. They were testing you. This is typical FBI & IRS tactic. Remain calm & keep your mouth shut as the test is ongoing. You're young, they're experienced--don't take the bait--and they probably prefer that you don't.

P.S. They know a lot more about you than you think. You work for them. All, or almost all, law firms use private investigators much more than you realize.
This is ridiculous. It was just a racist lawyer saying stuff, not a calculated attempt to test the OP.
Nah it's well known that lawyers often like to use interview tactics will get them sued.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by JusticeJackson » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:22 pm

.
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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by metalgeek » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:29 pm

[quote="seashellstandard"]I am Middle Eastern, too, but because Americans are generally clueless they just guess that I am Native American or some other race all the time.

If I was a minority, I wonder if I could say things like this and ignore the blinding irony. Unbelievable.

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by rpupkin » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:33 pm

metalgeek wrote:
seashellstandard wrote:I am Middle Eastern, too, but because Americans are generally clueless they just guess that I am Native American or some other race all the time.
If I was a minority, I wonder if I could say things like this and ignore the blinding irony. Unbelievable.
I guess I'm blinded by the irony, because I can't figure out what you're talking about. What is so unbelievable to you?

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Re: Partner's Racially Insensitive Remarks

Post by metalgeek » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:35 pm

rpupkin wrote:
metalgeek wrote:
seashellstandard wrote:I am Middle Eastern, too, but because Americans are generally clueless they just guess that I am Native American or some other race all the time.
If I was a minority, I wonder if I could say things like this and ignore the blinding irony. Unbelievable.
I guess I'm blinded by the irony, because I can't figure out what you're talking about. What is so unbelievable to you?
I probably should have grabbed more of the original quote. The point of his post was that racist people were offending him. While he was complaining about racism, he makes a blanket statement about Americans. Pretty ironic to me.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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