Unfiltered Story #90289

, , | Unfiltered | June 26, 2017

(I used to work at a college campus located where there was an extremely low, basically non- existant, population of African-Americans. On the flip side this college did have quite a few international students from Ghana. A student approached my desk to ask a question and I am in the process of directing them to my co-worker for the best answer)

Me: okay, you will just want to take this form over there (pointing) to the gentleman in the green shirt and he can take care of this for you.

Student: *looking around* Who?

Me: (once again pointing) Over to the black gentleman in the green shirt.

Student: *instantly outraged* you can’t say that!

Me: *confused* say what?

Student: “Black” is an offensive term! He is African American!

Me: Uh, well, actually (name) is from Ghana sooo, no. Not African American…

Student: That is racist! You can’t say someone isn’t African American!

Me: … Ghanese? Ghanaian? Yeah, I think it is Ghanaian… go talk to the the Ghanaian gentleman in the green shirt.

Student: I can’t Believe you won’t discribe his race correctly! I will be complaining!

(Later my co-worker wanders over after our supervisor comes and speaks to him.)

Co-worker: So why did a student apologize to me about this entire country and why did the boss ask me if I felt discriminated against?

Me: Because I directed a student to ‘the black gentleman in the green shirt.’

Co-worker: I don’t understand?

Me: I discribed you as black instead of African American.

Co-worker: … What? But, I am not American? What?

Me: (name) do you mind if I discribe you as black when sending people over who can’t figure out where to go?

Co-worker: No. I am black, should I not say ‘the white woman’?

Me: Well, I offended that student on your behalf because I said Black instead of African American.

Co-worker: But I am NOT American!

Me: I know, is it Ghanaian?

Co-worker: Yes, I am Ghanaian. I still don’t it understand why I am to be called American.

Me: I think that the student forgot that you could be black and from a different country.

Co-worker: That is stupid. (Walks off)

(It was a very awkward conversation.)