A young man took to Reddit for opinions after he got flagged for racism at work. It was a pretty buggy situation overall. Here is the whole story.
He Made a Big Move
OP is a 24-year-old man who grew up in the south but recently moved to California for work.
He Needed a Change
Another perk of moving west for OP was to get away from the outdated and ultra conservative worldviews he often ran into growing up.
He Felt Targeted
Part of the reason OP wanted to get away was that he is half-white and half-Egyptian. So whenever he ran into racist attitudes back home, he took it to heart.
Things Were Going Well
After a few months out west, OP and his new coworkers settled into work relationships and got along pretty well.
He Was in His Element
One day, the water cooler talk turned to camping, and OP had plenty to say thanks to his Southern upbringing.
He Had the Inside Scoop
When a coworker mentioned that camping would be much better without all the mosquito bites, OP thought he could go one better.
They’re the Worst!
So OP replied that mosquitoes were nothing back home, at least not compared to the chiggers. They can be a million times worse, he said, because they gang up on you.
That Was a Wrap
After that, the conversation wrapped up and everyone went back to work. OP didn’t think any more about it.
He Was in Trouble
But someone was apparently replaying the conversation in their head because HR called in several employees, including OP.
They Said He Was Racist
One white employee and one black employee had turned in OP for his racial slur.
He Wasn’t Allowed
OP was confused at first, but then HR explained that “chiggers” was too close to a vile racial epithet, and he wasn’t allowed to use the word since he was white.
Everyone Knew That
That astounded OP, and he explained that chiggers are everywhere in the United States, and that’s what everyone calls them. He doesn’t even know if there is another word.
They Had to Research It
In response, HR did some online research and decided that OP was correct and that chiggers were mites that live outdoors in most parts of the U.S.
They Let Him Off the Hook
So HR’s official ruling was that there was just a misunderstanding due to regional dialect differences and that OP had not used a racial slur.
He Got Personal
Feeling better about the situation, OP told his coworkers about his heritage and shared some of his background.
He Wanted Some Leeway
OP also asked if they could not be quick to jump to conclusions about him being a racist when he used a word they didn’t understand. They all came from different places, after all.
They Were Sorry
When they realized the truth, OP’s coworkers apologized to him for turning the camping talk into a big issue.
He’s Waiting for the Other Shoe
So, things are looking up for OP and his colleagues. However, he’s still a little nervous about what sort of trouble might pop up when he drops another southern gem in the office.
For the most part, Redditors think the whole situation was blown way out of proportion just because of a difference in dialect.
A few pointed out that chiggers aren’t a thing in California, which helps explain the disconnect.
“America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM”: Fans Outraged After Black National Anthem Is Sung at Super Bowl LVII Instead of American National Anthem
The NFL’s decision to include the performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the “Black National Anthem,” at the opening of Super Bowl LVII has sparked severe online controversy. Here’s the full story. “America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM”: Fans Outraged After Black National Anthem Is Sung at Super Bowl LVII Instead of American National Anthem
“Karma Strikes Back” – Russia Faces Its Largest Attack on Home Soil Since the War Began
Reports of drone attacks on Russian soil by the Ukrainian forces have escalated to the largest cross-border attack since the war started, with the important airport in Pskov becoming the latest victim. “Karma Strikes Back” – Russia Faces Its Largest Attack on Home Soil Since the War Began
“Texas Is Doomed” – Federal Judge Delivers a Controversial Verdict, Gov. Greg Abbott Accused of Breaking the Law in Latest Legal Showdown
A federal judge has ruled that Texas governor Greg Abbott violated federal laws in his fight to keep Mexicans out. Now, the Republican may be up a creek without a paddle. “Texas Is Doomed” – Federal Judge Delivers a Controversial Verdict, Gov. Greg Abbott Accused of Breaking the Law in Latest Legal Showdown
They “Boxed All of the Black Children Together” – Florida Principal Threatens High-Achieving Black Student With Jail Time if Test Scores Don’t Improve
Bunnell Elementary School’s new principal, Donelle Evensen, attempted a unique strategy to address academic performance concerns, but it backfired spectacularly, sparking outrage and accusations of racial insensitivity. They “Boxed All of the Black Children Together” – Florida Principal Threatens High-Achieving Black Student With Jail Time if Test Scores Don’t Improve
Florida’s COVID Hospitalizations Soar as DeSantis Administration Urges People Under 65 Not to Get Newly Approved Boosters
Florida’s Covid-19 hospitalizations have surged to a post-pandemic record. Amid this crisis, Governor Ron DeSantis and his surgeon general’s controversial warning against COVID-19 booster shots has sparked intense debate and concern within the medical community. Florida’s COVID Hospitalizations Soar as DeSantis Administration Urges People Under 65 Not to Get Newly Approved Boosters
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / AYO Production. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.