Apparently, the “jokes” tell otherwise. So today, I was at work, and my boss thought that would be something that I would find funny.  My first reaction was to tell her:

Why would you even say something like that to me?

Then I walked off.  I started to get really, really angry, for a number of reasons, all at once.  I mean, I get it, your guy didn’t win, he gave up, and THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN, so all you have to say to me about it is a racist joke.  So wow, I guess it really was just a “race”/skin color thing to some people.  Wow, this adult woman just said this to me, as if I would appreciate the “humor” in that, or as if I’m even-tempered or something.  The “joke” wasn’t even clever.  Any racist with a third grade education could have made that joke up.  Wow, so my boss is telling me this joke.  What a way to take advantage of the employer/employee dynamic.  Ordinarily, when something like this happens, say at a bar, I like to curse people out and/or slap them.  I have zero tolerance for things like that.  When I went to sit outside to cool off a bit, she came outside to talk to me.  It went something like this:

Autrelle, are you upset about something?

I would really rather not talk about it.

Well what’s wrong?  Are you mad about what I said to you earlier?

Yes.  It was completely rude, racist, and unintelligent.  I can’t believe that you had the nerve to tell me that.  I never imagined that you could say something as nasty as that.

I only told you that joke because I thought you would think it was funny.

How would I think that was funny and not completely racist?  In fact, I would like you to explain to me exactly how that is just a really funny joke, and not something racist and offensive.

Well, you know, how black people, they’re associated with watermelons?

(I just stare at her.)

I think, you know, they used to sell watermelons?

(I decide to start talking again because I’m visualizing doing something bad, and I need to get my mind away from that…) Wow.  That was the least convincing argument I have heard, ever.  Those are just racist stereotypes in “joke” format.  I still remain highly offended.

Well, Autrelle, there are SO MANY jokes like that out there, I only told you that one because it was the mildest one that I have heard.

Well I suppose I should thank you for sparing your really bad racist jokes.

Well, I’m sorry that if I offended you. (Note that she was not sorry for telling me the joke, or for painting herself as an ignorant racist to me, just sorry that I got offended.  I honestly think that in her mind, she doesn’t think that she has done anything wrong.)

There you have it.  I live in a wonderfully progressive city called Jacksonville, Florida, in the Riverside area.  Go figure.  I’m on fire right now.  Let’s hear your feedback people, and don’t hold back – I’m not going to.



  1. J says:

    It kind of reminds me of those scenes in horror movies where the stupid bitch enters the room with the killer and she doesn’t know he’s there…

  2. Rachel says:

    No, you’ve got it wrong. Clearly, she’s so not racist, she doesn’t even NOTICE you’re not white! Wow, how this town has progressed.

  3. i guess ultimately int depends on the context of the delivery… but flat out, yeah pretty dumb for a boss to say something racially charged to you, esp. if she’s NOT black. couple that with the fact that it’s POLITICALLY charged. TRIPLE that with the fact that there is no way in hell you can convince anyone that something like that could not be taken offensively, as a black person.

    pretty dumb, weak, lame. whatever.

    riverside rules, bro. just some dumbass idiots that traverse rough it at times, just like anywhere.

    oh and have you seen this?
    this is pretty shitty:

    The Republican party in CA circulated that around mid-October. Here’s the news report on it:

  4. img embedding did not work, sorry. here’s the link:

  5. autrelle says:

    Jason, that shit just blew my mind. The part is her CYA:

    The group’s president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club’s meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

    “It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don’t want to go into it any further,” Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn’t my attempt.”

    Comments | Recommended
    Inland GOP mailing depicts Obama’s face on food stamp

    Download story podcast

    11:39 PM PDT on Thursday, October 16, 2008

    The Press-Enterprise

    The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women’s group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.

    The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

    The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.
    Story continues below
    Special to The Press-Enterprise
    An Inland Republican women’s group sent out a newsletter showing this fake $10 “food stamp” with Barack Obama’s face on it.

    The group’s president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club’s meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

    “It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don’t want to go into it any further,” Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn’t my attempt.”

    Fedele said she got the illustration in a number of chain e-mails and decided to reprint it for her members in the Trumpeter newsletter because she was offended that Obama would draw attention to his own race. She declined to say who sent her the e-mails with the illustration.

    She said she doesn’t think in racist terms, pointing out she once supported Republican Alan Keyes, an African-American who previously ran for president.

    “I didn’t see it the way that it’s being taken. I never connected,” she said. “It was just food to me. It didn’t mean anything else.”

    She said she also wasn’t trying to make a statement linking Obama and food stamps, although her introductory text to the illustration connects the two: “Obama talks about all those presidents that got their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on????? Food Stamps, what else!”

  6. becca says:


    what the fuck? i blogged about this b.s. awhile back. it blows my mind, but doesn’t surprise me at the same time, ya know? i don’t knw how you didn’t punch that bitch in the face and walk out. Well, I know why…you’re bigger than that. You have a brain. Obviously, she doesnt. If you know where she lives I will egg and t.p. her house, and light her lawn on fire =)

  7. colleencatherine says:

    obviously this election and the win of our new president-elect brought out all of the ignorance, bigotry, and hatred that until now has been dormant and hidden underneath the surface of even those who are “closest” to us…and they can’t even see how ignorant they are!

  8. Jason says:

    sorry you were subjected to that buddy, but i gotta tell you, that ain’t shit compared to what i have heard about obama and african americans in general lately. the fact that you are black, means you hear less than i have to. because i’m “white” people have no problem spouting racist shit in front of me all the time. once they find out i’m palestinian though, all bets are off.

    shit, obama got in trouble for being friends with one of my people (rashid khalidi) , and that crazy white lady at the mccain rally said i don’t trust him, he is an arab. you know how mccain responded? “no maam, he’s not, he’s a decent person”. what? are you kiddng me?

    obviously, the plight of the african american in this country has been deplorable since the beginning; but try being an arab post-9/11. not much better. i’m not a “dark” arab, so i don’t get it as bad as some of my peeps, but i hear it and feel it everyday.

    anyway, tuesday was a great day in america and if barack’s presidency is half as impressive as his candidacy, things will be looking up for both of our people sooner rather than later. it’s a start. we can’t dwell on being discouraged by all the hate, racism, and ignorance. we just have to educate them and prove them wrong.

    i don’t blog much because i tend to be verbose and have a hard time writing succintly, but i just had to chime in on this. just wanted to let you know i’m reading.


  9. Jason says:

    wow, just checked out that link jason braddock posted. that is some seriously fucked up shit. and its coming from one of our most diverse and tolerant states. can’t imagine the shenanigans that took place and continue in small towns in the south.

  10. Sheila says:

    I’ve been dealing w/ the same kind of “sense of humor” at my workplace as well. Being there’s only 2 democrats (including myself) at my office we are outnumbered to say the least. I flat out told my coworker that I am not a racist so please stop sharing your racist Obama jokes w/ me. I can’t wait for Obama to succeed in the white house so the republicans can be the butt of a joke!

  11. Mike says:

    Well it seems that ignorance is running rampant, and there is no surprise that Jacksonville stinks of this disease. We all walk a thin line of exposing are inner thoughts and beliefs. Truths come in many disguises, paraphrases, jokes, and facial expressions. We tend not to be aware of who we offend or how offensive we might be in our subconscious attempt to obtain a self worth. We have now diminished the value of the spirit that travels in each one of us. This spirit travels through us all, it gives us life. Let it not be you who takes of it, rather be the one who adds to the value. Let your mind be pure of heart. The Lord created us all in his likeness. Test your ignorance, how many of you are familiar with the emancipation proclamation???? If your not read up and quit be so dam stupid. I would of thrown a drink at that b@#ch lol jk perfect example of perpetuating hate…

  12. Pingback: George Bush On Best Political Blogs » I’M PRETTY SURE THAT GEORGE W. BUSH IS NOT GOING TO PLANT …

  13. Laran says:

    I’m glad it happened. I’m glad she was met with your resistance & intelligence and I’m certain that next time she will stop and actually use that gelatinous mass between her ears, otherwise known as a “brain”, before she speaks again…

    AUTRELLE IN 2012!
    Love you man.

  14. Ike Doggy-Tronic says:

    three words.

    hostile work environment.

    those kinds of statements from an employer to an employee are both illegal and actionable. and any employer who’s stupid enough to make them deserves to have to explain to their bosses and their bosses lawyers why they thought it was a good idea.

  15. autrelle says:

    To everyone that has responded so far:

    It’s nice to know that I’m not blowing this entirely out of proportion. Sheila, you have the right idea, 100%, in that you let them know where you stand. Another one of my coworkers, after hearing what happened, thought it would be funny to try to tell me another joke, since he felt I was “going off the deep end” about this. I told him if he even started to say anything of the sort to me it would be a really bad idea. So yeah, I guess racism is really all around us. Personally, I want to focus on positive things. I feel like I have to deal with this work situation first. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but I will for sure keep everyone posted.

  16. Jenn says:

    I’m sure flaming will commence….

    Maybe she did not mean for it to be racist?

    I mean, think about it… The amount of jokes that came from the George W. Bush time in office, or Clinton..or any other official for that matter. Certainly you said your fair share of “white” jokes, or “good ol boy” jokes, etc.

    If Clinton would have been voted in – there would have been jokes regarding PMS and things of that nature. If McCain was voted in – Old man jokes and I am certain Palin would have gotten her share of the “woman” jokes too.

    Are we going to go back and nitpick each of the jokes that mentioned skin color, religious beliefs, education, sex, etc.? I think not..

    I say, take it for what it is: people making jokes about the current figure heads of our country.

    Not saying that jokes filled with stereotypes are “right” or “wrong”.. just saying, because Barak happens to be Bi-Racial, you are bound to hear “black” jokes. (and I am certain he will also get his share of “white” jokes as well. ) Do not take them to heart…

    They are merely jokes.

    Would you be offended if she/he came to you and made reference to his “white” side? Probably not. It may even be funny to you.. Would I get offended?? hell no – I’d laugh it off as a joke. Because, that is what it was – a joke.

    oh and my 2cents…
    Racism will only stop once WE ALL let it die out. Be it black against white, white against Mexican, etc.. We as a human race have to stop this whole BS.

    Take the joke for what it is doll, a joke.

  17. autrelle says:

    Racist jokes are offensive, period. If you make the tiniest excuse for one, you excuse them all.

  18. Jenn says:

    I guess I just do not offend as easily. I still don’t take it to heart when someone tells “white” jokes or “pms” jokes to me. I guess, growing up in Riverside had a different effect on me..

    ❤ ya doll. Sorry she offended you with hers.

    Hopefully, by talking it out, you can find some resolution. If it offends you – you should not be subjected to it (especially at work).

    I wish there was a way to majically make everyone un-offended by things/ or make those who offend (un)intentionally majically stfu.

  19. autrelle says:

    Yeah, I mean, I can’t tell you what you should be offended by. I have my own ideas that I have to live up to. Heart you too!

  20. Ian says:

    I guess out of that entire exchange, here was the most shocking one from her end:

    “Well, Autrelle, there are SO MANY jokes like that out there, I only told you that one because it was the mildest one that I have heard.”

    I liked your response, too. As if we should give her infinite “thanks” for treading the offensive-less-traveled.

    Granted, the Rand-droid in you would rationalize that “being offended” is an action that individuals take their own responsibility for. Insults are indeed taken, not given. Had she just left it alone, there may be reason to believe that it could have been simply diffused by simple jest (which is usually only done between very close friends).

    The fact that this birdy kept singing made it that much worse.

    “I only told you that one because it was the mildest one …”

    What a dipshit.


  21. mandy says:

    ok, it didn’t work

  22. Perry says:

    Dude ….. I really wished I had heard her say that ….. Did anyone else hear it ? And who was the other guy that was gonna tell you another joke ? Guy ?

    What do you want to do ? I’ll support you 100% here Trell ….. Remember, I am in a position of authority there, so if there is anything I can do for you please tell me ….. I can send the Big Boss a link to this page if you want …..

    She has also made snide remarks about Jews over the past 6 years I’ve worked there ….. Of coarse she don’t know that I am Jewish , and I just bite my lip when she says that crap as I’ve grown accustomed to hearing that crap from all kinds of people …..

    Let me know if you want to pursue this to a higher level ….. Like I said , I have your back ….. Always …..

  23. brandy says:

    fuck that stupid bitch… that’ all i have to say about that.

  24. autrelle says:

    Hey Perry: Thanks for your support. That stinks that you have had to listen to her remarks about Jewish people. I don’t know what I want to do. I feel that the only justice in the matter, as it is, is to tell my story, and ask that it be retold, and ask for people like you to open voice your support for me and your disapproval of things like this. I just ran into two complete strangers who heard about this, so I guess so far, it’s working. I don’t want to start anything more at work about it. If something else is to come of it, she, or my boss, or anyone else that wants to make more of it will, and I’ll have something to say at that time. And no, it wasn’t Guy – he’s much to smart for that. He expressed that he felt bad about it also. I’m sure if you think ab9ut it, you’ll figure out who the other guy was…

    Ian: Well said, every word.

  25. trish says:

    I’m with Brandy

  26. Eric Holcomb says:


    I don’t want to sound like an Aikidork but this sort of shit is what emotional Aikido is all about. You maintained your balance and center (it may have been wobbly) until you got to a safe place where you could express your inner kiai — a keyboard. You put your anger down, found strength in community and balance — not perfection — was restored.

    By exposing herself that way, we can all see her weakness, her “opening”. She has let fear of a simple human difference be an excuse to demean others to prop her petty, weak and foolish self up.

    Take care and try not to let assholes into your heart.


  27. autrelle says:

    Eric: I never even thought of it like that. Thank you for that insight – well said.

    Trish: Test “test” was more like an indicator. I wrote that after this guy (also friends with the woman that I work with ) literally said to me “Hey Autrelle, I’m not trying to sound racist but…” and then he said something racist to me me. I remember thinking “Well, you just passed the test…”

  28. autrelle says:

    Also, back to what Jenn was saying earlier, I have already written about this, but it bears repeating in this instance: From reading Jenn’s comment, what does she encourage, and what does she discourage? Nothing that she said would discourage a racist from antagonizing someone, and it would discourage a victim of this sort of prejudice completely (trust me, it does). Not beating up on you on the keyboard Jenn, I heart ya (<3), it’s just that the Randroid in me couldn’t resist the example.

  29. cheryl says:

    hello all, i am late in getting in on this…but here goes. a little beginning.

    i am not in accord with what jenn is writing. and i find your employer’s joke to be highly offensive and downright racist.
    i think it comes from a very unexamined white perspective–which is to say a perspective of privilege. embedded and overt racism is a huge issue in the U.S. and one that each and every one of us are going to have to face if we desire to refine ourselves and uphold higher principles.

    an unexamined mind is a dangerous one. because you think you are not racist, not “conditioned” has nothing to do with the current state of your mind. trust me, observe it, we all have stereotypes embedded in our thinking. these stereotypes affect how we think and react. jenn, are you white? i’m just curious…b/c if so, from my p.o.v. you’ve got no biz telling anyone that that joke doesn’t offend you.

    it is a magnificent thing that this country finally has people of color in the presidency. i say “people” b/c i include his awesome First Lady. i think we can all agree it’s about DAMN TIME! and now is the perfect opportunity in this historic era for some real social change, but that takes each and every person.

    if you don’t know what white privilege is, please read tim wise. if you think you don’t got it, you’re an unconscious racist. i know that’s hard to hear…
    hope this link works!


  30. autrelle says:

    Cheryl: Always good to hear from you!!!! Way to break it down, especially regarding the issue of privilege. That’s something that is difficult for someone not “white” to bring up without sounding like a whiny human, but it is very true, everything you say. Thank you for the link!!!! Can’t wait to see you again.

  31. jd says:

    i think your boss is obviously an idiot whose genes got lost on the way to the evolution party.

    but instead of only going negative…think with me for a moment. our country has made incredible progress in regards to race relations and personal achievement in a relatively short time. in fact, only 6 days ago we leapt light years ahead of the rest of the world when we voted a black man into the White House.

    it’s sad that we have to say that, but it shows how far we as a country have come, regardless of mental midgets like your “boss” – and it’s only going to get better.

    NOTE: the race issue is not exclusive to America or the western world. no blacks, whites, Indians, Jewish people, or Middle Easterners have been elected into office in Asia. no one of color holds high office in almost ANY European country!! and don’t even get me started on the neo-nazi jerkoffs that throw bananas on the soccer pitch when a black man is playing. Europe is fucked up man, and that’s the continent that loves to lecture us on race relations!!!!!! getting back on track…no whites hold office in the Middle East, India or Africa (save South Africa) either.

    lucky for us, the American people as a majority have evolved enough to have voted people from every race into everything from city counsel to secretary of state to…well, you know.

    i’m proud of the black and white pioneers that put their lives on the line and sometimes even gave their lives, from the earliest days of slavery abolition to the civil rights movement…and now

    what happened to you was/is unexcusable, but as you know there are idiots everywhere. we all deal with them and shudder at the thought of their reproduction.

    i implore you to realize that there are those of us out working to help everyone “learn, evolve and get the fuck off this planet” (Bill Hicks).

  32. autrelle says:

    JD: Well said. I agree with you about the example that America has set by electing Obama. It reinforce my point on how sad it is that after McCain gave up, and Obama was elected, that the only thing that I have heard from McCain supporters are racist jokes. Thank you for your well written comment my friend.

  33. Sam says:

    alright, bro. i’ve been trying to stay out of this because i have a feeling that half of what i say is somehow going to be misconstrued, but here goes.

    do i think she was wrong for spreading the joke? yes. do i think she was wrong for telling you? that’s a matter of opinion. it all depends on where the friend line is between you and her and maybe she overstepped her boundaries. fact is, you present yourself as a pretty open minded person. you know that if i hear some racist shit i’m coming to you with it, and one way or another we end up laughing about it. could she have been attempting the same thing but had poor judgment in her presentation? possibly. do i think you overreacted a bit? yeah, a bit. but everyone is up in arms about this entire election so i can see why you might have.

    now before i go any further, let me say that i didn’t vote for Obama because i didn’t think he was the right man for the job. period. it didn’t have a fucking thing to do with race/color/ethnicity or any of that shit.

    so now i’d like to ask you a question in opposition of that statement. the polls showed, what, 96% of african-american voters voted for Obama..? and we had the highest voter turn-out since the Nixon election. so, of that 96%, what percentage do you think voted for him because they actually paid attention to both major campaigns and made an informed decision with the belief that Obama was *truly* the right man for the job? And what percentage do you think voted for him because it was the chance to put a black man in office? i don’t care what color or sex the president is, as long as they are truly the better candidate. fuck, give me president palmer from 24. but everyone keeps complaining about racism being an issue in this election when it’s honestly coming from all sides; white people are just more likely to run their fucking mouths.

    do i think racism should come to an end? yes! dear fucking god, yes! will it in my lifetime? i doubt it. people are too fucking stubborn. but i’ll leave you with this, and these are your own words from right here in the blog: “Racist jokes are offensive, period. If you make the tiniest excuse for one, you excuse them all.” now… how many times have the two of us sat around and traded racist jokes and laughed at how fucking stupid they were? (“why is aspirin white?”)

    maybe she just made a bad judgment call as to how open your friendship was with her…

  34. autrelle says:

    You never have to hold back from me!!!! My main issue is the FACT that this person is NOT my friend, only a SUPERIOR coworker that I’m pretty much obligated to be nice to, telling me racial slurs. Really, the fact that the joke was about Obama is incidental. I know we have done our research trying to find THE most offensive jokes out there – we’re crazy, you and me! Point is, I know you wouldn’t ever try someone like that if you thought for one second that it would offend them. I know for a fact that my coworker doesn’t go around telling that joke to random black people.

  35. Sam says:

    well then more than likely she’s just a fucking idiot. but there’s one thing you said which makes us both right: “I know for a fact that my coworker doesn’t go around telling that joke to random black people.” so you may not think of her as a friend, but obviously she thought otherwise. had she started it off with “man, you want to hear something fucked up?” i’m sure it would have come off as LESS offensive (like when i tell you shit) rather than you feeling like it was directed AT you.

    but more to the point, she’s a fucking idiot.

  36. autrelle says:

    She’s s dumbass. It happened exactly as I told you. Trust me when I tell you that the proper context was offensive.

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