Dr. Napoleon L. Peoples , coordinator of the multicultural training program at Virginia Commonwealth University , says most interracial work relationships are superficial
.They know your name and hometown but don't know who you are , Peoples
On the surface it [ race relations ] looks somewhat better , Peoples
says , but in the context of deep structure it may be worse....We have a long way to go in terms of changing the character of racism..
Racism can be a tender issue.People generally don't deal with it because it's an emotionally sensitive topic and it's due to a long history of racism in America that has affected both blacks and whites , Peoples
view , racial tension is on the increase as the marketplace becomes more competitive.Because of downsizing ... there is a drain on resources and as this drain becomes greater and people vie for those resources , racial issues have increased..
Most businesses avoid the issue altogether until it becomes a real problem.It's because of the long history which has set up the perception that [ race ] is a negative , explosive and emotional topic , he
At the same time , some employees are less likely to complain because they don't believe the underlying power structure is likely to change.
When people begin to understand culture as it relates to race and ethnicity , then they'll begin to move forward , Peoples
says.If you have good interpersonal relationships it makes for a healthier work environment..
A positive work environment can be as important as a salary to many employees , he
And most employees are grateful for an opportunity to get race issues out in the open.In his
experience working with groups on racial issues , Peoples
has seen a great deal of eagerness and intensity.When I get whites and blacks in groups and give them an opportunity to talk about race , after 10 or 15 minutes it's very difficult to get them to stop....They are able to ask questions they are concerned about..
Diversity efforts must originate from management.
Many managers are well-intentioned and could benefit from the assistance of a consultant , Peoples
White males have been seen as the oppressor.They say they've tried to do their best and they feel blamed for the problems of race.These men are well-intentioned but don't know what to do , he
Changes in organizations are generally more reactive than proactive.Until we begin to become more proactive ... we're just giving lip service to it..