Jenn M. Jackson Shares Racism She Experienced at Orange County Theme Park

Dumbo_kimball_crow.jpg
"You ever see an elephant fly?"
An African-American woman has penned a heartfelt essay on the racism she experienced at an Orange County theme park.

Yeah, I can only think of two theme parks also.

She mentioned she had loved the company brand since childhood.

Yeah, I can only think of one brand like that also.

Her name is Jenn M. Jackson, and she wrote "It Happened to Me: I Was Punished for My White Co-Worker's Racism" for xojane.com.

The beginning sets the tone:

Graduating from USC with a degree in industrial engineering never could have prepared me for the racism I would face living in Orange County, CA.

Being 22, the only person of color on her team and the rare African-American with an engineering degree at the company, Jackson was originally treated special, and she lapped it up.

But the good feelings changed after an older, white male peer, about 60, made jokes to her about "cholos." Then, shooting the shit alone with her in the office one day, he mentioned how things were different in the park back in the old days.

"'Africans'--like yourself--they would never have been allowed to work front of house," she quotes him as saying. "They had to stay in the kitchens." Her "corn rolls" (which actually weren't corn rolls) never would have been allowed either, he supposedly mentioned.

Jenn_m-Jackson_xojane.jpg
xojane.com
Jenn M. Jackson
Jackson kept it together long enough to escape to a restroom, where she cried. After she told her husband, mothers and others about the encounter, she was told to suck it up, keep her head down and keep working hard, which Jackson says she did.

A few weeks later, she says she overhead some ladies talking near the office when one mentioned she had auditioned for a television show, where she had gotten "all BET," singing an Erykah Badu song and being very "ghetto." Thinking back to the advice of loved ones, Jackson says, "I just swallowed it and kept working."

But while discussing another issue in the office weeks later with her superior, an older white lady, Jackson says she began crying uncontrollably. She told her boss what happened, and while the supervisor shrugged off what the older white man said as being "old school" thinking, she vowed to contact Employee Relations.

Jackson says she was told the matter was taken care of--and that things she had said before were also discussed, without her knowing what those things were. The man in question seemed to continue working without a care, although he never brought up cholos again.

She would work the next two years closely with her boss, who wanted to know how to do all the basics of Jackson's job. Next she says she received performance evaluations that stated she had poor relationship skills--despite having received soaring reviews before. She eventually left the company, although even that proved difficult because, she claims, she received less-than-stellar recommendations.

Jackson's conclusion (although you really should read the whole piece for the full context):

As America becomes more diverse, good 'ol boys like my male peer will inevitably fade away. But, that doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try to educate them a bit before they do.

It's a world of something-or-other, that kiddie ride tells us.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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27 comments
megandanielle
megandanielle

Wow I cannot believe someone actually referred to Mrs. Jenn M. Jackson as an "Affirmative Action hire". 

Did you not read her entire piece ? Or at the very least perhaps it's just You. Please do us all a favor, continue to live in your own little world and NEVER leave your home until your times up. 

But of course that's just wishful thinking. 

(WTH?!?!)


bphood
bphood

I am glad this lady did not get knocked out by being punched from behind...white people can be such cowardly animals

Knatsomita
Knatsomita

Being pro race is racism... what that old coot said is how segregation used to be which was race based, malicious, prejudiced and stupid, maybe he was apologetic(?) in a lame trying to be hip old dude way...sounds like she's thinned skinned and rightly so...she's book smart and people pissing whiny...whose to say???

Racism, blah... prejudgment is nasty and lame but  please don't tell me you don't root for your kindred brethren louder than you do the other countries guys; ie; my wife is Korean and my mo-inlaw is crazy pro Korean sports enthusiast, it doesn't matter the team, only matters that he's a K town kin, Im white in her eyes and she loves me with out judging me for not being Korean...LOL...I know the whole family is racist as in pro Korean, the other in law is Japanese and his family knows their race is the best etc...thats why at every family function we have some competition to see how smart/agile/athletic/creative the white guy is compared to us...it cracks me up.  Don't worry team , I'm winning. .


Ideally we should root for the WHOLE  team..and miss the best athletes that our Angels let go too soon, Trumbo, Morales and Hiunter...  ie; if your good peep's then who gives a shit what you look like.or from what race you are...but thats so DisneyAna to think so... cuz when it would come down to sides you know your race would win... Im just sayin' ...


btw 18usc...got pulled over in the near rectum city of Tustin and the Hispamic Cop asked me from my wifes side window if "she speak English?"  So I get the rub, it pissed me off to have her slighted by an ass head cop...but that's not racism that's of the least of things prejudiced as if it would matter in the ordeal of being hassled by LEO's. 


Hey last crazy thought to ponder...I learned spanish from a kick ass spanish teacher in High School and from work, school etc...being from Anaheim it gets useful , Mother in law worked in a factory in DT L.A. and learned spanish from her co workers..so we talk in spanish..

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Wait, wheres the lawsuit?  Shes obviously suffered great emotional damage and a settlement is in order.

REALLY
REALLY

? Really? This is racism?  It's not like they were using the "N" word here... Black people can make similar comments about white people and everything is gravy, but even the slightest hint of something towards black people - whoa boy, out come the PC police.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

I'm so sorry for what happened to you Ms. Jackson. It makes me deeply regret that I didn't take action around the time you were in kindergarten. Roughly around the time that Stan Knee and Brad Gates were exiting stage left.

moosee4310
moosee4310

Are you idiot's on this post really that stupid ?

sayer
sayer

Sounds like an affirmitive action hire that could'nt cut it. So she is black, whah. Should have got into Govt. Endless gravy train there.

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

The 60 year old white guy may be a racist (we really don't know) but nothing he alegedly said was racist. He was just explaining things the way the way he saw them as being years ago. He actually may have been empathetic for all we know. And the ladies saying something about "all BET" and ghetto, so what? Since when is that racist?

The point here is, many people appear to have been "trained" to think that anything that isn't neutral or pro minority is automatically racist. Jenn sounds hypersensitive.

Supposedly she had "poor relationship skills". Not surprising - even if she did have "soaring" (technical) reviews. You can be a smart engineer and still be hypersensitive and still misinterpret others' comments and be a victim of reverse discrimination brainwashing.

hitman_martinelli
hitman_martinelli

@bphood........................Bam!!! And the racial seperations continues!! Great job Genius!! Like I always said, Everyone is a racist!! All races are guilty!

haven
haven

@REALLY sorry Really, I can't remember a time when any white person was oppressed systematically for centuries by any peoples of color. It's not the same thing when the situation is reversed because POC have never held the power institutionally or in any way for that matter, so excuse her for getting offended when a white man brings up an archaic system that degraded people and amounted them to nothing, really sorry that people of color have never had that kind of privilege

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Yes - and it's the sort of criminally racist stupidity that wrecked this US born Latino's engineering career. Even working on engineering projects in order to provide safety to the citizens of Colombia didn't keep these assholes from being vicious.

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

@moosee4310 I lost an apostrophe. Has anyone seen it? Oh, there it is above. 

Why would someone use an apostrophe to pluralize idiot?

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

@sayer Maybe but AA or not, if she made it through USC Engineering, she's got to be smart and hard working. Put it this way, the easiest day in engineering school is harder than the hardest day in the workplace.

REALLY
REALLY

I wasn't referring to historical events or things that happened in the past, I'm talking about the "now."  The point that I was trying to make is that, and you see it all the time in stand up comedy routines - black people making fun of white people, and everyone laughs.  But if a white person says something about black people - like the ladies at the office and their BET joke... out comes the race card.  Sure, it was a dumb thing for the guy to make comments about Africans and their status "in the old days," but does that make him a racist?  Maybe he's just an oblivious moron - nothing more.

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

@18usc241 Reverse racism is garbage.  But nearly all racism these days is aimed at light skinned people.  Wisconsin state fair race riots for example.  And Eric Holder couldn't be bothered.


These race hustlers are out for cash and guilt stricken white liberals are lining up to give it to them.


Ask the Rohingya people in Burma how they feel about white oppression.  Oh yeah the people robbing, raping and killing them are as dark as coffee but it doesn't fit the proggy narrative.

REALLY
REALLY

@18usc241 I watched it... complete and utter garbage.  No wonder I've never heard of this guy.  There are other points I'd like to make, but I'll just end it here.

Nohollow
Nohollow

It's always the racist or the cop that did it. Ever consider maybe you just sucked at your job? You seem to whine an awful lot about everything wrong with your life and the fact that it is someone else's fault. You seem to be smart but your posts don't always support it.

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

@18usc241 For every one career that is wrecked by "criminally racist stupidity" (sic, since it isn't a crime to be a racist and it isn't a crime to be stupid), there are 69000 careers that aren't wrecked.

Bummer yours was the career that was wrecked.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

I'm convinced that if the United States is given a full physical health exam, the region of Anaheim/Garden Grove CA will be where the proctology portion of the screening occurs.

moosee4310
moosee4310

That's the way you address stupid people and then they turn around and try and correct someone's spelling but you can't see the wrong in racist old fart who don't have a clue to what's going on outside of Disney land maybe all you racist phucks need to put your heads together and get a clue

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@18usc241  

People like to use that "oblivious moron" excuse to brush off victims of sexism as well. I've found that "you're just being too sensitive" speech comes mostly from people trying to justify their complete lack of empathy...or tact.

BBAIN
BBAIN

@18usc241 Sure - perhaps.  I suppose I can't relate, being a white boy.  Maybe - just maybe, she could have laughed it off and not taken it personally.  The harsh reality is that there will always be ignorant people in the world.  Perhaps this is a bad analogy, but when someone cuts me off on the road, or drives like an A-hole, rather than get upset, I tell myself... why should I get mad just because this guy is a dickhead?  I'm sure she can find a job elsewhere with an engineering degree.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

You'd be surprised how much damage these "oblivious morons" who-actually-know-damn-well-what-they-are-doing-because-no-one-could-be-that-dumb ... can do.

For instance this young woman had to leave a major American corporation because of it. I'd love to hear your tune if it was your daughter that was hurt.

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