Bicultural Man Sparks Debate After Asking If He’s ‘Overreacting’ About His Boss Calling Him ‘White’
“AITA,” is set up for Reddit users to wonder aloud whether they’re in the right or wrong. The AITA description describes itself as “A place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you.”
Well, one user did just that. In his thread, the 19-year-old male described how he is half-Latino and half-white. “[I] was raised by my non-Spanish-speaking white mother. My father (Latino) isn’t in the picture,” he wrote.
However, as he put it, his Latino boss doesn’t refer to him as having a mixed ethnicity, and calls him “white.”
The Redditor explained, “This past week when talking with [my boss] and a white coworker, he’s been making comments that I’m a white Hispanic when we are joking around.”
The user asked, “[Would I be the a**hole] if I yelled at my Hispanic boss for calling me white?”
The Reddit user said he feels “uncomfortable” when his boss insists he is white
The employee introduced his topic on Reddit, “My boss [male in his 30s] and I [19-year-old male] have been having some conversations about our ethnicity.”
He then referred to himself as “biracial,” explaining he is both “Latino and white.” Meanwhile, he described in the title that his boss is “Hispanic.”
The 19-year-old then goes on to discuss his conversation with his boss at the workplace. “We usually make jokes and have light banter while we work and a few times our races have been brought into it.”
Adding, “Theres a lot of Latino/Hispanic people at my job so it just comes up sometimes.”
However, things took a turn once his boss and white coworker began to call him a “white Hispanic.”
“Whenever i insist that I’m not [my boss] just repeats that I’m a white Hispanic,” the Reddit user explained.
Later, the boss pinpointed the fact that the employee doesn’t know Spanish. This, for him, added more “proof” to his reasoning.
“He then asked if I knew how to speak Spanish (he knows I don’t) and then made a gesture that basically said ‘this proves my point.'”
Still, as the Reddit writer put it, “I’m uncomfortable with him calling me white.”
The user said that while he is “pale” now, he used to have “dark” skin and experienced “racism”
Later in the thread, the user explained that he used to have a darker skin tone, which made him the subject of “racism.”
In fact, he says his boss was “shocked” when he showed him pictures of “how dark [he] used to be.”
He wrote, “I will openly admit that I am fairly pale now, but for most of my life (I’m talking up until I was like 16), I wasn’t.”
“I do stay inside a lot, but my skin didn’t start lightening until things started going wrong with my body,” he explained, pointing to “medical issues.” He described, “At the very least, the pain in my joints has kept me from going outside.”
As he put it, he has experienced “racism” for nearly his “entire life.” He said people called him “all the classic slurs,” and he has been “followed around in stores.”
“Cops and schools wouldn’t give me the same kindness and leniency they would my white peers,” he asserted. In school, he said a teacher made him “sit on the floor by her desk every day and treated [him] like an actual dog.”
Overall, the Redditor said he has experienced “s**tty things” on account of racism towards his Latino heritage. “My hair, my skin, my facial features, and even my intelligence were all heavily criticized.”
The user said the kids he grew up with were “cruel” to him. “My skin was ‘ugly’ and my nose was ‘too big’ and my natural hair was ‘a mess’ and ‘would look better straight’,” he recalled.
This is why the user says he wants his boss to “respect the fact” that he is “uncomfortable” being called white. “What I went through (and still do to a lesser extent), hasn’t changed”
Adding, “I didn’t get to live like a white person.”
Still, he asked the community if he will “be in the wrong” if he gets visibly angry at his boss. Writing, “I AM pale and [my boss] is way darker than me. It might not be my place.”
He also wondered if he would simply be “overreacting.”
This is how people are responding to the user’s Reddit thread
Over on the thread’s responses, many people say the user is “NTA,” or, “not the a**hole.”
One person commented, “NTA but I wouldn’t yell at him, but I would pull him aside [and] talk to him.” They still noted the importance of his boss “respecting his boundary.”
Another agreed, “If you’re not comfortable, you can draw a line and say ‘That’s enough’ [if] you think it’s no longer acceptable.”
However, one Latino Reddit user wrote that this topic requires “nuance,” especially because his boss “is Latino himself.”
The commenter said the user’s difficult experience is “valid and needs to be understood.”
However, they also pointed to the WIBTA questioner’s white privilege. “From another Latino’s point of view, though, Latinos that are white-passing often have an easier time fitting into mainstream society and get certain privileges.”
While there isn’t much talk about this AITA thread on X, one X user‘s experience sheds light on the topic. As they put it, “As a white-passing biracial Latino… I’ve experienced societal privilege from a young age.”
On Reddit, the commenter continues “I’m dark skinned and my cousin’s light skinned, and even within our own family, he’s treated better.”
“I do think [white-passing Latinos] have a responsibility to acknowledge how colorism can potentially affect their lives differently,” they wrote.
What do you think about this WIBTA” Reddit user’s thread?
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