Years ago I worked where we had hot seat bid whist games at break and lunch time. As the rare white guy I created a salt and pepper team so they called me salt. One day one of the guys let fly a racial slur about white people and quickly followed up with, “Excuse me salt. I wasn’t supposed to say that in front of you. Looking at my cards youo just blend in.” My response was, “It don’t mean nuthin.”
He didn’t say he shouldn’t have said it, he said he shouldn’t have said it in front of me. He was being honest without second thought. I was not offended, I was sitting there playing cards with him after all.
This was in Georgia forty years ago where my wife and I were denied service at a fraternal order dining facility I had joined because she failed the paper bag test. Mighty white of them to not mention they were white only when they took my fifty bucks membership fee. I never went back, don’t want to take my wife, or go alone, where she isn’t wanted but they could choose who they associated with, as can I.
I may just be thicker skinned than most thanks to having been a jarhead in the 60s where our terms of endearment for each other would trigger today’s woke. My point here is that if you want to be offended you don’t have to try hard to find an excuse. People are what they are.
We can have friendships with people that we know don’t like our tribe. A dark green Marine that I knew to not much care for light green Marines went into harms way for me in Vietnam because he could put his bias aside to do what was right. It’s a disappointment to me that as a people we are so focused on being offended now days.
To your story, I never use racist magic words but I don’t freak out when I hear them. If it comes with unfair biased treatment of someone I do always speak out against the treatment but that’s a step up from people letting slip what’s in their head with words. Did the guy in your story crap on black people in his crew on the job?