#FridayFlash - Racist Bastard
by Tony Noland
Xai Feng gritted his teeth and waited for the asshole to stand up. Everybody knew the fucking bastard Carruthers hated Asians. How he had the gall to show up here at all was beyond anyone's belief. The Asian-American Association lunch was supposed to be for Roger Wu; this guy just stank up the place. Through the whole lunch, he and Mei Xu and Shao Hui and the rest of the guys had watched him over there, eating and laughing. They didn't bother to keep their voices down much as they talked about him. The whole group, the core group anyway, was all basically of the same mind about the guy and since Carruthers, of course, couldn't speak Chinese, it was OK.
The way that bastard had treated poor Xu Huang! Right after Carruthers had gotten promoted, Xu Huang had told everybody what a mean, vicious and foul mouthed dictator he was. The first thing he did after he came into that department was to meet with everybody one on one. He said it was just a "get to know the team" exercise, but Xu Huang had said that Carruthers had made it a point during his meeting to say that he didn't think the Asians were very talented and that they certainly weren’t doing enough good quality work. Racist bastard! Xai Feng and everybody else knew that Xu Huang was one of the smartest, most talented guys in the building. He graduated top of his class from Beijing University, and had turned down three other high-paying offers to come work here. Xu Huang had told them so himself.
Here we go, Xai Feng thought. He's coming up to the podium. How could Roger Wu act like he was friends with that guy? Xai Feng wasn't a bit surprised that Roger was being promoted. He was a great guy, very hard working. Xai Feng had never worked in that department, but Roger had a reputation as someone who knew how to deliver and knew how to spot talent; Xai Feng was just sorry that it meant the Roger would have to relocate. He certainly deserved this farewell luncheon. Roger had been in that department for six years, and had done a lot of great things. The funny thing was that he had been Carruthers' supervisor for most of that time. Why hadn't he done something about him? Surely his racism and bias would have shown itself. Xu Huang had quit because that asshole was such a prejudiced bastard, made all sort of changes to Xu Huang's work schedule and deliverables.
Look at him! He's shaking Roger's hand and they're both smiling as though they were really friends! You had to give Roger credit for loyalty anyway, thought Xai Feng. He's been defending that guy all along. The other guys in that group, the guys like Li Xu and Hong Ching, they defend him too. Must be Roger’s influence, that culture of loyalty. All the guys that worked with Carruthers over there seem to defend him. They're so blind. That's just because they’ve benefited from the association; he probably didn't show his true colors to them.
Strange, Xai Feng said to himself. His voice doesn't sound like I expected it to. It isn't nearly as deep and harsh as I thought it would be. Xu Huang said he was raspy and yelled all the time and had stained teeth. Maybe he's had them whitened or something.
Xai Feng looked around the room. Almost all of the Westerners and even a lot of the Asians were smiling as Carruthers spoke. That fucker - he's just using his charisma to hypnotize everyone, even the Regional Director and the Vice-President. It just goes to show how people can be fooled. All the guys at that table worked with him on that big reorganization plan. They're only in his camp because that all turned out well in the end. And that table over there is all people from the employee safety committee he chairs. All the staff from Roger's department are over at those five tables. I don't know why everybody else seems to like the guy.
Sure, go ahead and laugh at his little jokes. He can talk about the work he's done with Roger, what a great mentor Roger has been, his friendship with him and all the rest. All of us know that he's a racist and that he hates Asians. The way he treated Xu Huang proves that. Forcing him to change the way he was working, to cut short all of those interesting side projects he was working on. And for what? Like Xu Huang said, numbers of projects completed aren't as important as picking the right projects to work on. Whatever Xu Huang was doing, I'm sure it was more important that whatever Carruthers was trying to force him to do. Xu Huang was a really smart guy, with lots of experience. He told us all about it!
Carruthers should have just stayed out of it and let Xu Huang use his best judgment. The asshole didn't micromanage anyone else in that department. After the initial meetings, he just left everyone else alone to do their jobs, but no, not poor Xu Huang. It was only Xu Huang he picked on, having him come in for extra meetings to track progress, making him write all those reports on the backlog, all that stuff. That proves he's a bigot. After all, didn't Xu Huang file an EEO complaint against him before he quit? Isn't that proof enough of what kind of person Carruthers is?
Oh, please. So you went to Beijing with Roger and toured the Forbidden City together. So what? That doesn't mean anything. You were probably hating every minute of it, being surrounded by Chinese. Even that collaboration you set up with Jiao Tong University was probably just a political thing.
So you can make an audience smile, laugh and stand up to applaud you. You're a racist bastard, Carruthers, and giving Roger Wu a hug and wishing him well in his new job isn't gonna change our opinion of you.
Comments and constructive criticisms welcome. Other #FridayFlash pieces can be found here