Of course I have my hot buttons, but not specifically about race.
I’m a white middle class British male, and a bit unconventional in many ways. This means that most people can find a reason to bitch about me if they want to. All women can of course use the ‘all men are bastards’ argument for starters, I’ve met Irishmen who want to hold me responsible for the potato famine, just as any citizen of any former British colony can go on about the sins of the past, anyone who thinks they had less advantages than me when they were young can easily be resentful, and sometimes I meet people of other racial groups who think that I see myself as superior - or that they are superior. And of course there’s all the stupid assumptions people make about me just because I have long hair, or won’t wear a tie, or teach English.
Stupid stereotyping, and I want no part of it. I hate labels.
Personally I believe that life is what you make it, and you start by taking responsibility for yourself. I have moved on from the circumstances of my birth, as have others. I just don’t accept that there is any reason why I shouldn’t live the way I choose, I don’t even think about what prejudices other people might have towards me. I just get on with it. Some people choose not to move forward, and most of them blame others because they haven’t made any progress.
A little while back one of our village idiots talked about how difficult it was for him to go back to his roots. He’s moved on to ‘better’ things, and is no longer content with the limitations of the life he left behind. I applaud that, because some of us have done similarly.
The response from Namahottie was that he was being judgemental, and blah blah blah white people get better jobs, and blah blah blah an educated black man who dated chinese girls and had to be challenged on that. Race, race, race, class stereotypes, race, defensiveness, and race. In my book it’s all bullshit, excuses whereby people hide behind convenient disadvantages imposed on them by others.
I am not a victim. Namahottie is not a victim. I don’t believe in victims. If you choose to be held back by who your parents were or where you were born then that’s your problem, not mine or anyone else’s. If you choose to see yourself as an iindividual who is making their life the way they want it, then more power to you.
Along the way you will encounter stupidity. (I’m sure I’ve commented here about stupidity in the past.) Some people have beliefs that don’t stand up to rational analysis. Whether its racial superiority, the importance of taking lots of tests, or the pope’s “every sperm is sacred” thing, it’s all stupid. We have a responsibility to ourselves to resist stupidity, which is why I preferred to lose a student or two rather than fire a black teacher. But we also have to make sure that we don’t let the stupidity become the dominant factor in our lives.
To answer your initial question: some bosses will have irrational prejudices and you’ll go mad if you waste your time worrying about it. Lots of bosses don’t have those prejudices. Some may even have the reverse opinion, and actually want to have a black person on the staff just to be different. It’s all marketing, and you don’t know what they want until you apply. Try working in sales some time, it’s just a numbers game. You ask enough people and maintain a positive attitude, and eventually you’ll make a sale.
Just present yourself as you are - send a photo with your app - and don’t even think about the colour of your skin because it’s not important. If someone wants to bring the subject up then you have a reason to talk about it - maybe by trying to educate someone who doesn’t know any better, maybe by losing your cool completely with someone who should know better. There’s a time and a place for everything, but don’t go through life looking for it.
Disclaimer: There are some circumstances of birth that are inescapable, such as being a native speaker of English. Another is having had access to a decent education, compared to someone from - random example - Zimbabwe. I grew up in a country with a stable government and rule of law, unlike the people of - another random example - Somalia. As a kid I could read about Idi Amin, but didn’t have to suffer under his rule. The same is also true for the other users of this site. Why not focus on the advantages you were born with, instead of identifying yourself as ‘black’ and placing yourself in the same category as the Somalis, Zimbabweans, etc.? It’s a question of choosing the identity that encourages a positive mental attitude.