Let me share something personal with you: At a place I worked a few years ago, one of my neighbours was being racist. He would regularly call one of our coworkers a sand n-word. I’d told him to cut it out, but one day he and another neighbour were were whispering and giggling about him right next to me.
It went on for maybe half an hour, when finally I wrote him a message in chat asking him to stop. I said, “Can you cut out the whispering and giggling?”. If I’d accused him of being racist, he would deny it, because in chat there would be a record, so I didn’t even mention it. Only he and I knew the context. Anyway, this turned into a long conversation where I basically lost it on him.
Finally they stopped, but the next day when I came into work, no one would speak to me, and I wasn’t invited for lunch. The racist had shared my messages with the entire office, without telling them what it was in regards to. The ostracism continued for months until I finally left to work somewhere else.
At the new place, I discovered the “Stop whispering and giggling” messages had been shared there as well. I was assumed to be an asshole from the very day I started. When I tried to bring up the reasoning behind the messages, people refused to talk about it.
5 years later, it still comes up at each job I start. People have no idea what my internal thought process was, just an out of context conversation where I appear to flip out over nothing.
So, I’m asking people in this community as someone who’s experienced ostracism from humiliation to consider that we don’t know what he was thinking, and that he may not deserve what he’s got.