I would really like to dive into this topic more because in my opinion (having dealt with this personally myself), I consider this behavior a form of gatekeeping and doing what you must so not to appear partial. Can’t be showing respect or favor to Black women, the world’s mule. I’m not saying he wasn’t an asshole, his reasons may be rooted in racism and sexism. It’s like the Black guy doing the White guy’s microaggression for him pro-bono.

These types of Black men you described keep their proximities to Whiteness by mimicking how Whites in these predominatly White career fields treat Blacks, in particular, Black women. I have had many of my female friends (especially in higher levels of some elite federal law enforcement agencies) talk about the same kind of thing happening to them that you experienced.

Black men in upper management who treat Black women like shit get to keep climbing the federal corporate ladder. When they see White men being disrespectful to us, instead of them standing up and speaking up on our behalf, they remain silent so to maintain their status, or join in so not to look like a wimp. They are seen as weak if they don’t join in on the clobbering and disrespect.

The ones who do not cosign with the behavior get shipped out, demoted, run off, and sometimes even terminated.

Black men acting like assholes with White men also happens in some random places you’d never expect.

I’ll never forget my partner and I were on a flight before she was retired from federal law enforcement. Because of her classification and the type of work she did, she was required to fly as a federal air marshall when flying because she was always on duty. All air marshalls often board the planes before all other passengers to meet the pilots speak with flight staff and position her firearm while seated. They are always plain clothed.

On this particular trip, there were two men (one white, the other Black) who were apparently seated in first class with some business class privileges who thought because of how my partner was dressed (we were going on vacation) and how she was positioned in line to pre-board that she was trying to cut the line. While both men were uber disrespectful to her, the Black man was beyond disrespectful. My partner could not identify herself because when flying as an air marshall you’re supposed to keep your identity a secret for the protection of passengers. So she had to take the abuse/disrespect.

As she boarded, the two men acted a pure fool thinking she was getting something she didn’t deserve when in fact she was really there to protect them. I think the White guy saw my partner quickly flash her credentials during the pre-boarding process. As she walked past the two assholes, the White man’s entire demeanor changed. The White guy’s face was flushed. I suppose he was one of those “love all law enforcement” folks. In any event, we boarded, and when they called business class members to board, he came back to where we were sitting in coach to apologize before the flight took off.

The rude Black didn’t say a peep, even after being prompted by the White guy. When we arrived, the White guy waited and apologized again for being a privileged ass. The Black man still said nothing, looking as if he was irritated to be wrong. They both left and my partner and I talked about how Black men will mistreat us in cahoots with White men for the sake of getting brownie points.

My partner was extremely hurt that a brotha would react in such a way for his little business class privileges which apparently made him feel special along with being with his White colleague. He felt like a Black woman wasn’t supposed to be in that space. He acted just like a White man in that instant. Many Black men will disrespect us at the drop of dime to stay in good graces with White men.

There is a pecking order in a lot of these predominantly White-exclusive career fields, and when a Black man “makes it,” he takes inventory, then becomes the asshole so to impress his White male/female peers.

I see the Black guy’s actions more as an indirect form of racism (if that makes sense) and sexism. Your Black editor guy acted as a gatekeeper on behalf of his White employer/peer group, and he had no respect for you because you’re a woman (which is sexist), and makes him an asshole.

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