I’m so sorry Laura you’ve experienced this. This is a perfect example of the nuanced ways Black people are denied opportunities. It’s how White institution’s stay White, and using us by throwing us into the mix of candidates is how White HR manages to avoid appearances of being biased. I experienced this when job hunting when I moved to FL which led me to become an independent contractor. There was always an excuse to go in another direction. No matter how much experience or qualifications we have, it’s never enough.
You were likely a part of the institution’s fraudulent diversity and inclusion scheme. Your resume and interview is nothing more than symbolism. White folks know who they want to hire, and it’s the type of people who keep them comfortable. That’s why I hate Diversity and Inclusion efforts because White people still have ways to skirt the process. They always skirt the process.
Sis, if they don’t make room at their table for you, make your own table! We can no longer ignore the harm trying to fit into White workspaces does to us emotionally and financially. It’s impossible for us to catch up when White Supremacy has the power to deny highly-qualified Black and Brown people opportunities. Even when we’re overqualified, they will find a way to hire a mediocre White person.
The other thing about hiring tricks like the one you experienced is that we have no recourse because even when we complain to EEOC, the people who work there are overwhelmingly White and often side with the employers. The system is rigged against us, and it’s hidden microaggressions like these that make it impossible for us to make progress. It’s undeniable and inescaspable.
America isn’t changing. Black and Brown people who do not support White Supremacy are at a crossroads. Are we going to continue to fight to be a part of a system that does not reward or respect us, or will be go back to doing what we’ve done in the past, supporting our own. Whiteness want us to play with them, but only when they want us to play with them. Usually when they want us to clean up behind them though. As long as everything is good, they are fine. They don’t want to play or allow us on their playgrounds. Obama came after Bush tore up everything. He fixes it and restores it back to some semblance of decency then White people snatched it right back and tore it up again.
Now they want Black women to clean it up and make it right again.
We must begin being realist about our lots in America and make some hard decisions. Those decisions may mean we rethink how we engage in America’s systems. If they aren’t going to change, and we have no reason to expect them to change any time soon, why are we relying on them to sustain us? Nothing we do will satisfy them. Give up on Whiteness and appeasing White supremacy, but don’t give up, and never let racism to keep you down for long. Unplug, retool, and figure out how you can work around the system to sustain yourself while doing what you love. This is the perfect time to innovate and create your own educational company. Be the thing we don’t have. Be the missing link. Be the answer to good White education.
White America wants segregation. Soon you’ll have no choice but to give it to them. They are drawing their invisible lines. We gotta adapt. How is up to us individually and collectively.