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“DON’T GET SLICK WITH THE MOUTH!”

So, I’m not a great fan of outsourcing. That being said, I’m also not a great fan of Jessica Simpson and Wal-Mart. People seem to like both of those, though. And people that run businesses tend to like outsourcing. Even though I work in the tech sector, I don’t really see it inherently as an evil thing – it’s the natural tendency of a free market’s water to seek its own level. And while some things about free markets suck (like global corporations looking for the cheapest global availablity for its resources) they, overall, beat the alternative.

I’m not sure I like outsourcing, but I am sure I don’t like racism. And outsourcing is making racism fashionable. Cue the radio.

STAR (morning DJ on Power 99): I was surprised when I got somebody on the line in East India\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’c2\’a6 [on phone] This call has been outsourced to India?
TINA: That\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2s right.
STAR: Well, ma\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2am, what the eff would you know about an American white girl\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2s \’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’80\’9d uh, uh \’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’80\’9d hair? And quick beads.
TINA: Just to inform you, ma\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2am, we\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2re a national chain services company. And we\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2re just taking calls on the opposite\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’c2\’a6
STAR: Listen, bitch! Don\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2t get slick with the mouth! Don\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2t you get slick with me, bitch!
TINA: Now if you continue to speak this language, I will disconnect the call.
STAR: Listen to me, you dirty rat eater. I\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2ll come out there and choke the eff out of you. (laughter) You\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2re a filthy rat eater. I\’c3\’a2\’e2\’82\’ac\’e2\’84\’a2m calling about my American six-year-old white girl [Star is black]. How dare you outsource my call? Get off the line, bitch! (laughter, applause)

This exchange played on one of Philadelphia’s more popular radio stations last month. No one cared. Someone found it funny enough to post on the radio station’s web sites. An Indian American heard it and failed to be amused, for some odd reason, and it spread quickly.

That’s OK, I guess. People find out about something stupid on some stupid shock jock radio show, word spreads, sensitivity training for all. Yeah. Sure. The thing is? Well, you see, the people upset about this clip? They weren’t black. So it doesn’t count. (bugmenot login)

She said the more serious matter was posting the clip on the Web site. “That probably made it a much more – just a worse situation. Then people could click on it and hear it. That was not cool… . He made a big ol’ mistake in judgment.”

The employee who posted the clip on the Internet will undergo sensitivity training, she said. The station also planned to post an apology.

“Essentially [we’re] apologizing for things on our Web site that were racially inflammatory and insensitive, saying, ‘We took it off our Web site and it won’t happen again.’ “Most of the e-mails came from people who do not listen to Power 99, whose audience is mainly African American.

So, let me get this straight. Abusing call center employees on air as part of your entertainment? Well, OK. Putting it on the Internet so people not in on the joke can hear it? Wuh oh, that’s bad. Not cool. Big ol’ mistake in judgement.

Yeah. Did someone outsource our ethics and I wasn’t informed? Is it OK to be racist if you’re a victim of racism yourself? Or is it just inner city rap fans we’re patronizing here? I mean, since we’ve entered the land of situational ethics, I guess I really need to figure out where the boundaries are, here, huh?

It’s so much easier to just not abuse people when you talk to them on the phone and act like a decent human being. Instead of griefing random call centers because no one knows who you are. Funny how that works.