Black People : Accepted or Tolerated ?

Jan 22, 2001
betwixt and between
Website Consultant
Hello Family,

How do you know if a person (white) has accepted you as an equal or if they are tolerating you?

This question came out of Brother OldSoul's class today, and i was wondering if any of you have the answer.

Can you tell the difference between being accepted or tolerated, and if so, please tell us how to know the difference.





Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2004
ATL SHAWTY! Mr. Coli Park
Technical Analyst
Well for the one white close friend that I have. He never looked at me in an inferior manner, if anything he did not understand me. Once he got comfortable with me he respected me as a human and a person and vice versa.


Active Member
Oct 16, 2004
I have several close friends who are white and I feel as if they accept me because they've always just treated me as an individual and have never excluded me in any type of way. They've tolerated me as well because I can be somewhat of a pain at times like anyone else.

I do think that I've experienced the "tolerated" experiences in the work place. I think this because there are certain people who will laugh and joke, but there's never that feeling of the exchanges being genuine. And there have been times when co-workers have even shown surprise when I don't seem to fit into whatever box they've automatically placed me in. Like when I know of a restaurant or know more about the artist of the piece that hangs on their office wall. Actually had one experience that ended up in calling the museum because a boss refused to believe that he was saying the artist's name incorrectly.

Don't have the "answer", but these are just my thoughts from what I've experienced.


going above and beyond
Feb 9, 2001

This is an interesting question and one that when I thought about it, caused me to look at it differently. How do I know whether I'm being accepted or tolerated by whites as a Black person? Hmmmm...I guess I don't know and frankly, don't really care. There may have been a time when I thought it was important to wonder about this, but gosh, that was probably during the time when my mind was controlled by racist opinions and that hasn't been the case in soooooo long, this question never even occurs to me.

To think about whether I'm being accepted or tolerated sends a message to me that I'm on the outside or different than anyone else and so I should care about what others not like me think of me. I'm really not curious about how white people or anyone thinks of me. More importantly to me is how I'm treated. That's because my mind has been strengthened through knowledge and awareness.

Queenie :spinstar:


Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2003
( Alonewolf ) California.. by way of the LOU
(RF) Technician
I don’t think one can clearly distinguish the difference. To be tolerated is sad. It means that I am only there, because of pressure from external elements not related directly to me. It also means that I am being tolerated to keep a peace of some kind.

I personally would not be tolerated. I want acceptance or nothing.

Like Queen stated. It really doesn’t affect me or enter my mind. But to be accepted is a human experience. If I have to do the work I want to be included in a discussion, being invited to participate with an opinion that is respected and considered. Blacks want to be heard and taken serious, and we know that doesn’t happen much. That is why we feel we are the invisible ones. It's a feeling that makes you feel like your standing there, but a clear wall of glass is separating what you say, and contribute out of the ears of those who want the glory and credit.

I have experienced this when whites have competed for projects, and I'm on the side of the underdog supervisor. I laughed when they had to come back to the underdog, and have this black man save their A** again. I shared with my supervisor how I felt about the situation, and there was nothing he could change, but he knew they were wrong and became a better man because of the attitude and approach I took. I recall one incident where the other supervisors tried to get their technicians into engineering on a new product, but all failed. They couldn't find a candidate on the outside that was acceptable to engineering. I found the want ad, advertising this issue. They then came to me and told me I had to interview. I first took offense, and told my supervisor I wasn't interested because of how it was done. They clearly wanted to have one of their boys in charge of this project. It was one of the biggest the company had ever taken on as a project. This meant that my supervisor the underdog, would now be in the spot light and they worked in concert against him, and asking me until they had no choice. After the project was completed I did get shafted, and so did my supervisor. I got relieved of the project, and sent back to my old position that was taken by another. By this time I had enough. I spoke up, and they quickly slated me for termination and discrimination. I sued. I won. Because I won't be discriminated against and taken for granted. I won't be ignored. Fear of termination took second base, it doesn't scare me.

For many patience break down quick, especially when we know we are being ignored. Those not apt in accepting rejection will turn to anger and cursing after they sense a lack of acceptance. Their influence is diluted if this course is taken during a debate or discussion.

Things have to hit the other party square in the face. If a decision my employer or anyone else made didn’t affect me directly, and it was their bed they had to lay in if it was left unmade. I make my point and rest. After the problem comes up again I’m faced with should I now say; “I told you so.”

I have never exercised that option. It wouldn't buy me anything. I knew in my mind and heart that I was right. I knew I won. They knew when they faced me again I won also.

I have had on occasion said something in meetings that was discounted. I let it ride. I didn’t take offense, but rode with the ridicule of the moment. Knowing I knew what waited over the horizon. I looked those same people in the eye when they came back, had to admit and said, I was correct.

I should have been taken serious when I gave my opinion. I never held back. I challenged VP’s and subordinates. I said what was on my mind and gave my opinion, under laughter and ridicule from those I clearly knew hated my inclusion. This has irritated many I have worked with in the past. Some wouldn’t admit openly they were wrong, but came to me later when things hit the fan to request I participate in fixing the issue since I saw it and knew how and why it happened.

I didn’t rub it back in their face, by not doing so I did gain strong and powerful advocates in all other meetings.

Sun Ship

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
The curse of the intolerated Negro

I'm sure at best, I'm tolerate by all White people;

For that matter I'm probably "only tolerated" by most Black people, including my family. (LOL)

Wait a minute...

I think my mother accepts me, but I may need to call her on this one. (LOL)


going above and beyond
Feb 9, 2001
Sun Ship said:
I'm sure at best, I'm tolerate by all White people;

For that matter I'm probably "only tolerated" by most Black people, including my family. (LOL)

Wait a minute...

I think my mother accepts me, but I may need to call her on this one. (LOL)
:lol: Don't most Black women love their sons no matter what and keep them close to "their apron strings"?

Queenie :)


Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2004
I agree with NNQueen,
Personally as a human, living - being
indiviually and collectively,
I am ment to be,
and in that respected.
However if one chooses not to accept me they are hindering themselves,
i am,
and cretied.
To tolerate is dihumanizing to my standards!
It's not as if I am dependant upon them?

anyhow I gotta go to work so I can serve some of these pig-mently speaking white people, and trust I smile as it is my will.

But seriously,
How come brothers get more affection or enduring tolerance from moms,
and the sisters get lectured?

Consciousness Raising Online!

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