I work at a Silicon Valley company and there's a diverse workforce at my company.
I have a coworker, "S", who is Indian. She's arrogant and patronizing and I don't like dealing with her but I am professional towards her.
A few months ago, she and her husband bought a house and had a house-warming party. She invited some of the people in our group. But they were all Indian. She only invited her Indian coworkers to her housewarming party. No whites or Asians.
"S" only socializes with other Indians; with Asians or whites like me, she does not socialize with us. That's OK with me. I support the right or freedom to associate with anyone you want. Just be professional at work because I'm at the office primarily to work and get a paycheck, not primarily to socialize.
A few weeks ago, I had a Super Bowl party at my house. I invited a few coworkers. Since "S" does not like football, I did not invite her. I did not invite any of my Indian coworkers, not because I wanted to exclude them but because they have never shown interest in football. Most of the coworkers I invited were also men, because I invited the ones who liked football.
"S" found out about the party and complained to my manager so that it came across as if I excluded Indians. Mind you, there was an Indian (male) at my SB party but he was not a current coworker but a former one (who works at another company). There were also Chinese, Korean, and Hispanics at my party, as well as white people.
I didn't hold a "whites-only" party.
Now, I support "S" and other Indians to socialize among themselves and exclude me. That's fine. But why is it that when I exclude them, it's viewed as being racist?
I don't understand how the various ethnic cliques at my company (Russians, Indians, Chinese) are tolerated but if whites formed a little social clique at work, we'd be viewed as racist.
Why doesn't the norms of race apply equally to all races? Why didn't "S" get dinged for only inviting Indian coworkers to her house warming party but I did for not inviting Indian coworkers who don't even like football?