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A Man Was Accused of ‘Perpetuating Racial Stereotypes’ By A Work Colleague… About Ginger Cats

The colleague suggested racial sensitivity training was necessary.

Image Credit: Pixabay / majacvetojevic

A Redditor has gone viral after a colleague accused him of racial stereotyping due to a comment he made about the office cat: citing its lack of intelligence is due to it being a ginger cat.

Reddit is an interesting site, to say the least, and you can be sure to find some really informative content on the platform, but equally, some really bizarre posts. This story definitely falls under the latter.

As someone who frequents the subreddit “Am I The Asshole?”, I was stunned when I came across a post titled “AITA for “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes” about Jorts?” for a couple of reasons; though the burning question of “what the hell is a Jorts?” was definitely the main one. 

For those uninitiated, “Am I The Asshole?” is a subreddit that acts as a sort of online moral court, where people post a situation in which their actions may or may not make them the titular “asshole”, with the internet acting as judge and jury. Once a consensus has been reached, you can either be “YTA” (You’re the Asshole), “NTA” (Not the Asshole) and for particularly messy situations, you might see an “ESH” (Everyone Sucks Here).

You may think that such a space would be a breeding ground for trolling, but generally, the Redditors who comment offer their thoughts with shocking diplomacy – unless you’re a really big asshole. 

Reddit user u/throwawayorangecat is the poster we have to thank for this bizarre story, taking to the Reddit court to lay his crimes bare before patrons of the net. As he puts it, a colleague (“Pam”) and he got into a bit of drama over one of the office cats, a cute ginger lad by the name of Jorts. 

As the OP (Original Poster) explains, their office has two cats, the ginger Jorts and tortoiseshell Jean, who are both unalike in dignity. As OP puts it, “Jorts is just…kind of a simple guy. 

For example, Jorts can’t open a door even when it’s ajar— he shoves it whether he is going in or out, so often he closes the door he is trying to go through. This means he is often trapped inside the place he was trying to exit and meows until he is rescued.”

In an attempt to help poor Jorts out, OP introduced a doorstop so he would stop getting stuck, but this angered his co-worker Pam who said that he was depriving Jorts of the opportunity to learn and improve his intelligence. 

This is where our story really takes off, as OP replied to his colleague that “you can’t expect Jean’s tortoiseshell smarts from orange cat Jorts”, eliciting the colleague’s utter fury, and causing her to burst into tears before storming off and going home.

What seemed like a harmless – and honestly quite affectionate – joke resulted in an email being sent amongst the group of colleagues where Pam accused OP of “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes by saying orange cats are dumb” and going on to further suggest that racial sensitivity training was needed before she would feel ready to come back to work.

That’s where the original post ended, but there has since been an update, and it seems that HR had to get involved. The colleague Pam was apparently spoken to about the concerning comparison between ethnic stereotypes with a joke about a cat. It seems the worker had been going through a hard time transitioning from a volunteer to a staff member, and HR wanted to help in any way they could.

Perhaps this was a bit of projecting on Pam’s end?

Despite having read both the original post and the update, I still feel like I don’t actually know what happened, and I still can’t believe this could be real. At least it made for some hilarious tweets though!

In case you were wondering, the consensus was that OP was “NTA”.

Justice for Jorts? 

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