He would be very quite when the power dynamic is different. My mom and dad told me horror stories of work experiences growing up. My Dad worked at a GE plant, and my mom worked at a local hospital. My mom's stories were the worst...at least GE had an HR department and they didn't deal directly with their customers. Hospital patients however were a direct reflection of the public and the black staff had to deal with some of the worst people.
You trying to save peoples lives, and keep them healthy...yet, they got nothing but disrespect. All the while you can say next to nothing...those same people however wouldn't say that stuff, or speak to you in that manner if they just saw you in the street because they would fear retaliation.
Peoples true selves come out when they feel welcome, or in a position of power.