Saturday, September 14, 2013

One too many n-words costs black boss big bucks


There is a false discussion out there surrounding the n-word.

There are those who believe that only whites should be blasted for using it. Then, there are those apologists who claim that only black people can use the term, and going further, that it actually is a term of endearment. Recent events, however, have proved that black people who use the n-word are not off the hook when it comes to paying for using the word one too many times.

Imagine a black person suing another black person for calling them the n-word and then winning the lawsuit. That is what happened when Brandi Johnson, a black employee of STRIVE, a nonprofit employment service located in East Harlem, sued her boss, a black man named Rob Carmona, for repeatedly hurling the n-word at her at work.

After repeatedly hearing Carmona call her and others the n-word in meetings conducted in 2012, Johnson secretly taped Carmona pulling a “Michael Richards” on her and other black employees (Michael Richards played Kramer on “Seinfeld” and essentially ruined his career when he lobbed several n-words at some black hecklers during a stand-up comedy routine in 2006).



Johnson took her complaint up her organization’s leadership ladder and was met with what she later termed condescending responses from STRIVE’S chief executive officer, who fired her in June 2012. Johnson sued Carmona personally and the organization as well for what she claimed was their allowing a hostile and racially charged work environment.

Carmona claimed he meant no harm by using the word, falling back on a “back in the day” defense that blacks from his era used the word without purposely meaning to offend anyone. Late this summer, a federal jury soundly rejected Carmona’s lame excuses and awarded Johnson $25,000 in punitive damages from Carmona and another $5,000 from STRIVE.

What is mind-blowing, though, is that the jury also awarded Johnson $250,000 in compensatory damages. The enormity of the jury’s determination to attach a punitive award to the use of the n-word warrants a worldwide shout-out. This is arguably the first time a black person has been sued for using the n-word where a jury understood the offensiveness of the word, regardless of who was hurling it and who it was being hurled at.

Just this past July, my brother-in-law (who is black), was called the n-word by one of his white co-workers. Understandably, he was offended to no end by being called that, and he complained, as Johnson did, to upper management. The response was similar to that received by Johnson — played off. His employer not only did not address the use of the word with the employee who spit it out; my brother-in-law was threatened with termination for responding “too emotionally” to having been called the word. My brother-in-law now goes out of his way to avoid the other employee and the managers who thought nothing of the incident. He has decided not to sue.

That brings to focus the question of just what is the appropriate response to the use of the word, not only in the workplace, but among those in other social settings. When I hear the word out of the mouths of blacks, I ask that it not be repeated and then diplomatically remove myself from their presence. I have never been directly or knowingly been called the word by anyone white, so I expect that my reaction would be to do the same, as well as to follow my brother-in-law’s example.

My hope is that others in Johnson’s situation follow suit. The word has no endearing or useful connotations. As I have stated in the past, to me there is no difference between Paula Deen using the word 30 years ago and Shaquille O’Neal today producing comedy DVDs that include prolific use of the word. Dean was treated savagely for having said it and lost her cooking empire, while Dave Chappelle, D.L. Hughley, Katt Williams, and other black comedians are making money off it.

I recently appeared on local television’s “Let It Rip” to discuss the disproportionate response to Dean’s use of the word. One of the other guests, an award-winning journalist, argued that Dean could not use the word because, in his own words, “she’s not black!” He also plainly stated that blacks could use the word. Off-screen and sitting outside the taping area were his two children, both of whom appeared to be under 10 years of age. I feel for them.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Florida Police Officer Attempts To Use Gun Targets with Trayvon Martin's Facec: Gets Fired

What was he thinking?

Not only was it tasteless. it was an example of just how deeply held prejudice and racism exists in the hearts of people you would expect to be immune to these sins of the soul.

Here's the link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20130414/NEWS07/304140221/Officer-with-Trayvon-Martin-targets-fired

Do you think he should have been fired?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Black Democrat Bribes Republicans So He Can Run As A Republican For Mayor of New York!

This case involves attempts to bribe Republican Party officials to maneuver a black Democrat to run as a Republican mayoral candidate in New York, a largely Democratic Party-held city.  It is a bizarre plot that some believes threatens the Republican Party's diversity drive.  Two Republican county chairpersons and vice-chairs and others have been arrested.  Will this make the GOP less aggressive and more hesitant regarding recruiting and supporting black Republicans?

U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara lays out federal corruption charges against New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith and others.
          U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara lays out federal corruption charges 
                  against New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith and others

Check this out and come back after the jump.


Opinion: Corruption case a blow to GOP diversity - CNN.com:


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Abortion clinic worker says she cut at least 10 babies | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

This story should make you mad as hell.  I know I am:



This is the face of evil, greed, and callousness beyond belief.

Abortion clinic worker says she cut at least 10 babies | Detroit Free Press | freep.com:

The Truth about the $220 Million In Revenue Sharing Owed To Detroit; Dennis Archer Silent

Everyone should read this story, which breaks down how the state came to owe Detroit $220 million and cost the city hundreds of millions more by not allowing Detroit to revert back to its 3 percent resident and 1.5 out-resident city tax.

Also note that Dennis Archer will not go on record about the deal he made with John Engler...even the Detroit City council was afraid to subpoena him.

Please click on the link below:

Inside the handshake deal with the state that haunts Detroit (analysis by Bridge Magazine) | Detroit Free Press | freep.com:


Friday, March 1, 2013

Using Racial Slur Gets NASCAR Driver Jeremy Clements Suspended

What did NASCAR driver Jeremy Clements say that got him suspended indefinitely from NASCAR competitions?   No one is saying and apparently it was extremely offensive to merit such a strong suspension.


Check out the link below from the Bleacher Report:

NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Jeremy Clements Suspended for Using Racial Slur | Bleacher Report:


It seems to be everywhere, doesn't it?
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Workers over 50 are the new 'unemployables'

This may be the new reality for persons unemployed over 50 years of age.  Caught in the middle of the restructuring of wages in the United States, people in my age group are hard pressed to get back into the labor market.

Check out this dilemma at:

Workers over 50 are the new 'unemployables' - Feb. 26, 2013:


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fans wear KKK hoods at North Dakota high school hockey game

What could have been going through the minds of the three fans in the stand that wore KKK outfits at a hockey game in North Dakota?


In this photo taken Friday, three people in the Red River High School student section wear Ku Klux Klan-style white robes and hoods during a semifinal game in the North Dakota Boys Hockey Tournament in Grand Forks, N.D.
                                                 AP Photo/ Shane Schuster


Did they think they could get away with it?  I mean, really, in today's world of instant media, they had to know that someone would catch them.  Also, if the story is right, other fans in the stand voiced their disapproval, thus compelling the three hooded fans to take off the hood part of the apparel.

Check out this link and come back to share your  view:

Fans wear KKK hoods at high school hockey game - Oklahoma City Bullying | Examiner.com:



Detroit Not Quite Dead Yet!


A central theme of Chad Selweski's column in the Macomb Daily is that the neighborhoods can be razed for new development.

Here's the link:
  
http://www.macombdaily.com/article/20130223/OPINION03/130229719/selweski-detroit-two-tales-of-one-city#full_story

Chad makes many valid points in his column, but each one raises new questions.  Just who will enjoy all these new amenities?  The neighborhood residents will be gone, so who benefits from this re-engineering?  Tourists?   Tri-county residents who are afraid to be in Detroit neighborhoods after dark? Corporations and developers who will then build housing along the outskirts of Detroit?  I think not.

Also, Chad mistakenly labels Dave Bing as an "honorable" man.  An honorable man does not negotiate with 38 unions for four months, have his top people sign a tentative agreement resulting in nearly $180 million in concessions, and then walk way by not presenting that concession agreement to Detroit City Council....how do I know....I was there, for every negotiation session and my signature is the second on the actual concession agreement.

As a native Detroiter, I volunteer, and challenge Chad ( and a few of his editors), to a daytime and night-time tour of Detroit.  This notion, affecting nearly 40 percent of Detroit's landmass) of "Consolidating the shrinking population into successfully functioning clusters of neighborhoods and turning much of the city’s ruins into ponds, pathways, parks, gardens, orchards and urban farms" is romantic but not going to happen after this year's district elections.

Bribing people to move into Downtown Detroit by offering offsets to mortgages and lease payments is working well for those who want to live along the rail route being set up by Penske, Gilbert, Illitch, and a few others, but creating a safe zone within Detroit will eventually backfire.  I commend those men for investing in downtown Detroit, and they are surely looking for the best bang for their buck, but their plans do not include or benefit the majority of Detroit residents, who will not leave Detroit for southern Macomb County enclaves like East Pointe, Warren, Centerline and Roseville.  There are some who will say that a rising tide raises all boats, but carving out exclusive, safe, resourced enclaves in Detroit does nothing for the residents in neighborhoods where services are being cut.

At any rate,  I will wait for Chad's response to my offer for a personal tour of Detroit.  You can see a lot better by visiting the city or Detroit than you can from the comfort of your North Avenue desk.  Give me a call.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pregnant Teen Wins Fight To Have Baby

This pregnant teenage girl fought her parents, who wanted her to abort her child.  She won her court battle, and will be allowed to continue her pregnancy.

Here's the link:

Pregnant Teen Wins Abortion Battle - Yahoo! News:

Your Thoughts?