All Articles Tagged "racial discrimination"
About six months ago, we told you about the two black men who were filing a discrimination suit against ABC’s “The Bachelor,” citing that in the show’s 10 year history (Yes, it’s been 10 years!) there has never been one person of color vying for the affections of the opposite sex.
Well, today the U.S. District court put a stop to the lawsuit.
The court found that even if ABC’s hit show lacks diversity, it’s within their First Amendment right to cast whomever they see fit.
Judge Aleta Trauger noted that the show, in an attempt to appeal to their target audience, ABC may or not have discriminated based on race; but said the First Amendment protects their right to control their own creative content.
“Thus, the court must assume, as alleged in the Amended Complaint, that the defendants did discriminate on the basis of race, that they did so to conform the content of their Shows to cater to the viewpoint of their target audience concerning interracial relationships, that the Shows’ content thereby perpetuates racial stereotypes about interracial relationships, and that the plaintiffs seek to alter/correct the defendants’ casting decision process to address that issue.
Regardless, as discussed herein, the First Amendment protects the defendants’ ability to control the content of their own programs unilaterally … because the defendants – not the plaintiffs – are entitled to control the casting of their own programs in the manner in which they see fit.”
So the two black men, Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, may still take ABC to court, but the likelihood of them winning their case is highly unlikely after this ruling.
What interests me about this whole scenario is how “Civil Rights” type issues are being reflected in the casting of reality shows? To me, it just seems like there are other, more pressing social justice issues that have nothing to do with reality television. Furthermore, even if Johnson and Claybrooks won the law suit and ABC decided to cast one of them on the next season of “The Bachelor,” would it truly be satisfying knowing that the network only picked you because they were legally obligated to?
I guess to each his own.
What do you think about the ruling? Are you surprised by it or did you see this coming all along?
A Tampa-based environmental clean-up company, WRS Environment and Infrastructure (a.k.a. WRS Compass), has settled a racial discrimination case for $2.75 million with 11 employees. The suit was brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which alleged that the company subjected seven black employees in Lake Calumet, I.L. to repeated harassment in the form of hanging nooses, use of the “N-word,” poor work assignments and even physical threats. Two of the workers who complained were sacked.
The harassment went beyond African-Americans, with slurs (“n****r lover,” for instance) and threats of physical violence allegedly hurled at four white employees, according to Business Insurance.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the company must revise its anti-discrimination policies and train employees on the new rules.
A couple of other companies have recently become embroiled in discrimination lawsuits. Clothing retailer Wet Seal has been accused of firing black employees because they didn’t fit the company’s “brand image.” And the owner perfume retailer Bond No. 9 has been accused of discriminatory practices. This link will take you to the EEOC page, which offers an overview of what racial discrimination is and how to file a complaint. This link discusses sex discrimination. And this one discusses pregnancy discrimination.
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Two separate lawsuits alleging racial discrimination were filed in federal court in New York on Friday, against Bank of America and investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald.
Jack Mitchell, who is black and worked as a manager at Bank of America from February 2007 to July 2008, alleges the bank maintained an “apartheid” system of business allocation, believing white clients would not want to be served by African American employees.
Under this system, Mitchell alleges, employees such as himself were routinely assigned to branches in low-income black communities, negatively affecting his compensation. Mitchell claims he was fired in retaliation for complaining about “the bank’s racist practices.”
Bank of America spokesman Bill Halldin declined to comment on the suit but said that “diversity and inclusion are part of Bank of America’s culture and core values.”
Mitchell is seeking damages of not less than $10 million.
Read about the other racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Bank of America on BlackVoices.com.
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It’s one thing to be discriminated against by someone of a different race, but it’s a shame when black people have to endure racism from one of their own. That’s the accusation nine black employees of the Tukwila School District in Washington have brought against their black superintendent, Ethelda Burke.
An attorney for the staff members, which range from vice principals, to teachers, and dispatchers, filed a complaint of racial discrimination against Ethelda, and even included anecdotes about her behavior. One group of female staffers at Showalter Middle School said the superintendent once referred to them as slaves.
“I couldn’t believe my ears she would refer to professional African American women as slaves,” teacher Sandra Goins, said.
Driver trainer and district dispatcher Doc Fells had his own story.
“She said to me you have to stop being a big, black man scaring our white drivers, and it numbed me.”
J.D. Hill, athletic director and head of transportation, also shared a disturbing nickname the superintendent gave him.
“When I walked into her office she said ‘Hey, J-Dark, how are you doing?’ J-Dark was my name for Ethelda, my pet name for a month, in a professional environment.”
Despite the glaring inappropriateness of the superintendent’s behavior, the staff members said they had a difficult time coming forward and filing their complaint.
“For me, I feel a sense of betrayal,” said Marva Harris, a school security officer who Ethelda called a slave. “That I’m betraying her, because she’s a black woman.”
Bus driver Ritchie Coleman feels the same.”If she wasn’t a person of color, me personally, I would have gone after her long before now,” he said.
Joan Mell, the attorney representing the employees, has written a letter asking the board to immediately suspend the superintendent. So far, the district, the superintendent, and the board have all declined to comment on the situation.
What do you think is the appropriate action for Ethelda Burke? Have you ever had a situation where another black person was racially discriminatory toward you?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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(The Root) — Racial stereotypes — especially those that lurk in the subconscious — are so stubborn. According to a new study, our very perception of whether a person is white or black can depend on the clothes he or she is wearing, the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail reports. Volunteers participating in an experiment by a team from Tufts, Stanford and the University of California were asked to racially categorize computerized images of people with various skin tones and attire.
(San Antonio Express) — The federal government has sued two San Antonio companies, accusing one of racial discrimination and the other of age discrimination. Since at least January, African American employees at AA Foundries Inc. routinely experienced a racially hostile work environment that included the display of a “hangman’s noose,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit filed Friday. A superintendent also is alleged to have frequently used the “N” word when addressing black workers. A company lawyer said it will fight the lawsuit.
(Chicago Tribune) — After another round of cuts at Chicago Public Schools, the teachers union contends African-American teachers in some of the city’s most impoverished schools have been unfairly targeted. The Chicago Teachers Union says that while fewer than 30 percent of teachers in CPS are African-American, they represent more than 40 percent of those getting pink slips this year, either for budgetary reasons or because of enrollment declines. Latino teachers, who represent 15 percent of teachers in CPS, make up about 12 percent of layoffs, union officials said.
(AJC) — A Buckhead tavern’s practice of asking men to give up seats at the bar for women brought accusations of demands for discrimination from both sides in a federal civil-rights lawsuit Monday. Former NBA All-Star player Joe Barry Carroll and attorney Joseph Shaw contend that they were asked to give up their seats and eventually kicked out of the Tavern at Phipps because they were black; David Long-Daniels, the attorney for the restaurant, said in actuality the two men were demanding discrimination in their favor. Long-Daniels said when the men were asked to relinquish their seats they declined, and evoked Carroll’s former NBA status and Shaw’s profession. When told of the restaurant’s long-time practice of currying favor with female patrons by having men give up their bar stools for standing women, the men repeatedly refused, implying that other patrons should forfeit their seats, the lawyer said.
(New York Times) — A federal judge on Wednesday rejected an effort to dismiss a case claiming that New York City police officers use race as a factor in stopping people on the streets, sometimes to frisk them, saying there is enough evidence for a jury to decide. Lawyers for the city had argued that no trial was necessary and moved to dismiss a lawsuit against the city and its police force. In the suit, the Center for Constitutional Rights alleges a widespread pattern of stops based not on reasonable suspicion of individuals but on racial profiling in the Police Department’s “stop, question and frisk” policy.
(Reuters) – H&R Block Inc agreed to modify $115 million of home loans and make a $9.8 million payment to resolve charges by Massachusetts that the company’s former Option One subprime lending unit discriminated against thousands of black and Hispanic borrowers. Option One, now known as Sand Canyon Corp, employed “a business model that absolutely failed to gauge the ability of borrowers to repay the loans,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said at a Boston news conference. “Those loans did not take into account anything but the fees that were to be generated.”