Two black workers at a cotton warehouse in Memphis have filed charges against the business for racist behavior executed by its supervisor.
The men say their manager called them “monkeys” and even told them the water fountain and microwave were for white people only.
The cotton industry’s history reminds some people of slavery. Antonio Harris and Marrio Mangrum say their former supervisor was stuck in the past.
“He would be like, ‘You need to think like a white man,” said Mangrum. “He pulled his pants down in front of us and told us to kiss his white tail ,” said Harris.
He said after months of racist comments and feeling powerless, he decided to use his phone as a weapon to fight back.
Harris recorded his attempt to drink for a water fountain in the warehouse office. You can hear the supervisor yell “Hey!…I need to put a sign here that says ‘white people only.'”
Harris also recorded his attempt to use the microwave. “I am going to use the microwave,” said Harris in the recording.
“Hell no!” said the supervisor.
“Why can’t I use the microwave, man?”
“Because you are not white.”
Harris and Mangrum filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC. The agency has now stepped in to mediate with the cotton gin’s owner about a possible settlement. WREG reached out to the supervisor charged with the allegations, but have not heard back from him.
This seems like something from the past. Makes you wonder how much things have really changed.
Thoughts on this story?
Do you think this is just an isolated incident, or is this particular type of blatant racism alive and well?
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