What? Before you know it, some misguided jury will be telling us that the word cracka (as in “creepy a** cracka”) ends in -er!
On Tuesday, a Manhattan federal jury rejected arguments by lawyers for a black Harlem employment-agency boss that it was all right for him to use the n-word in the work place.
The New York Post reports that Rob Carmona, president of STRIVE East Harlem (shown here), was ordered to pay former employee Brandie Johnson $280,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for his repeated use of the racial slur to defame her.
“I was offended. I was hurt. I felt degraded. I felt disrespected,” Johnson, a single mother, testified regarding what her lawyer called a “four-minute n***er tirade” over her on-the-job conduct and attire. In a 2012 rant that Johnson captured on tape, Carmona can be heard telling her and another unidentified employee:
Both of you are n***ers … You all act like n***ers all the time … and n***ers let their feelings rule them.
Johnson’s attorney, Marjorie M. Sharpe, told a jury comprised of eight whites, one black and one other dark-skinned man that the race made no difference when the n-word is uttered:
When you use the word n***er to an African-American, no matter how many alternative definitions that you may try to substitute with the word n***er, that is no different than calling a Hispanic by the worst possible word you can call a Hispanic, calling a homosexual male the worst possible word that you can call a homosexual male
The case appears to set a precedent on what many view as a double standard over use of the n-word — that it’s racist if uttered by whites but culturally acceptable when used by blacks in music or when speaking to one another.
This could make for a good starting point in the conversation of race the president keeps telling us we need to have.
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- In Joan Walsh’s world being called a racial slur makes you a racist (or something)