Thursday, August 6, 2009

Let's See: White Swimming Pools, White's Only Bathrooms? What's Next Philadelphia?

So Bill Clinton went over to North Korea and secured the release of two American journalists. Awesome! Proving once again that whenever you need to get some shit done you have to send in the Black guy. What, you didn't know Bill Clinton was in a Black Greek fraternity? Surely you knew he was Black, right? No joke, brothers have been making it happen like that for a long time. It's one of the reasons I get pissed when people hate on Jesse Jackson. Shit, Jesse has been traveling overseas and bringing back Americans since way back in the day. But nah, everybody thinks he's an opportunistic racial ambulance chaser. Now that Bill is back, maybe he can intervene on behalf of people like me and get The Fugees back together.

Speaking of negotiations, what's the deal up in Philadelphia? Lets see, Black kids aren't allowed in swimming pools, and now I'm hearing that brothers at a certain plant can't use the bathroom or drink water? Have you heard of this? If it wasn't for an email from a longtime reader of this blog I doubt I would have heard about this. I mean I know health-care is the hot topic, but when a Black man has to shit on himself because he's not able to use the "White's Only" bathroom at work, umm, we have a big problem:

IT MAY BE the ultimate indignity.

Lawrence "Lonnie" Powell, 58, a semiskilled laborer at the city's Northwest Transfer Station, in Roxborough, said that since he began working at the trash-handling plant in 2003 he has had to seek the superintendent's permission to go to the bathroom — then descend five flights of stairs to use it.

Powell, who is black, said that white employees have been permitted to use a bathroom just 25 feet from his work station.

"On several occasions I've actually defecated on myself, trying to get down to the bathroom," said Powell, who operates a machine that packs trash into tractor-trailers to be taken to landfills.

Powell is one of five current and former employees, all in their 50s, who allege, in legal documents and interviews with the Daily News, that the station's white superintendent has discriminated against them because they are black.

The superintendent, John Gill, has not responded substantively to Daily News requests for comment.

When I first read this article I was speechless. I had a hard time believing or accepting that something like is still happening in 2009. I had a hard time picturing myself having to defecate on myself and continue my workday as if nothing happened. Not only that, I can't even get a drink of water without the supervisors permission? I'm sorry, but sweatshop workers in Peru get treated better than this. Maybe I'm wrong, clueless, or downright ignorant, but aren't there laws against this sort of thing? I'm only asking because these guys filed a complaint about this back in 2007 with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and they did nothing.

Howard K. Trubman, a Center City attorney representing the black workers at the station, said that the law permits Trowery and Young to take their case to court because the PHRC did not rule within a year.

But black workers had complained in writing about what they considered racism at the station as far back as 1999, Young and Trubman said.

In August 2007, Powell aired the black employees' grievances in a meeting with Gill and Streets Department Deputy Commissioner Carlton Williams, who then ordered Gill to open the supervisor's bathroom to everyone, court documents show.

That meeting came three days after a job action on Aug. 17, 2007, in which no African-American employees at the station reported for work. The workers still refer to the protest as "Black Friday."

Powell said that he later saw a black employee, who had been promoted to a supervisory position, using the "supervisor's bathroom" several times.

But that didn't last, and that employee went back to driving a truck, Trubman said.

"Today the door of that so-called supervisor bathroom is locked," Powell wrote in his June 29 affidavit, prepared for a racial-discrimination complaint that he filed last month with the PHRC. In the affidavit, he named four white employees who had used that bathroom.

Umm, is this 2009 or 1959? Because this issue wasn't resolved within a year of the complaint, these guys were able to file suit in May. Did this situation really have to come to this? A lawsuit? Lemme see, a Black guy can go to North Korea and negotiate the release of two U.S. journalists. But a few Black guys can file a discrimination complaint and nothing gets done here in America? Oh well, at least Bill Clinton is back from overseas. Maybe him, Jesse Jackson and my man The field Negro who lives in Philly can get together and resolve this quickly. It's bad enough you're not considered human and are not able to use the same bathroom as your White co-workers. But it's even worse to have to wear Depends undergarments just to make it through the day.



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