An African American cotton mill worker in Tennessee has alleged discrimination and harassment by his supervisor. In the article Supervisor Threatens to Hang Worker for Drinking From “White People” Fountain, Untonia Harris states that he used his phone to record his supervisor making comments such as, “Black man, don’t go on this white man’s lift,” and in response to Mr. Harris’ attempt to use a water fountain, “I need to put a sign here that says, White people only.” The supervisor then replied to Harris’ inquiry as to what would happen if he were caught using the fountain, “That’s when we hang you.”
Another African American worker at the mill has filed a complaint with the EEOC for similar instances of harassment and discrimination. Marrio Mangrum claims the same supervisor made similar statements to him such as, “You need to think like a white man.”
In the audio, the supervisor is heard expressing support for the Jim Crow era, when racial discrimination and segregation were enforced, “Back then, nobody thought anything about it,” the supervisor says in the audio. “Now, everybody is made to … think it’s bad.”
In response to the supervisor’s alleged behavior, the owner of the cotton mill told CNN, “It’s crazy that anybody would think to talk like that nowadays. It makes no sense whatsoever. You can’t even comprehend it.” Management for the mill is outsourced to Federal Compress. In a statement to CNN, Federal Compress stated, ““Federal Compress very much regrets that the allegations were not reported to it when the first incident is claimed to have occurred,” and has since fired the supervisor in question.
If you or someone you know thinks they have experienced discrimination due to race, the team at Radford & Keebaugh can help. Contact us by phone at (678) 369-3609.