*Sexual and racial harassment is not a good look on anybody; but when we do hear about sexual harassment, its generally with the woman as the target. And racial harassment, its generally a white and black thing.
But again, the wordÂ generallyÂ is important here because in the case of Robert Smith, neither example is suitable.
Smith, an African American man, has been awarded a whopping $2.4 million dollars from a Chicago court. As a butcher at Rosebud Farm Stand he said his Latino co-workers constantly grabbed his genitals, slapped his butt and simulated homoerotic acts around him.
Further, they referred to him as “monkey” and told him to “go back to Africa.”
When Smith complained to his supervisors, Rocky Mendoza and Carlos Castenada…well, you can pretty much guess without much of a stretch of the imagination, where those complaints landed.
On deaf ears. And to add insult to injury, Smith says those same supervisors joined in on the harassment.
The men are the main defendants in Smith’s lawsuit.
Smith decided to file an EEOC complaint. And you would think such a filing would at least keep these people at bay. But no, instead, they vandalized Smith’s car when they learned about it. And he became so fearful of their tactics that he saw no other option but to quit his job.
Smith’s experience at Rosebud is not an isolated one for African Americans. The only difference is he decided to come forward.
â€śUnless people file a lawsuit or take action, harassers will continue to create a hostile working environment and harass. We need more people like Mr. Smith to take a stand and fight for what is right.â€ť
Perhaps some of my Latina friends can help me translate the following to Spanish for Mr. Smith:
“Who’s got the last laugh now, sucka’s?”
To learn how the jury broke the $2.4M awarded to Smith down, visit Financial Juneteenth.