PostRacialist

Racism, Old School Style: Segregated Bathrooms and Humiliation

Remember when I wrote that post about the death of the “public racist?” Scratch that. Some folks refuse to die. Consider this case of black employees at a waste transfer plant who have had to endure humiliation for decades under “segregated bathrooms” and other racially retrograde humiliations.

Dateline: Philadelphia

(CNN) — Black employees at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, waste transfer plant were harassed, humiliated and discriminated against by their supervisor for decades, says an attorney representing two workers who filed a complaint against the city.

Among the allegations in the complaint is that for decades, John Gill, the Northwest Transfer Station’s superintendent, limited one restroom to whites only, said the attorney, Howard K. Trubman. The restroom — which he called the “supervisors’ bathroom” — was supposedly for the sole use of upper-level officials with the city’s Streets Department, Trubman said.

As far back as 1996, it became apparent to black employees that they were being slighted, said Trubman. They would watch white co-workers walk into the segregated bathroom, conveniently located one floor above Gill’s office.

More after the jump.

From CNN.com:

“If you tried to use the bathroom, you might get suspended,” said Leslie Young, a former worker at the facility. Young, along with Gibson Trowery, who still works at the station, filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in October 2007.

Young said he recalled that a lock was placed on the restroom door, with keys distributed only to white workers.

The restroom black workers could use was down five flights of stairs and was “not in the greatest condition,” Trubman said. Some employees were forced to ask Gill’s permission before they could make the trip, he said.

“It was very degrading and humiliating,” said Young. “I saw it wreck peoples’ home lives — picking on you for nothing.”

Gill, asked for comment Friday, referred CNN to his lawyers, saying, “If you want to write a fair story, wait for after the trial to finish writing it.”

Honestly, I don’t get the obession with seperate bathrooms, especially if we’re talking about men. Men spend about two seconds in the restroom to do their business. You don’t even have to look at, let alone talk to, one another. And it’s a restroom. I haven’t checked personally, but I believe everyone’s shit stinks collectively regardless of ethnic background. But maybe white men shit rainbows and piss Evian. I don’t know. Like I said, I haven’t personally checked. But other than pure humiliation, there’s no point in segregating anything, let alone a restroom.

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11 thoughts on “Racism, Old School Style: Segregated Bathrooms and Humiliation

  1. Serenity says:

    What about that high school in Mississippi that had segregated proms up to last year? Did they even have an integrated prom this year? Oh racism is alive and flourishing. White folks think if they don’t acknowledge it then it doesn’t exist. And since they are virtually in charge right now….

  2. kaykay says:

    Well I can tell you for sure that my white husband does NOT shit rainbows or piss Evian! You don’t have to check, take my word for it! LOL!

  3. Monie says:

    My question is; why did the Black workers put up with this since 1996? And if they suspended a Black worker for using the "White restroom" wouldn’t that have left a paper trail (no pun intended)? So why was it that once an employee was suspended for using the wrong restroom didn’t someone take that suspension paperwork to the media or sue?

  4. CoCo Deij says:

    People have to find a way of keeping others down….subjugation and humiliation is the best way…and as far as why it went on for so long…many of us don’t know the power we really have, those people were more concerned about not getting in trouble, keeping their jobs and getting a paycheck and that is why the boss did it for so long….he knew they were more than likely not the type of people who would fight back….he got a surprise with that lawsuit….lol

  5. Rick Beagle says:

    What the heck?! Are you freaking kidding me? Every time I stand up and say, hey look we (white folks) are getting better at being neighborly and fair some fool has to come along and make me bang my head on the desk. Honestly, we are really trying, please don’t give up on us.

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