Across Black America week of Apr. 6, 2017.
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 4/6/2017, midnight
A man in San Francisco has video proof of racial harassment in his workplace, and he is using the evidence to sue popular new automaker Tesla. DeWitt Lambert filed an 11-count complaint against Tesla last week in Northern California. The lawsuit claims Lambert’s supervisor repeatedly used the n-word to address and insult him. Lambert is accusing electric automaker Tesla of failing to address alleged incidents of racial harassment and threats from assembly line co-workers, reports CBS News San Francisco. The suit’s introduction quotes the words an assembly line supervisor allegedly said to Lambert: “N*er, we take your a home, ner. Shred you up in pieces, ner.” According to the lawsuit, supervisors and other co-workers who harassed and intimidated Lambert “continue to roam the halls of Tesla today, even though Tesla is aware that they subjected plaintiff Lambert to repeated racists epithets for months.”
Lambert, 44, who said he feels threatened, has a video that purports to show the incident, which he said happened in 2015 and is typical of what he has experienced at the company. The co-workers also sexually harassed him, Lambert said. He complained to Tesla’s human resources department, but Lambert said the company failed to properly handle the situation. In an interview with NBC News Bay Area’s Carmen Copher, the managing counsel on Tesla’s legal team, admitted the company failed to follow through on Lambert’s complaints. She added that Tesla is now disciplining the employees. That could range from warning letters to termination.
District of Columbia
During the last academic year, only 57 percent of the students at Ballou High School graduated. But this year, every single senior has applied to college, reports The Grio. The school is located in one of Washington, D.C.’s, poorest neighborhoods, which is also predominantly Black. Because of that, it has a poor reputation, with many of its students dropping out before they can make it to graduation. But Ballou Principal Yetunde Reeves said in speaking to the Washington Post that the school is trying to change not only its reputation but its reality. “There are some schools and communities where college is an automatic next step. There is no celebration,” Reeves said. “Our kids don’t get that same message. We are trying to create an environment where going to college is what Ballou does as well.” Many of the students work with Ballou college and career coordinator Jamanda Porter, who said of the school’s efforts, “We are meeting our students where they are, but we are pushing them to higher expectations.” This year’s group of seniors collectively decided that they were all going to apply to college, and some of the students have even applied to multiple colleges, some as many as 14. Already, one of the seniors has received 11 acceptance letters.
Two White high school girls are under fire in South Florida for asking a Black classmate to prom in a racist way. They went to the school’s athletic field wearing a sign where a Black student was engaging in activities. The sign said: “You may be picking cotton but we’re picking you to go to prom with us.” According to Carbonated TV, the two White girls at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek asked one of their softball team members to the to the prom using a cardboard imprinted with those words. One girl posted the picture to her Instagram account, where it was captured by Jon Aro, an 18-year-old student from Palm Beach State College, who shared it publicly.