Monday, June 16, 2008

NASCAR discrimination suit should burst your bubble

We've all snickered from the safety of our little middle-class bubble whenever the bosses send around a memo about the latest company policy on harassment.

You know what, though? Making light of that is just so hypocritical. The $225-million US racial/sexual discrimation lawsuit that NASCAR is facing from former employee Mauricia Grant, an African-American woman, is an extreme case, but it's good jumping-off point for realizing how some of us struggle to understand what it's like to be in a vulnerable situation. Or like Sports on My Mind put it: "It is about human beings and our basic loathing and therefore failure to possess the wherewithal to accept and respect someone different than us."

Yes, society is way too damn serious and tight-assed politically correct. Reading over what Grant says she was subjected to should give pause to laughing about this the next time, since many of us have no idea what it's like. And it reaches all the way to Canada (although it's probably one of the milder items in a 140-count statement of claim)!
"128. Approximately later that week of August 4, 2007, while working at Circuit Gilles in Montreal, Defendant NASCAR's Director of Truck Series Wayne Auton observed White Official Jay Altheizer refuse to cooperate when Plaintiff MAURICIA GRANT was attempting to fix the data log, intentionally delay their work, and yell at Plaintiff when she tried to get him to help: 'Stop acting like a fucking bitch! You're not the boss of me!' ... Altheizer later admitted to Officials Brian Bishop and Shannon Bednarek that he had intentionally started an argument with Plaintiff MAURICIA GRANT because he knew he could get plaintiff in trouble."
There's a scene in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby when a character played by Greg Germann talks about a deal where "we could end up owning half the teams in NASCAR."

That might a good start for redressing what Grant endured.

Mauricia Grant and the disdainful sound of one hand clapping (Sports on My Mind)

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