Using the “N” word at work hurts Blacks Too

paula deenPaula Deen has caught a lot of slack for her admitting she uses the “N” word when describing blacks.  Deen has lost endorsements (contracts) with up to 12 companies.  You do realize that if blacks use this word, especially while at work, they too can be terminated?

Back in the mid 90’s a popular athletic shoe manufacturer began opening retail stores around Southern California.  A new store was set to open in the swanky city of Beverly Hills in prime retail space along the Wilshire corridor.

Many locals were hired to prepare the store for its grand opening.  The personnel were ethnically diverse, however, many of the ethnicities grouped together at lunch and on breaks to discuss the opportunity of a lifetime.  Working for the worlds most recognizable brand, receiving free apparel and shoes semi-annually and the thought of the many A-list celebrities who would frequent the store.  Life was grand, until, someone said the “N” word.

There were a group of black employees huddled around the break room during lunch.  One of the employees said the “N” word.  None of the black employees complained, but apparently, the non-black employees heard the word and ran to tell HR.

Needless to say, every black employee who was in that group was walked to their locker, by security, and some three days later would all receive a FedEx envelope with their final paychecks.

The manufacturer cited the use of the “N” word and how upset the non-blacks were at hearing the word.  Along with citing the use of the word, the letter would go on further to state that had the non-whites been overheard using that word, they too would have faced disciplinary action which could result in termination.

What’s worse is everyone in the group was held accountable for one persons actions.

This all transpired a week prior to the stores grand opening.  No paycheck. No company issued apparel and shoes.  No grand opening.  No hobnobbing with the stars.

What lesson(s) did I learn about the “N” word and being too quick to click up at work?

Just DON’T do it!

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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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