Target: E.W. Atkins of Atkinson Cotton Warehouse
Goal: Reach a settlement for the two men who endured hateful treatment from a racist supervisor
An African American man named Utonia Harris is a forklift operator at the Atkinson Cotton Warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee. He was heading toward the water fountain to get a drink until his supervisor said he wasn’t allowed to drink there. The supervisor proceeded to tell Harris that he wanted to put a sign up that says “Whites Only” and if he caught Harris drinking from the fountain again, he’d hang him. At the same time, another employee came forth because he was experiencing the same racist threats from the same supervisor. These exchanges were part of conversations that were recorded by Harris’ phone after months of enduring this hateful treatment from his supervisor. It is what he is using as evidence in his employment discrimination suit against his supervisor.
After a couple of months, the harassment persisted and nothing was being done about it even after they filed a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). That is when Harris decided to take his recordings to the public. Some of the recordings showed the supervisor calling Harris a “black boy” and ordering him and other employees to get him some cotton.
The owner of the cotton warehouse, E.W Atkinson, makes claims that he wasn’t aware of what was going on. He even tried dissociating his company from the supervisor by saying he was an employee of a contractor that handles another part of the warehouse. Since then the supervisor has been fired and the two men have been laid off. They are working on a settlement for the two men who were harassed by the supervisor.
Please sign this petition to make sure that the two men who went through months of their supervisor’s racist, hurtful, and humiliating treatment get justice for what they had to endure.
Dear Mr. E.W. Atkins,
Your two employees, Utonia Harris and Marrio Mangrum, were the victims of a racist supervisor. Discrimination in the work place should not be taken lightly. The supervisors attitude was unacceptable and it was the right thing for you to fire him. For months, these two men put up with awful treatment which left them distraught and humiliated. It was only when Harris made his case public that there were even talks of a settlement for them. The EEOC should have acted in a timely manner and taken the case more seriously than they did.
Please give these men the justice they deserve for enduring the unlawful treatment of their supervisor. Don’t let this type of discrimination loom over your company. The men deserve retribution for the pain caused by this man’s actions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Esther Bubley via Wikimedia Commons