Firstly, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the WBDJ victims. Secondly, I want to come out as a minority who has dealt with matters of race, class and gender in places of business. Unfortunately, we cannot control others' prejudice or ignorance when it comes to dealing with diverse communities. However, we as human beings, can control our actions - regardless of color or sexual preference.
It seems this young man has a history of going to blows with his employers and taking legal action. Unfortunately, it's too late to prevent anything but it should give those who work in challenging industries or situations insight as to what can happen when certain factors are not properly assessed.
For those who remember the old blog, I used to rant about employers that gave me a hard time. Obviously, I had a lot of material because I gained a following in little time, along with individuals wanting to share their accounts. When I began working for myself, the complaints were few and far between. Clients (of some were small business owners) had different priorities than most government employees, as the latter made most of my content during those early years.
While I also took stock of mistakes I made, my intention during recovery was to change some of my old habits. Speaking up more and trying to see matters from another POV made a big difference in communicating with instructors and others who were part of my new work life. However, it was in the Spring of this year I again encountered the ugly face of harassment.
My management class, in the beginning, appeared to be a challenge. I wanted to have that certificate along with my degree so I took the opportunity to join the Sustainable Works group at Santa Monica College for extra credit. I figured that maybe it was something I could put on my resume but everything they had to offer, besides dead air, was no different than a PSA shown during sitcoms or talk shows. At the halfway point, I realized that joining this group was a complete waste of time. Adding insult to injury were the "leaders" who made back-handed remarks to anyone that was NOT white or thin.
Since I fit both categories, I probably got it the hardest - even though I was on time for every meeting and participated in their grade school games as needed. I think my girth is better than looking like a meth head (Logan) or Boy George without makeup (hey, Phillipa). Thank goodness, my encounters like this at SMC were few and far between.
The last insult took a day to sink in and I'd thought at the time that if I saw either of those racist chicks anytime soon, it may not be pretty. Reporting people to the dean or administration can be just as bad as filing a lawsuit, except it costs no money. Since I was holding a low "A" in my management class and the semester was almost over, I decided to leave. Dealing with 1-2 junkies who were too ignorant to know that I was recovering from a serious illness was not going to ruin my future.
So, I wish I had a resource to share with those who may not have the easy choice that I did but I will suggest to really look at the big picture. Violence or getting revenge may feel good but there is almost always a consequence. Someone in his position could have found other areas of media in which to work but he chose to compound his troubles by dealing with the law.
Life is too damn short!