Jury: N-Word Never OK at Work, Even Among Blacks
African-American boss loses suit by African-American employee
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2013 5:46 PM CDT
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(Newser) – A federal jury has rejected the argument that use of the n-word among black people can be a culturally acceptable term of love and endearment, deciding its use in the workplace is hostile and discriminatory no matter what. Jurors last week awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages to a black employment agency worker who was the target of an n-word-laced rant by her black boss, and they returned to a Manhattan federal court today to begin deciding on punitive damages.

The case is against Rob Carmona and the employment agency he founded, STRIVE East Harlem. Brandi Johnson, 38, told jurors that being black didn't make it any less hurtful when Carmona used the n-word as he criticized her workplace attire and behavior. In his testimony, Carmona defended his use of the word, saying he used it with Johnson to convey that she was "too emotional, wrapped up in her, at least the negative aspects of human nature." Then he explained that the word has "multiple contexts" in the black and Latino communities, sometimes indicating anger, sometimes love. He was asked if he meant to indicate love when he called Johnson the word. "Yes, I did," he responded.

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Showing 3 of 163 comments
IQ172
Sep 4, 2013 4:29 PM CDT
I live in a place where many people are from Haiti, Bahama or Jamaica and I asked a group of my Haitian friend about being called African-American and they found it offensive. Our skin is black but we are not from Africa. So they could not understand why people called them African.
traybon
Sep 4, 2013 10:18 AM CDT
We all know wherein the roots and attitudes of racism lie. racism was invented by blacks to benefit blacks. Like the book "roots," there is neither fact nor truth in it. And that is what makes its cry effective.
steve_davis
Sep 4, 2013 10:17 AM CDT
If some word (ANY WORD)bothers you then it's your problem not mine. Grow up.....