Black Men Working at Cotton Gin Told Water Fountain Is For Whites Only

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Two black workers in a Tennessee cotton
factory just filed a federal complaint
against a domineering white supervisor
who called them “monkeys” and was
recorded lamenting racial integration
while telling them the water fountain and
microwave were for whites only. Happy
The men, who worked at the Atkinson
Cotton Warehouse in Memphis, shared
their story—and their secret recordings—
with WREG-TV . The video above has to be
seen to be believed.
The cotton industry’s history reminds
some people of slavery.
Antonio Harris and Marrio Mangrum
say their former supervisor was stuck
in the past.
“He would be like, ‘You need to think
like a white man,” said Mangrum.
“He pulled his pants down in front of
us and told us to kiss his white tail,”
said Harris.
He said after months of racist
comments and feeling powerless, he
decided to use his phone as a weapon
to fight back.
Here are some screenshots of the
conversations Harris recorded:
Harris told WREG that the problem isn’t
the cotton industry itself—”I worked for
another company for 12 years and they
never did something like that to me”—but
one supervisor who’s stuck back in the
segregation era.
In fact, the supervisor even lamented
those bygone days in one of his
recordings: “Back then, nobody thought
anything about it. Now everybody is made
to where to think it’s bad.”
The two workers have filed a complaint
with the EEOC, which is trying to work
out a settlement between them and
management. According to another
cotton-gin employee WREG spoke with,
the offending supervisor still works there,
but is on vacation.

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