Darwin Holly, a former employee of TAMKO Building Products was fired in 2009 after a racially charged comment at a company picnic. This joker sat down with a plate of watermelon and announced to his co-workers, that he was going to have a piece of "Obama fruit."
Holly appealed his termination to the state's Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, which agreed that he violated TAMKO's harassment policy that prohibits employees from "making racially derogatory jokes, comments or displaying or possessing racially derogatory or offensive symbols, emblems, writings or other documents on TAMKO property or while conducting TAMKO business."So, his co-workers thought that what he said was offensive, and the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission agreed with this, but when he went to argue before the Missouri Court of Appeals (Southern Division),
So Holly appealed again, this time to the Missouri Court of Appeals (Southern Division). Last week the court handed down its ruling, agreeing with the commission that Holly had indeed been fired for cause.
The watermelon quips are not funny and Blacks have repeatedly said this. It is racism that causes White people to continually make this analogy -- and it is privilege that leads them to believe that if they spew some bullshit about not really meaning it, or that it was meant in a different context, that they will not have to face the consequences of their action. Even if the watermelon analogy were to be reclaimed, Whiteness is not in the position to do so. And I know that this is a particularly hard concept to grasp: Whiteness does not get to determine what is and is not racist, when it is in their interest to devalue Blacks at every turn. I know that in a little while, I will end up writing a post identical to this one, because some racist jackass will have to prove how witty ze is by using this same analogy -- and so I thought I would get a hard start and simply say, "Dear White people, just stop it, we don't believe you didn't mean to be racist".