Antonio Harris and Marrio Mangrum, two employees at the Atkinson Cotton Warehouse in Memphis, Tenn., have filed a complaint against their employers after racist threats were made against them, reports WREG.
In addition to calling them “monkeys,” the men faced constant racial animosity.
Read more from WREG:
“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.
He recorded his attempt to drink water from a water fountain in the warehouse office.
“Hey!” says the supervisor in the recording.
“What?” asked Harris.
“I need to put a sign here that says `white people only.”
Harris also recorded his attempt to use the microwave.
“I am going to use the microwave,” said Harris in the recording.
“Hell no!” said the supervisor.
“Why can’t I use the microwave, man?”
“Because you are not white.”
“As a white man, we don`t even let Larry use it.”
“Larry has been there 10 to 20 years and he is a black guy also,” Mangrum told WREG.
In the recording, the supervisor also talks about the days when black and whites were kept separate.
“Back then, nobody thought anything about it. Now everybody is made to where to think it’s bad,” says the supervisor in the recording.
Thirty seconds later in the same recording:
“Put your sign on the wall then, because I am feeling to drink it,” said Harris. “What would they do when they catch me drinking your water?”
“That`s when we hang you,” said the supervisor.
Harris and Mangrum filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC, and a possible settlement is being negotiated.
Listen to audio of the exchange via Black Youth Project: