When Antoine Dangerfield’s video of his Latino coworkers went viral last week, people on social media were shocked by his commentary and enthusiasm at what was transpiring.
Construction workers building a UPS facility in Indianapolis walked off the job last week after a boss was accused of racism, prompting him to fire some Latino workers, reports The Root.
“They are not bullshitting!” He said,“They (referring to the company bosses) thought they was gonna play with these amigos, and they said, ‘aw yeah, we rise together, homie.’ And they leaving!”
After all the workers are gone, Dangerfield gives the viewer a tour of the empty building saying, “ain’t no grinding, cutting, welding — this motherf*cker dead-ass quiet. The Mexicans shut this motherf*cker down.”
Now Dangerfield, who said he had recently been offered a team lead job working as a contracted construction worker, says he’s been fired as a result of posting the video; after initially being offered $250 to take it down, according to The Root.
“It was at 1.1 million views on Facebook at that point. So there was nothing I could do,” Dangerfield said in a recent interview with Jacobin magazine.
He also made it clear he has no regrets about filming the display of worker solidarity.
“[The video] is funny or whatever, but people love seeing people come together like that. That’s why it’s so viral. Because everybody wants that deep down,” he told the magazine.
Dangerfield also explained what had been going on at the site, where different contractors were working on building a UPS superhub in Indianapolis. According to the 30-year-old welder, the Latino workers had an issue with a white safety coordinator who would constantly harass them.
“He was just a racist, basically — always messing with anybody who’s not white,” Dangerfield told Jacobin Magazine.
Usually, the workers would try to stay out of his way and warn each other when they saw him approaching, but they reached their breaking point, Dangerfield said, after a safety meeting. The safety coordinator asked one of the Latino workers to translate; the worker refused, saying he didn’t want to do it.
The safety coordinator became visibly upset and dismissed the meeting, Dangerfield said. Then, he tried to fire a handful of the workers.
According to the Root, Dangerfield was fired, as was the safety coordinator.
But Dangerfield, says he was very moved by what he saw on the shop floor, and describes it as“life-changing.” He hopes the video empowers the people who watch it. As he says in the video, he particularly wants black people to follow the example of unity shown.
A GoFundMe was started for Dangerfield and over $30,000 has been raised.
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