Investigation underway after workers record ‘racist’ supervisor

Posted at 3:01 PM, Jun 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-04 15:01:00-04

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Two men have filed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges against their former supervisor at a Memphis, Tennessee cotton warehouse, according to a report on Antonio Harris and Marrio Mangrum said they felt powerless when their former supervisor made racist comments to them. In an effort to fight back, the men said they recorded the supervisor on their phone.

“Hey!” the supervisor said when Harris went to get a drink at the water fountain.

“What?” asked Harris.

“I need to put a sign here that says 'white people only,'” the supervisor said.

“I am going to use the microwave,” Harris said in another recording.

“Hell no!” said the supervisor.

“Why can’t I use the microwave, man?” Harris replied.

“Because you are not white," the supervisor said.

The supervisor went on to talk about the days when people of different races were kept separate.

“Back then, nobody thought anything about it. Now everybody is made to where to think it’s bad,” the man said in the recording.

The owner of the cotton gin said he had no comment, but added he outsourced management of the warehouse to another company.

The EEOC is speaking with the cotton gin's owner about the workers' claims. The owner said he out-sourced management at the warehouse. The out-sourcing company had not responded to WREG's request for an interview.

Warehouse workers said the supervisor in question still works at the facility, but was currently on vacation.