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Discrimination Lawyers: We Run With Ahmaud Arbery

| May 29, 2020 | Employment Discrimination, Race Discrimination, Retaliation, wrongful-termination |

Best Ohio Race Discrimination Attorney Answer: How can we fight modern day racism in the workplace? How can we put a stop to racism and spread equity? What should I do if I think I’m being discriminated against at work because I’m Black? Can I be fired for reporting racial discrimination and harassment to HR?

We are angry. Hurt. At a loss for words. It is 2020, how could an African American man get shot on his morning jog? How, as Americans, can we allow a modern-day lynching to occur before our eyes? For those who fight for justice and equity, Ahmaud Abery’s death hurts. It seems like all of the progress we’ve fought for throughout the years is somehow erased. Our Lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm send our deepest condolences and sympathy to the family members and loved ones who had the pleasure of knowing Ahmaud. We will not forget this.

Unfortunately, our attorneys are not surprised that race discrimination exists as we fight against it every single day. A boss using the n-word. A manager putting a noose around a teenage African American girl’s neck as a “joke.” Every day, our employment discrimination attorneys see wrongful terminations based on race. There are some really horrible racist people. Some of these people are bosses or owners of the company where you work, and some are racists that just live in our neighborhood.

Ahmaud was 25 years old when his life was tragically cut short. He was loved by many and had a passion for fitness. Running through his neighborhood was a part of his regular routine. On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud ran through his Georgia neighborhood. He ran past a construction site, which caused some neighbors to call 911 to report Ahmaud running through their neighborhood, but they did not say they witnessed a crime occur. Even our attorneys cannot figure out what possible crime was being reported.

When Ahmaud ran past Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, the two chased him down in their truck with guns in their trucks until they were able to block off the road with their truck. The two mercilessly killed Ahmaud in broad daylight, for no reason, without provocation. They later told police they suspected him of being a burglar – not that he was carrying any stolen goods or these two racists actually saw Ahmaud leaving a house through a broken window. Of course, seeing a Black man running to them was enough to create a racist stereotype of a burglar.

Ahmaud was unarmed when the two brutally chased Ahmaud down and shot him. It took two months for Ahmaud’s killers to be arrested. Two months. They were only arrested after public outcry demanded Ahmaud’s killers be brought to justice. Strangely, these two racists did not call the police to report that they had shot a burglar right afterward.

What happened to Ahmaud is the most recent reminder that our attorneys’ work is nowhere close to finished. The February 23, 2020, shooting in Georgia is a reminder of the monstrosities that pepper American history. The killing of African Americans, almost exclusively at the hands of white male vigilantes, covered up by law enforcement complicity should be over. In 2020, racial terrorism should be a dark memory of our past. But no, we have Ahmaud Abery, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown Jr., Tamir Rice, Tony Robinson, Freddie Gray and many others who died just because of the color of their skin. The racism that permeates all levels of our society is thick. We live in an era where white supremacists feel comfortable showing their prejudice publicly. Mourning Ahmaud feels unreal. How could a man be hunted in a “safe” neighborhood and shot down like an animal? It is difficult to write this now, because it does not feel like there are adequate words to capture the profound sadness of Ahmaud’s death.

What can we do to change this? As a nation, it is hard to pick a place to begin. How can we fight systemic racism? The first step is to listen to our neighbors with an empathetic and open mind. In the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

There are relatively simple actions that allies against race discrimination can take every day to help fight racism head on. For example, if you see something, say something. There are many different strategies that experts suggest Americans use to combat racism, however, one thing is certain, silence is not the answer. While it may be hard to stop racism on a national scale, it may be easier to stop racism in the workplace. Ending racism in the workplace is one step everyone can take to end financial inequity for the African American community. Racism at work can take many forms- refusal to hire, refusal to promote, termination or even daily harassment. Systemic racism contributes to the persistence of race-based gaps that manifest in many different economic indicators. One of those factors being inequity in the workplace. Stopping race discrimination at work can stop it insidious spread to the rest of our community.

Reporting and standing up against racism, will at the very least, make a racist pause before exhibiting racist behavior in the same way. If you see racism on the job at the company where you work, report it to a supervisor, manager, or Human Resources (“HR”). It does not matter if you are Black, white, green or blue – if you observe racial harassment or hear racial slurs at work, you need to report it. As Edmund Burke once said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

You cannot lawfully be fired in retaliation for reporting race discrimination at work, and if you are – our lawyers will file a wrongful termination claim on your behalf. There are laws in place, designed to prevent an employee from being fired because of their race, or because the employee complained of race discrimination. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is a federal law that protects employees against discrimination based on certain specified characteristics: race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. When it comes to companies, a good way to make them stop racism in the workplace is to make them pay. Unfortunately, companies often care more about their checkbooks than the value of have a diverse workforce, free from harassment. Our lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm prides ourselves on being a large part of enforcing Title VII and being an instrument of change in Ohio. Our fight is not over. Part of our strategy to force change within companies in Ohio is pursue and punish companies for every instance of racism. How can our nation hope to achieve any type of real equity if folks of color are passed over for promotions and fired because of the color of their skin? We can’t- but we must march forward. All forms of racism must be vehemently rejected.

As a race discrimination lawyer, I am willing to bet that this was not Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael first act of racism, or their second, third, or tenth. How many people had the opportunity to stand up against such racism and discrimination? Would it have stopped them from hunting down and shooting Ahmaud Abery? Maybe or maybe not. But, don’t we have to try? To the people coming out now and saying how horribly racist Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael have been their entire lives – why are you waiting to say it now? You should not get five second of media time without a reporter asking you, so why did you say nothing then?

Our pursuit of equality for all must be tireless. The African American community has been put through enough. Our lawyers wish there was an easier way, but one effective way to cause change is to unapologetically enforce your rights. Really, one of the most American things a person can do is to take a stand for their freedoms. Freedom from oppression, and freedom to be free from racism. If there is financial equity, hopefully, that can level the playing field to positivity effect other sectors of system racism. Until then, we keep fighting the good fight. Every fight, every time that racism rears its ugly head- our attorneys are ready. We run with Ahmaud.

If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your race, whatever race that may be, then call the right attorney. Race discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation, you will meet with a race discrimination lawyer from The Spitz Law Firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims. Our Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and Youngstown lawyers are here to fight for your rights.

Disclaimer:

The materials available at the top of this race discrimination page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking: “What should I do if I was wrongfully fired because I’m Black”, “I’m being racially harassed by the racist owner of the company where I work”, “my boss is discriminating black workers” or “How do I get the top lawyer for wrongful termination?,” your best option is to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to race discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, attorney Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.