Workplace Hate Crime Goes Unpunished
1 year ago
Landing a good job left one man afraid for his life
Using the term ‘post-racial America’ is the equivalent of President Bush putting “Mission Accomplished” on the side of a plane during a war that has still not yet ended. But yet and still, the reminders we get from time to time of just how far we are from post-racial anything can be quite jarring.
One such example would be the case of Richard Beachman Sr., a 28-year-old Arkansas native who recently moved to the suburbs of Chicago to be with his fiancée, Shaunta, and young son. Despite his tall sturdy frame and commanding presence he is a quiet and shy young man with a love of football and working with his hands. Upon settling in his new Calumet City home, he went to AeroTek Temporary Services to find work as a general laborer as he seeks a more permanent job in construction. The agency originally staffed him at Oshkosh Specialty Vehicle where he was working to break down a plant that is soon to close. He was the only Black person working at that location. From his first day on the job, Beachman found that his co-workers treated him rudely and made subtle racial comments in his presence. He attempted to ignore their behavior the same sort of treatment he’d hoped to escape making his way up North-and focused on doing his job. The men of Oshkosh soon made that impossible.
As Beachman sat down to take a break on July 20th, one of his coworkers looked at him with a smirk before picking up a nearby rope and fashioning it into a noose. Stunned, he again walked away without challenging the man or notifying a supervisor. The next day, Beachman returned to his work space after a 20-minute-break to find the other employees circled around looking at a noose hanging from a ceiling; he heard one of them joke “We gonna have an old fashioned lynching.” 2011, folks. 2011.