Civil Rights Leaders Condemn Ruling on Use of Word ‘Boy’

Bill Rankin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 25, 2010

A black Alabama man claims that his employer, Tyson Foods, discriminated against him by denying him a promotion and that the white plant manager where he worked referred to him as “boy.” The man has won two trials and been awarded up to $1.75 million in damages, but the verdicts have both been overturned.

{snip}

{snip} The court said it found no evidence of racial animosity.

A group of 11 civil rights pioneers say that’s nonsense. Andrew Young, Joseph Lowery, Fred Shuttlesworth and others have filed a brief saying that there’s nothing ambiguous about the use of the word “boy” by a white man in reference to a black man. {snip}

The court’s reasoning “does not stand the test of history, experience, reality or the common social understanding of race relations in the country, particularly the South,” says their motion.

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