Black worker at Memphis cotton plant banned from 'whites only' water fountain, or 'we hang you'




What the fuck does "outsources management" even mean? Is he trying to say he can't shitcan the guy?


He's saying he set up a legal firewall so he won't get sued when the shit hits the fan.


Yeah, but BS, and we all know it.


Is this guy out of his cotton-picking managing mind?*

*Last appropriate chance to use this idiom in human history.


Racism in America is dead. And there is no climate change. And we never landed on the moon.


The word was "fixing" pronounced " fi'in' "


I know white people who still say that (alternately with "cocksuckin"). Glad to add that they're all in their seventies.


The progress is that pretty much everyone is like "WTF is wrong with this guy". Instead of, "Yeah, get your own water." or "Meh."

Racism will continue to exist somewhere, but it's no long acceptable in society.


Open racism isn't acceptable, anyway. If you can find a way to frame it so it's not blatantly about race, you can get away with a lot, still.

Had this manager, say, said that drinking fountain was for "Management" only, and (even though there's conveniently no black manager) if there were he'd be fine with them using the fountain...


I agree, there are plenty of dog whistles alerting the subversive racists who code words.


It's interesting to me that you made this connection. Because my first thought, when I read Xeni's snark at the end of the post ("Welcome to post-racial America!") was how similar it is to hearing some jackass say "So much for Global Warming" during a snowstorm.

The implication of her "Welcome to post-racial America!" parting shot is that this incident is indicative of an across-the-board attitude (in Memphis, or in Tennessee, or in "America!") It's not. And no reasonable, discerning person would think otherwise. We're all shocked by these whites-only waterfountain and lynching comments because they're shocking. If they weren't shocking to us, then there might be some validity to the "Welcome to post-racial America!" jibe. If they weren't being reported on the news, as shocking, then we'd have a problem.

There will never be a "post-racial" America, or anything: there will always be someone making stupid, insenstive comments somewhere, sometime. If we're going to hear one idiot make a racist remark and decide that "AHA!!! America is still a racist country!!!" based on it, then there's no hope at all. I doubt it's the case, but what if it turns out the offender in this situation is either mentally ill, or someone in the throws of elderly dementia? Would this still be seen as "typical" "status quo" racism in America?

Seriously. Implying that this admittedly effed up situation is "business as usual" in Memphis, or America, is disingenuous. Having lived in Memphis for a good portion of my life (and many other places besides) I can tell you that almost no one in Memphis would think that casually speaking of segregated water fountains, lynching, etc, in the manner that it appears (from the recording in question) is acceptable, normal, whatever.

And speaking of disingenuous (off-topic) I find it really interesting that no editor at has posted about the Wisconsin "Slender Man" story. One of the biggest and most contentious threads recently was the Santa Barbara shooting, but the "Slender Man" story (which is much more topical, from a Internet-community standpoint) is being ignored here. But hey, let's just talk about that cranky Cracker in Memphis instead!

What gives?


Separate water fountains are extremely difficult to justify in this day and age. They're literally a symbol of segregation.

There are some things you can get away with, but not this one. If you really want the water fountains segregated, you need to put them in the management office behind a locked door like an executive washroom.


Bigotry has as much business being in the DSM mental illness bible as many other things that are already in there. I suppose it's easier to think of it as a political anomaly.


I like how the one labelled white is grey and the one labelled colored is white.


Face palm

I'll believe we're on our way to post-racial when those who seek to deny that the U.S. is still a racist country stop claiming that the real problem is those who point out racism.


You'd think the cotton picking industry would be trying extra extra hard to reverse its historical image, not reinforce it.

I agree 100%, THIS happens all the time. It is another ism that is much more accepted, classism. Sometimes other isms such as racism can hide behind the much more "acceptable" classism. In our capitalistic society we are pretty used to the rich getting the best of everything, and pretty much take it as a part of life, they have more money so of course they get the best of everything...but it often creeps past that into things that cost nothing, it is a tricky one.

If one were to take that same picture and replace the signs white and colored with "rich" and "everyone else", it still seems agrevious to me, but that is the exact kind of classism we've all been trained to accept in our corrupted form of capitalism. If they have more money then certainly they must be more deserving of all the best of everything, right? After all we even refer to a person's "value" and their "self worth". tricky, tricky, subject.


Binary much? How is this topic shown at the expense of the other? Maybe they chose the crocheted banana story instead of slenderman!


Facepalm right back at you. You've totally (and seemingly intentionally) misrepresented my point.

I never said racism doesn't exist (edit: or that those who point out racism are the real problem.)

I said that Xeni's “Welcome to post-racial America!” comment implies that the shocking words and actions of this one supervisor dude in Memphis indicates a pervasive attitude in America, on the part of Americans, or (probably more to Xeni's implied point) Americans living in Memphis, or the south. It definitely does not.

Specifically, the part of my post that you took (out of context, by the way) said there will always be stupid people saying stupid things. Does isolated racism (and in this case it is realllly isolated: have you ever in your life heard a person talking like this the supervisor in question?) imply pervasive racism? I personally don't think it does. I don't think any reasonable person would think so.

A person who makes broad generalizations and judges many people by the actions of a few, though, probably would think that, yes, specific-to-general reasoning works.

That was my point. That opining from the specific (cranky, old-sounding cotton gin supervisor: and who even knew cotton gins were still even a thing?) to the general (America) is absurd, and that such thinking will always result in one being able to think “There is still racism in America” (in the sense that it's pervasive.) Yes, there is racism in America: there always will be, somewhere. Always. Is it absolutely less acceptable than it was, and actually most cases not acceptable at all? Absolutely.

By the way: the very fact that no employees/workers punched out the supervisor in question makes me think that he might've just been some old nutcase whose bullshit everyone perhaps merely tolerated, the African American workers included. No excuse for management not shitcanning the old dude in question, but perhaps a mitigating factor. Memphis is majority African American: around 61%, I believe, with a Caucasian population of around 32%: I'd be scared to death (like Bruce Willis with his sandwich sign in Die Hard 3) if I were in Memphis talking shit like the supervisor in question was.


I'm glad you mansplained that to us. Just a one-off. Got it.