Icheoku does not in any way condone or justify the murder of any person and for any reason whatsoever; but to deny that racism exists in workplaces throughout America is to deny the obvious. Any person who has ever held a job and who does not have the "right" skin pigmentation will attest to this unspoken but true story of a racially charged rancid and cantankerous seething work environment prevalent in our society.
Friday, August 6, 2010
CONNECTICUT SHOOTING RAMPAGE AND RACISM IN AMERICA'S WORKPLACE.
Icheoku have in the past worked in a plant where some White colleagues will approach you and tell you to your face that they don't like you; and/or call you names like Camel-jack, nigger, ape and such other unpalatable names; but you feel handicapped to smack them on the face because you want and practically beg to be "accepted?" Icheoku have also worked in a plant where non of the White supervisors wants to see your "kind" around or have you in their team and continuously sent you around the different areas of the plant just to frustrate you; with one of them openly saying one day, that you are like an old penny who no one wants but which kept on recycling itself in peoples pockets. I have worked in a plant where I was denied training in fork-lift operation while my co-hires repeatedly went through the various stages of training which comes with raises, while they make excuses upon excuses; needless to say that you are never paid the same as the right-colored' ones. I have worked in a plant where after experiencing unbearably and very painful series of taunting, I went to the head manager to complain about racists taunts being made at me, only to be told that I should not expect to be loved by all and that I should suck it up? I have worked in a plant where co-workers were organised and instigated by one of them, conspired to set me up by alleging that I made "indecent sexual proposals to some other guy?" Without giving me any chance at hearing my accuser or defending myself, I found my tool box being wheeled out as I reported to my night-shift the next Sunday evening; and was summarily "escorted" out of the building by two security men. I tried to approach a lawyer but it was a small 'controlled' Midwestern town, who advised me to cut down on my losses and not bother going up against the big man of the community?.
So when murder-suicide Omar Thorton lost it and went berserk, alleging racists taunts, Icheoku somewhat understood what probably ticked him off; but we do not in anyway condone what he did. Admitted so many people faced with similar tribulations at their various workplaces, may have contemplated such a similar way-out; only to change their minds and later waived it off, reasoning that such madness is not the answer or solution, and since no one can completely kill a peoples mindset with any amount or degree of violence. The only plausible thing to do in the circumstance is to preach to their better sides, hoping that they will come around and show more understanding, with a possible change of mind as the bargain.
Majority, if not most immigrants and other minorities of America, especially black-Americans, put up daily with a lot of bullshit at their respective workplaces just to be allowed to have a decent and respectable means of putting food on the table and paying their way through life in America. But regrettably instead of understanding the driving force behind these apparent 'condescension' shown by these minority groupings, some of these White people still take full advantage of it, rubbing it in as hard as possible at the slightest opportunity as may present itself. So periodically eruptions are bound to occur, leading to such senseless and meaningless carnage and wastage of human-lives as was witnessed in Hartford Distributors in Manchester Connecticut just recently.Such otherwise avoidable incident as took place in Connecticut rears its ugly head when the psychological assault becomes palpably so unbearable that the victim just erupts, usually resulting to a very tragic consequences. It is the unpalatable and undesirable end to a continuing racial warfare, the undercurrent of many American workplaces, which the high-ups therein usually are powerless or unwilling to arrests timely due to other considerations. Or put in another way, isn't it ridiculous that a worker would just go ballistic simply because he was fired for 'stealing some beers?" Why is no one asking the tough question as to why the killer came to work that day packing guns and/or was he aware that he was going to be fired that day and came, prepared for a showdown? Is it possible that this guy had those guns (two 9mm handguns) stashed away somewhere in the workplace just waiting for the final straw to break his back before he turns into the murderous raging beast that Connecticut played host to just recently? Icheoku is not buying the lame explanation that the killer was fired for just 'stealing beers,' even if the place had a zero-tolerance for stealing? What is the value of the stolen article/s that he should be fired just for that or was he a repeat offender? May be it is about time the employers released the surveillance video on U-Tube for the world to see and make their own inferences. Why was he not suspended for few weeks or even made to pay restitution for the value of the "stolen beers?" Why was the theft not reported to the police and demand for his full prosecution made or was he a victim of a set-up conspiracy to get him and fire his arse? Did the killer get his due process and allowed to defend the alleged 'theft of beers' or was he another victim of the "no second chance for the black-American man policy in America? Was the killer a victim of the lynch-him mob mentality of some White Americans whenever a "black-man' is implicated in anything infra-diginitious. Icheoku demands complete answers and hopefully a full police investigation will unravel what actually transpired at this beer distributorship in Connecticut, leading to this needless wastage of so many precious human lives.
But usually they will fire you without blinking their eyelids and to their delight and call your bluff. They will push you to the edge of the cliff and make you jump while pretending a dear friendship; and because you want to continue providing for your family you just have to take it bent over with fake smiles until you cannot take it anymore. In a phone call to his mom before he took his own life, Omar Thorton was emphatic that he was boxed into a tight corner. In his own words, he reportedly said, , "I killed the five racists that were bothering me." Admitted he kept the pain of their bother bottled up until the resulting volcanic explosion. Like one criminologist postulated, the killer did not just wake up and decided to go out and kill some people; it was a long bottled-up anger as a result of an existing situation or policy which he tried to control but could no longer control. Simply put, Omar Thornton lost it. Video evidence collaborated the girlfriends account that the killer targeted and chased specific victims before taking his own life. It is also on record that Omar passed over several people during the rampage inside and around the distributor; suggesting that he was on a specific mission, according to his mind to avenge his traducers. Even the lawyer for the Teamsters Local 1035 collaborated Omar's good behavior and affirmed that he was not a problem employee and had not had any previous disciplinary issues; and also was not aware of how much beer Thornton was alleged to have stolen. And as a witness unto himself and act, Omar tried before taking his life to explain his motive as follows - "You probably want to know the reason why I shot this place up, this place is a racist place. They're treating me bad over here. And treat all other black employees bad over here, too. So I took it to my own hands and handled the problem. I wish I could have got more of the people." After avenging what he honestly believed was a racist treatment in the workplace, Omar Thorton assured the 911 operator that he was not going to kill anyone else; and kept to his words. Icheoku asks, does this person who was methodical, calm and calculated in executing his embarked mission, sound like a disgruntled 'fired' employee out to just shoot some bunch of people? Otherwise why the choice of word "the people" above and the passing over of some people while targeting others.
How could any reasonable manager anywhere just fire someone who was described as "very hardworking and mellow," who had no prior disciplinary reprimand or issue at all, just for "stealing some beers?" Why not query or write him up for bad behavior of loving Budweiser so much that he commandeered some cans for himself; or even suspend him for a few weeks and later make him pay restitution. Why was the alleged theft not reported to the police for full investigation and prosecution of the misdemeanor, if not for an agenda - the usually zero tolerance no second chance policy for minorities of America at many workplaces? Former Mayor of New York Rudy Guiliani's daughter just stole some makeup at Sephora and she already made bail and possibly no one is going to fire her or prosecute her because she is of the right skin-tone? Anyway, all the ifs and whys cannot undo what was done; but they may help in understanding what was in order to prevent a repeat future occurrence; and so Icheoku will encourage a more acceptable, tolerant and open-discussion working environment in our dear society; which would have prevented this sad outburst. What an avoidable tragedy of Connecticut this bloodletting at Manchester was.