The Washington Post reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received a complaint from a black man. The complainant said that a white coworker wore a hat to work with the Gadsden flag on it. Furthermore, when the black man complained to the employer, the boss wouldn’t force the white man to remove his hat.
The EEOC investigated and here’s what they wrote in the report:
Complainant stated that he found the cap to be racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a “slave trader & owner of slaves.” Complainant also alleged that he complained about the cap to management; however, although management assured him [the white employee] would be told not to wear the cap, [the white employee] continued to come to work wearing the offensive cap. Additionally, Complainant alleged that on September 2, 2013, a coworker took a picture of him on the work room floor without his consent.Shit, somebody actually took a picture of this black guy too? When will the racism stop?
Complainant maintains that the Gadsden Flag is a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.” He notes that the Vice President of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters cited the Gadsden Flag as the equivalent of the Confederate Battle Flag when he successfully had it removed from a New Haven, Connecticut fire department flagpole.The EEOC pointed out that the Gadsden flag does not have racial connotations:
After a thorough review of the record, it is clear that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context. Moreover, it is clear that the flag and its slogan have been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it is used in the modern Tea Party political movement, guns rights activism, patriotic displays, and by the military.Now get ready to have your minds blown. This is what the EEOC concluded:
However, whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it also has since been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts. For example, in June 2014, assailants with connections to white supremacist groups draped the bodies of two murdered police officers with the Gadsden flag during their Las Vegas, Nevada shooting spree.A federal agency agrees that the Gadsden flag has no history in racism, but because a black guy perceived it as racist, it is a symbol of hate. If this is going to be the criteria for determining racism, we are all screwed. Black people think literally everything is racist. Okay, they don’t think hating white people is racist, but everything else qualifies.
Additionally, in 2014, African-American New Haven firefighters complained about the presence of the Gadsden flag in the workplace on the basis that the symbol was racially insensitive.
Certainly, Complainant ascribes racial connotations to the symbol based on observations that it is sometimes displayed in racially-tinged situations.
People can’t express pride in their Southern heritage by displaying the Confederate flag because that is racist. The EEOC has now determined that displaying the Gadsden flag is racial harassment. How soon before flying the American flag is considered a hate crime?