Mauricia Grant, a NASCAR employee believes she is the victim of both sexism and racism. I have no doubt this type of behavior exist in many work places. I am sad to hear this because NASCAR has worked very hard to change its image from a sport of pot belly red necks in the deep south, to one that welcomes and embraces people of color; I am not sure NASCAR is at fault, or if this is the action of a team.
The 32-year-old Grant, who is black, worked as a technical inspector responsible for certifying cars in NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series from January 2005 until her termination. In the lawsuit, she alleged she was referred to as “Nappy Headed Mo” and “Queen Sheba” by co-workers, was often told she worked on “colored people time” and was frightened by one official who routinely made references to the Ku Klux Klan.
Grant also stated that:
• Grant was forced to work outside more often than the white male officials because her supervisors believed she couldn’t sunburn because she was black.
• While riding in the backseat of her car pool at Talladega Superspeedway, co-workers told her to duck as they passed race fans. “I don’t want to start a riot when these fans see a black woman in my car,” she claims one official said.
• When packing up a dark garage at Texas Motor Speedway an official told Grant: “Keep smiling and pop your eyes out ’cause we can’t see you.”
• When she ignored advances from co-workers, Grant was accused of being gay. She also claimed co-workers questioned the sexual orientation of two other female officials.
I can tell a number of stories in which a white person assumed they were being funny by making such comments but were not. I think it is important to joke about race and the stupidity of racism; however,it is also important to know if such comments hurt other people
Also see “Nappy Headed Ho” part I