“Nappy Headed Mo” Part II

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

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7 thoughts on ““Nappy Headed Mo” Part II

  1. Honestly – what is WRONG with people?! I have nothing intelligent to add here; this is just ignorant and awful, and all i can do is shake my head and roll my eyes (and make sure my students AND my children know better thank to even THINK in these terms…)

  2. “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”

    To go along with that, when making such jokes, it helps to have a relationship with the person to where they know you’re joking and not trying to be offensive. It doesn’t sound like such a relationship existed in this case.

  3. I saw that when I was on your blog; I am excited and will draft my choices in the next day or so. As for bookclub, you know how I feel about that.Thanks for the nomination.

  4. carson… I like the part about joking; my frustration is that it is often mutual and among friends until something goes wrong, then a list of “mean-spirited” comments is generated as part of a suit for wrongful termination. gag-choke.
    I don’t know the details of the situation with NASCAR (= I am ignorant), but if there is abusive racism it needs to be dealt with, in all institutions, in both directions. Mean people impart vaccuum. However, if this is a case where a slacker gets fired for being unproductive, then for the sake of all the legitimate complaints out there, may the slacker/individual be punished by society.
    … perhaps the third time the “little boy cried wolf…”, perhaps the community knew from the tone in his voice?? hmmmm.

  5. “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.”

    Talk about hitting the nail on the head…nice going there, Edward! 🙂

    –Hugh

  6. I’m sorry Carson, but some of those stereotypes are just so full ignorance that I can’t help but laugh…

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