back to article OK, your boss allegedly called you a lazy n*****, promoted the person you trained ahead of you and paid you less, but you can't PROVE it's racism, Facebook says

A black critical-facilities engineer at Facebook claims his boss repeatedly called him a "lazy n*****" and described other African-Americans at the tech giant "monkeys and chimpanzees." But the fact Robert Louis Gary wasn't promoted by that same manager despite glowing work reviews, or that someone he trained was promoted …

  1. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    Shocked?

    Not in the least sadly.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Shocked?

      Shocked? Not in the least sadly.

      I actually am.

      Now, I call everyone a f***ing monkey when they mess up. Its a reasonable alternative to cowboy. However, there is simply no excuse for calling anyone a lazy n******.

      I don't do PC nonsense and decline to engage with the diversity agenda because it's just BS. However, terms like the one above are out and out racism and I simply can't believe that someone would use them in a professional setting and that colleagues would simply allow it to happen. I wouldn't, and I would expect from my collagues that they wouldn't either.

      1. tip pc Bronze badge

        Re: Shocked?

        Maybe now Is the time to stop?

      2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Shocked?

        I'm not PC in the slightest; but even I can see that If you call a black colleague a f***ing monkey, regardless of performance, you can expect to get fired.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Shocked?

          A downvote - blimey. Shows there's at least one racist asshole on every forum...

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Is It Documented?

    This hinges on documentation. If it backs up the claims, Failbook will be paying a pretty penny. There is no place for the abusive behavior alleged by anyone in the workplace, especially someone in management. But Suckerberg does not understand he most obey the law or sooner or later get hammered.

    1. overunder

      Re: Is It Documented?

      Don't shoot the messenger here (me), but since he has been caught lying this last time, well, there is plenty of places on the internet that are now using the word "jew"* to describe him... before it was just the usual we say like shithead, spoiled brat, etc...

      I do know he's not a good person, Zuckerberg called his own "clients" fucking morons or whatever. While not deserving of a racial slur, he does qualify for many. Racists inside, racists growing outside... I don't think he will be remembered well in history.

      1. bladernr

        Re: Is It Documented?

        He probably won't be remembered, but given that his net worth is higher than the gdp of of 60% of the countries of the world (he'd rank somewhere around 73/201 if you compared his net worth to GDPs, roughly) he doesn't care what you or anyone else or history thinks.

      2. M.V. Lipvig

        Re: Is It Documented?

        Won't be remembered well by history? He's not thought well of now! History is going to rip him a new one.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Is It Documented?

      If it backs up the claims, Failbook will be paying a pretty penny

      I'd like to believe that, but given their resources, this is almost certain to settle out of court for an undisclosed amount and with NDAs attached. While the settlement amount may be significant to Gary, it will be negligible to Facebook.

      At the moment they're fighting this purely for perception reasons - they're hoping the court dismisses the suit or finds for the defense, so they can claim Gary, Luckie, etc are misrepresenting conditions and there is no widespread racism at Facebook. When that no longer looks likely, they'll settle and hush the whole thing up.

      It might result in a bit of housecleaning, getting rid of egregiously, visibly racist staff like Hawkins, but that would be purely to reduce the PR liability. It's clear that Facebook HR are not interested in solving the underlying problem.

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: Is It Documented?

        "this is almost certain to settle out of court for an undisclosed amount and with NDAs attached."

        Are those NDAs even legal? As those settlements are admittances of guilt, they should be public and it might be worth another court case to have those NDAs declared null and void. It made the news here in the Netherlands a couple of months ago that several NDAs (involving hospitals and medical malpractice) were deemed illegal and contrary to public interest.

        1. Carpet Deal 'em

          Re: Is It Documented?

          No matter the payout in settlements, they always come with "no admission of guilt" as part of the deal.

  3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Nothing to see here

    It's hardly surprising that a company that treats the entire population of the world as a resource to exploit to its best benefit, has less than perfect respect for its own employees.

  4. ecofeco Silver badge

    A Narcissist's Corporate Prayer

    That didn't happen.

    And if it did, it wasn't that bad.

    And if it was, that's not a big deal.

    And if it is, that's not my fault.

    And if it was, I didn't mean it.

    And if I did...

    You deserved it.

    1. Tom Servo

      Re: A Narcissist's Corporate Prayer

      Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V into any Trump comment post on Mueller, sexual harassment allegations, paying off porn stars, executive overreach ad nauseum.

      1. Carpet Deal 'em
        Facepalm

        Re: A Narcissist's Corporate Prayer

        Or Hillary or McCain or Obama or....

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: A Narcissist's Corporate Prayer

          "Or Hillary or McCain or Obama or...."

          Nope. Trump stands alone here - a cretinous glob of festering protoplasm sitting proudly atop a putrid (and increasingly shaky) pile of mindless morons, pathological liars, career criminals, nauseating sycophants and racist homophobes.

          Putin really has done an outstanding job of setting Western democracy ablaze.

    2. Louis Schreurs BEng

      Re: A Narcissist's Corporate Prayer

      Or else....

      IT WASN’T A CRIME !!

    3. Huw D

      Re: A Narcissist's Corporate Prayer

      Reminds me of the Blues Brothers.

      I ran outta gas.

      I had a flat tyre.

      I didn't have enough money for cab fare.

      My tux didn't come back from the cleaners.

      An old friend came in from outta town.

      Someone stole my car.

      There was an earthquake, a terrible flood, locusts.

      It wasn't my fault!!

      I swear to God!!

  5. Mayday Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Facebook has nothing to worry about here

    I am guessing they can afford better and more expensive lawyers than the plaintiff.

    :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook has nothing to worry about here

      Not necessarily - defense lawyers in these cases are almost always paid on an hourly basis, whereas plaintiff lawyers get a percentage of any award. Thus, in general, the very best lawyers are plaintiff lawyers, and can be billionaires. However, that is much more likely if this has the potential to turn into a class action, where the awards can be huge. Otherwise, the top plaintiff lawyers are unlikely to be interested.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Facebook has nothing to worry about here

        Great justice system

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Facebook has nothing to worry about here

          You misspelled 'just us'.

  6. boidsonly

    Between the lunatic fringe political bent and the holier than thou management, FB is/has become one despicable organization. But then again, no one here is shocked, are they?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ToxicBook

    Best avoided.

  8. PaulFrederick

    And this my friends

    Is why you have to be very careful about who you hire in the first place.

    1. Jedit

      Re: And this my friends

      I'd be more clear about that, if I were you. Your post could be read as a criticism of hiring black people.

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: And this my friends

      Yup - maybe that explains their ethnic minority/male real mix? A memo has gone round telling hiring managers to be reel careful.

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: And this my friends

      Yeah, but very few people are going to turn up for a job interview and say, "I really like the challenge this job offers and think my work will reflect well on the company, but I'm not going to work alongside any fucking n******."

    4. wobball

      Re: And this my friends

      Whaaaat!?!

    5. David Webb

      Re: And this my friends

      If you're saying that about the hiring of any BAME, then we're not your friends. If you're saying that about the hiring of the racist managerial fuckwit, then we'll let you buy us a beer.

    6. Just Enough

      Re: And this my friends

      You're not my friend.

    7. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: And this my friends

      <quote>Is why you have to be very careful about who you hire in the first place.</quote>

      Perhaps some of the downvoters might consider this:

      "You would not want a convicted embezzler as your company's accountant, now would you???"

      or some one who is a drug addict. (For the same reason - easy access to your bank accounts.)

    8. phuzz Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: And this my friends

      Do you mean "don't hire racists as managers" or do you mean "don't hire people who are willing to sue if they're being discriminated against"?

      There's a bit of a difference between the two...

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: And this my friends

        How about both categories?

    9. Groaning Ninny

      Re: And this my friends

      Really not sure what you're trying to say here. I'd like to give you the benefit of doubt and assume you mean you shouldn't employ racists. The alternative meaning I can see sickens me.

      Hmm... looked through your posting history. Either you're not particularly nice, or you do a fine job pf pretending so.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: And this my friends

        I wasn't sure which way he meant that, but your idea was right, check the posting history.

        And yup, he's clearly an arsehole, nuff said.

    10. Menasco

      Re: And this my friends

      Mr Fredrick , aka cableguy , ( or Bill Gates as portrayed by "Deadringers") respectfully of course , if you are a cockpuppet like Mr Zuckerberg then employing evolved competent individuals is just going to make you look like , well , you know .......by comparison , not all that wonderful, so yes be very careful who you hire , but in the first (rightful) place , dont be a complete Cnut by employing a racist or a psychopath who offends other employees and lands you with a class action , rgds.

  9. BebopWeBop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    <and pointed out that Gary was subsequently promoted and paid the same as his white co-workers.</i>

    Amongs other curious people, I wonder whether this was before or after he had complained? Not to mention that if the evidence of discrimination is good (I can't tell) then holding people back is still a pernicious form of implementing racist policies.

  10. Louis Schreurs BEng

    Boycot facebook, please.

  11. Fatman Silver badge

    RE: """prove""" that it is racism

    Uhhhh!

    Note the location of the office:

    North Carolina, in the heart of Dixie, aka the South; loser of the War of the Confederacy (also known as the Civil War), and a place where ownership of blacks was legal.

    Although it was more than a century and a half since the South lost, that attitude (of racism) is still alive and well. It is demonstrated by bumper stickers or license plate that feature a Confederate soldier and the stars and bars, and bear the phrase: "Forget, Hell"

    So the allegations made do not surprise me one bit.

    1. Anonymous Cowerd

      other civil wars are available

      "also known as the American Civil War"

      FIFY

      1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: other civil wars are available

        Actually, the US Army referred to it as "The War of the Rebellion" in its official histories. And the true deep-dyed Confederate nostalgists speak of "The War Between the States".

        But yes, I have read of Ford Madox Ford being in Nashville in the 1930s and taking a while to figure out that the Civil War people kept talking about was the American Civil War, not the Spanish.

    2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: RE: """prove""" that it is racism

      And of course you have not met any racists above the Mason-Dixon line. Bravo, my friend: you clearly travel in better circles than I've always done.

      By the way, in the first US Census, precisely one state reported no slaves, namely Massachusetts.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: RE: """prove""" that it is racism

        And of course you have not met any racists above the Mason-Dixon line

        Indeed. For any neuro-normal person growing up in the US, of whatever background, it's probably impossible to avoid internalizing some racist reactions. They're systemic in the culture. Many, perhaps most, people make a good-faith effort to recognize and compensate for those reactions. Many others do not, and some positively revel in them.

        People of the latter sort are distributed across the country. It's not hard to find proudly-racist assholes in Alaska and Hawaii, or any of the other parts of the modern US, regardless of their participation or lack thereof in the US Civil War. The South does not have a monopoly on racism.

        For that matter, the Old South doesn't even seem to be outpacing the Northeast for racism and other forms of antisocial sentiment. I know the Southern Policy Law Center is controversial in some circles, but I think most people would agree that minimizing the presence of "hate groups" in the South is not part of their core mission. But if you consult their new Hate Map, you'll note that they show at least one hate group in most states (exceptions are Vermont, North Dakota, Wyoming, and New Mexico1), and they're pretty consistently distributed across the Old South, the Northeast, and the Rust Belt, particularly when you account for population density.

        That said, sociologists, cultural anthropologists, and political scientists have marked some interesting differences in the predominant forms of racism in different regions in the US; but this post is too long already to get into that.

        1New Mexico is a bit surprising. While the dominant "Three Cultures" ethnic mix in NM has a very long history, in US terms (Española is the second-oldest surviving European settlement in the US), and is now relatively stable, you'd think someone would still have managed to scrape together enough malcontents to form a hate group.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE: """prove""" that it is racism

          My primary source suggests that racism can be overcome in the American West. Well, within limits.

          "All right, we'll give some land to the n*ggers and the chinks, but we DON'T WANT THE IRISH."

          - Blazing Saddles

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: RE: """prove""" that it is racism

            Blazing Saddles - making fun of racism by characters being blatantly racist.

            "That's Hedley!"

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: RE: """prove""" that it is racism

      yeah, proving racism, or any OTHER kind of discrimination, is difficult. At best you can show "being treated unfairly" which is difficult to show as racism unless there are many others treated like that.

      Maybe the bosses just didn't like THAT guy. Assuming he wasn't an irritating activist that went around with the proverbial chip on shoulder, and an attitude of "you're discriminating" at every opportunity (there ARE people like that, "quota hires" they're often jokingly referred to as), then it's unfortunate that reasonable doubt works against you.

      On the other hand, I've been discriminated against also, for different reasons (and in one specific case, it was resolved when I went through proper channels). All it takes is "that one person" who wields power and does NOT like you. Or maybe it's just some jerk in the office that's easily irritated (by you) who CONSTANTLY complains to the boss, about YOU. And if that jerk happens to schmooze with the bosses all of the time... that's the kind of interoffice politics that makes me NOT want to work for large companies at any rate.

      There are SO many ways to discriminate, some of them "soft". Age. Sex. Politics. Race. Lifestyle. Whatever. The good looking or even the ugly one. Someone who's perceived as fat, or skinny, or sweats too much, or eats too many onions. And there's the really smart guy who keeps saying 'no' all the time, instead of going with the flow and jumping when the boss says jump, and letting bad things happen with a shoulder shrug and "not my fault" attitude (the 'no' guy usually gets enemies, the 'shrug' guy keeps his job...). And so on.

      Discrimination takes many forms, but if there's a racist/sexist/bigot/whatever in the building, there will be more than one observer, and not just at the work place. It'll be hard to prove, but still possible. Bigotry is kind of like a lifestyle. It'll show up in LOTS of places.

      All I want to happen out of this is for the truth to be known.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: RE: """prove""" that it is racism

        While I find it hard to believe that you have ever rubbed anyone up the wrong way at work bob, I think you ought to draw a clearer distinction between discrimination based on protected characteristics, which is illegal, discrimination based on irrelevant characteristics which is unfair (and may be illegal if it correlates too closely with a protected characteristic) and discrimination based on relevant characteristics which is the purpose of a hiring and promotion policy in the first place.

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Facebook

    The only option ->

  13. lucki bstard

    The other option..

    Maybe the US could implement a wall around themselves (physical and electrical) and not allow any traffic in or out for the next 50 years.

    It would solve so many issues and stop the US toxic cultural pollution the rest of the world has to endure.

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