Think we’re living in a "post-racial" society? Maybe not in Walnut Creek, or at least among workers at a local auto service shop

Racial jokes and use of the n-word were apparently business as usual at the Midas auto service shop on North Main Street, according to the Contra Costa Times and KTVU.

Donovan McBride, a white employee, who has an African-American wife and children, complained to his manager and to the human resources department about the slurs and use of the n-word. His complaints were laughed off or ignored, he told KTVU. After a co-worker hung a noose in his personal area over a toolbox, McBride took it down.

KTVU reported:

“It wasn’t easily visible to customers, but the noose hanging over a tool box was in plain sight of employees. The racially charged symbol elicited a strong feeling in McBride.

” ‘Hatred. [I] don’t want to come to work. It’s a hostile work environment. It takes me back to slavery days,’ McBride said. ‘Nooses were meant to hang black people.’ “

After the noose went back up, and the manager again refused to intervene, McBride took his complaints to KTVU.

Now the owner of this and 20 other Bay Area Midas shops is investigating, and agreed such displays of prejudice should not be tolerated.

Apparently, the racial slurs at the Midas shop became worse after Barack Obama was elected president and then after controversy broke out last month over a white police officer’s arrest of Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Speaking of the Gates controversy, my question about whether racial profiling takes place in the East Bay suburbs generated quite a bit of discussion. My post contained excerpts of a Diablo magazine interview with San Ramon’s Mayor Abram Wilson, who said that he believes he had been unfairly stopped while driving because of his race. He added that he knew of other African-American men in the community who had been targeted for police stops, most likely because of their race.

15 thoughts on “Think we’re living in a "post-racial" society? Maybe not in Walnut Creek, or at least among workers at a local auto service shop

  1. Post-racial, my a$$. A great deal of strife involving Obama's policies are racially motivated.

    All of these a$$holes should be fired and replaced.


  2. If this kind of thing is happening in the Bay Area, one can only imagine what's happening in other parts of the country where the racism may be even more entrenched or shrugged off by those in authority.

    It's sad that some people would let their prejudices get the upper hand and poison their relationships with the world at large and with their own co-workers.

    I hope the harassed co-worker finds a workplace where he's appreciated and not harassed.

    And in the meantime, til his co-workers get a clue, I know where NOT to take my car for service.


  3. The owner of those shops should fire the manager and the human resources people. Can't believe that in this day and age, a manager and a human resources person thought they could JUST ignore racial slurs. Not only are their actions wrong–it's their jobs to protect employees from a hostile workplace–they are stupid. I see big lawsuit that this guy who complained could win.


  4. “If you work in a male blue collar enviroment then thats what you get”

    No matter what kind of ridiculous justification you apply to an obviously racist situation, the fact remains that this man's colleagues intentionally set out to make his work environment intolerable. It's disgusting and like someone else here wrote, it's clear where NOT to take your car for servicing.


  5. If you avoid everywhere that has people who indulge in such talk then pretty soon you will be living in a cave…luckily I'm not so thin skinned.


  6. One can only wonder why Thud claims not be bothered by racism …. but seems to be bothered enough by Obama to call him publically a racist?


  7. Maybe because he directly impinges on all aspects of many peoples lives…unlike somebody fixing my car I expect our leaders to be held to a higher standard…perhaps you don't…as long as its obama.


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