Even as Whites leave southern California, the “shakedown” continues. According to the LA Times, California’s biggest lawsuits over alleged workplace discrimination are now Black vs Latino.
Often the claims in these lawsuits sound fictional, and many Americans have come to see discrimination lawsuits by Blacks as “the racial lottery.”
“They said it in English — they said it in Spanish all the time,” recalled Leon Simmons, a Black father of four with a deep voice and gentle manner. “When they look you right in the eye and call you the N-word to your face, that’s dehumanizing.”
Thirty-two miles away at a Moreno Valley warehouse, it was the same story. Another Black laborer, Benjamin Watkins, described how a Latina co-worker called to him: “‘Hey, monkey! Yeah, you!’ and waved a banana in her hand. A group of women burst out laughing.”
In America’s long history, harassment and discrimination against Black workers has usually involved white perpetrators — and that remains the case today. But with the rapid growth of the Latino population, now at 19% in the U.S. and 39% in California, Latinos form the majority in many low-wage workplaces. And instances of anti-Black bias and colorism among them is drawing new scrutiny, even as activists in the two communities forge alliances over criminal justice and economic development.