Via the New York Daily News:
A Manhattan jury awarded $280,000 to a black woman who was repeatedly called the N-word by her boss — who’s also black, and claimed he used the vile epithet as an endearing term.
“My voice was heard today,” Brandi Johnson said Tuesday, after the eight-person federal jury awarded her $30,000 in punitive damages on top of the $250,000 it had already ordered STRIVE and its founder, Rob Carmona, to pay her in the discrimination case.
Carmona’s voice was also heard by the jury — on a damning tape recording Johnson had made of her boss chewing her out in March 2012.
In the tape, Carmona repeatedly uses the racial slur against the 38-year-old single mother of two and a co-worker.
“I’m not saying, using the term ‘n—–’ derogatory, ’cause sometimes it’s good to know when to act like a n—–. But y’all act like n—–s all the time,” Carmona said.
When Johnson told her boss she was offended by his language, he said, “You can be offended, but it’s true.”
“You and her act like n—–s. And n—–s let their feelings rule them,” he said.
Carmona didn’t dispute making the comments, but maintained that he was doling out “tough love.”
He testified that he was trying to tell Johnson she was “too emotional,” wrapped up in “the negative aspects of human nature.”
Carmona, who is black and of Puerto Rican descent, said the word has “multiple contexts” in the black and Latino communities, and not all of them bad.
He said the word can sometimes be used to convey love, and used the example of someone saying, “This is my n—-.”
“That means my boy, I love him, or whatever,” Carmona said. Asked if he meant to indicate love when he called Johnson the word, he said, “Yes, I did.”
Johnson says she was fired from her job after talking to higher ups about how she was talked to, and after complaining about the alleged sexual harassment of a STRIVE graduate.
This is interesting, considering a case of this nature involving a white manager calling a black employee the “n” word would be a no-brainer. This jury, at least, sees no difference in black on black use of it versus white on black.