Are Racially Derogatory Names Allowed?

A man claims he was fired because others complained about his race, calling him racially derogatory names.

Obviously, if you were a white man complaining about a black supervisor, and you complained that you didn’t want to answer to an African American, you would probably be fired. If you used the N-word or some other racially derogatory word, you would also get in trouble.

But we see evidence that the rules don’t work both ways equally. Thus, the Daily Caller reports, “Lawsuit: Black D.C. Gov. Workers Got ‘Honkey’ Boss Fired” in a story about a white male, Christopher Lyons.

Lyons claims in an explosive but little noticed federal lawsuit that he was fired as a District of Columbia Department of Public Works supervisor because black employees did not want to work for a “honkey,” as they repeatedly called him. Lyons says he was ousted for blowing the whistle on on fraud and waste at the DPW.

Lyons’ complaint against the DPW, which handles trash collection and enforces parking regulations in the District, includes a two page chart describing all the racial harassment he allegedly endured from black workers — as the DPW’s director, also black, looked the other way.

Lyons finally got the boot after just eight months on the job without explanation. But one employee certainly wished him a bon voyage. The day he was fired somebody posted a sign on Lyons’ door that said, “Get out white boy.”

There are two different claims here. One is that Lyons was fired without cause. The other is that Lyons was racially harassed at work. It is not clear to me that anyone is even disputing his claims about the racially derogatory remarks.

The District’s rebuttal to the discrimination claim was essentially, “Even if Lyons was called a honkey that is not why he got fired.”

Or as D.C. Assistant Attorney General Sarah Knapp argued in court papers: “If an impermissible factor was used in taking an employment action against the Plaintiff, the District would have taken the same employment action as was taken against Plaintiff in the absence of the use of the alleged impermissible factor.”

Liberals have put in place human rights commissions and hostile work environment laws. Are these things going to be used equally for all? Or are racially derogatory names only a problem when white people use them?