The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against a restaurant in Wisconsin whose managers decorated with images of a noose, a Ku Klux Klan hood and other images evocative of racism. The complaint alleges that the owners of Sparx Restaurant and Bar fired Don Miller, a black employee, when he complained about the atmosphere. They said he had "a bad attitude."
The Star Tribune reports:
According to the suit:
Miller arrived for a regular shift and found taped to the cooler a picture of black actor Gary Coleman and a dollar bill that was defaced with a noose around the neck of a black-faced George Washington. Also on the dollar bill were swastikas and the image of a man in a Ku Klux Klan hood.
Sparx's managers told Miller that they had posted the images the evening before and insisted that it was just "a joke."
Miller was fired within weeks of complaining for allegedly having "a bad attitude."
"Sparx bills itself as a 'family restaurant' even as its managers posted imagery which evokes shameful memories of racially motivated physical attacks and lynchings," John Hendrickson, regional attorney for the Chicago district of the EEOC, said in a statement Wednesday announcing the lawsuit.
"Sparx then made a bad situation worse by firing the man who had the guts to stand up to it," Hendrickson added. "The EEOC will stand up for people like Dion Miller."
That's far from the best "joke" we've heard this week, and we're pretty sure the fired black employee wasn't alone in failing to laugh. Being surrounded by racist paraphernalia should be enough to make customers of all races lose their appetites.
Read more at the Star Tribune.