More than a dozen North Carolina amusement park employees walked off the job earlier this week after they said their concerns regarding an allegedly racist AF park manager were ignored. Now, park officials are denying that they received the complaints and are criticizing the walkout because—*checks notes*—the park was really busy at the time the protest was staged.
Now-former Frankie’s Fun Park employees Jordan Guine, Dajah Austin and Alyssa Faustia spoke to WSOC-TV 9 about how the Huntersville, N.C., park wasn’t so fun for Black people who worked there.
“The manager said I had nappy hair like Whitney Houston so he called me ‘nappy-head,’” Faustia said. “This manager also said we looked like a bunch of monkeys getting ready to get whipped.”
See, already I can say that Faustia, who said she worked at Frankie’s for more than two years, had more patience than me. First of all, I’m ready to throw hands the second the word “nappy” comes out of a white person’s mouth—it’s the other n-word the melanin-nots aren’t allowed to say as far as I’m concerned.
Secondly, NO TF HE DIDN’T TRY TO COME FOR WHITNEY HOUSTON AND HER GLORIOUS HAIR!
Lastly, the day a white man I work for refers to me as a monkey getting whipped is the day I get led out of my former place of employment in handcuffs while said white man gets led out on a stretcher.
Anyway, Guine and Austin shared similar experiences.
Guine, who has locs, said that when he was being interviewed for the job, the unidentified manager asked him about how he was going to wear his hair on the job and even called his hairstyle ghetto.
All three said that they had shared their experiences with other park managers but nothing was done about the issue—so they tried another approach.
Employees wrote down their negative experiences on notecards, and Faustia said they spread them across the break room table.
“Then Jordan called the GM to the break room to talk about it, and he just said, ‘If you guys walk out, there’s no coming back.’ So we all clocked out and walked out,” Faustia explained. She claimed more than a dozen other employees walked out with them.
“I was really in tears because it’s like, wow, they really do not care about us,” Austin said.
“It was a pretty good job, so it was tough,” Guine said. “I had to walk out fighting my tears, and I’m not a guy that cries. It was a little painful seeing nothing would change.”
“Basically, we all came together as a team and planned this walk-out because we all realized that there was this one manager who made all of us uncomfortable at least once, whether it was sexually, racially or personally, and we finally decided it’s time to speak up about it,” she said. “With all the racism and sexism going on in the world, we thought that maybe our company would understand.”
She went on to say that “unfortunately, our words got twisted by some people who were not of color, and the company saw us as just doing it out of spite,” and “showed us no emotion whatsoever.”
Of course, park officials appear to have taken the typical approach of whiteness to dealing with accusations of racism, which is to deny any knowledge of it and instead complain about how inconvenient the protest was.
More from WSOC-TV:
Channel 9 reached out to Frankie’s Fun Park for a comment and spoke with owner Doug Godley and Chief Operations Officer Jason Buckley. While they’re both based in different cities, they said they both visit the Charlotte location regularly.
“We never heard one complaint of any of this before they walked out on Saturday,” Godley told Channel 9 on the phone. “They never contacted our human resources department, not one complaint.”
Godley said he’s spoken with the management staff at the Charlotte location. While they deny the allegations, he said any member of management would have been willing to have a conversation about the claims, had they known sooner.
“We would have been glad to have any kind of discussion, meeting, anything at the appropriate time. But to do that when there’s a park full of guests, it isn’t the time to have the discussion,” Godley said.
“I personally think it would have been handled differently had they come to us sooner or not stopped in the middle of their shift to protest about these claims.” Buckley said.
Listen: People don’t walk away from paying jobs for no reason, and the fact that Godley and Buckley are really out here denouncing the former employees for not waiting until the park was empty to stage their walkout shows they have no idea how protests work.
You don’t get to make Black people feel unwelcome and then complain when they leave.