Canadian Rachel Brothers was fired from her job at the Black Educators Association in 2006 because, apparently, she “wasn’t black enough,” the Chronicle Herald reported.
But the question of “blackness” is fraught with discriminatory danger, and a recent decision from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission demonstrated the problems with “colorist” thinking.
After Brothers took the case through the Human Rights Commission, her old employer was ordered to pay her $11,000 in damages last month, the Herald reported.
In a decision released at the end of July, Donald Murray, the chairman of the Board of Inquiry at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, determined that the biracial Brothers had been undermined and discriminated against because of her light skin.
Most of the abuse came from Catherine Collier, the woman Brothers beat to get her job in the first place, and who Brothers then hired to work as her subordinate.
“Ms. Brothers was undermined in part because she was younger than, and not as black as, Ms. Collier thought Ms. Brothers should be,” Murray wrote. “In Ms. Collier’s eyes, Ms. Brothers was not really black enough.”
When Brothers was let go in 2006, Collier got her old job, and Murray noted that Collier’s insubordination was supported by the association’s administration.
Eight years later, Murray wrote, Collier still displayed “a continuing, petty vindictiveness” toward Brothers that he found “appalling.”
Discrimination may have lost her a job, but Brothers said she was pleased with Murray’s decision.
“I don’t think there is anything else to say, the facts are the facts and I am happy with the decision,” Brothers told the Toronto Star.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
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