By Dr. Sinclair Grey III
Let’s face it – whoever thinks that racism has ended because there’s a Black President in the White House isn’t playing with a full deck. In addition to this, whoever dares to say that sexism and sexual harassment has ended in the workplace is obviously living on another planet. The truth of the matter is that racism, sexism, and sexual harassment happens on a daily basis. To go a step further, with people becoming more acceptable of interracial dating, there are still many people who are against this trend and not afraid to voice their opinion.
Case in point – NFL San Francisco 49er’s player Lawrence Okoye’s wife Philippa, 27 who is white, has faced an onslaught of abuse in the workplace. Because of her marriage to Lawrence, a British Olympic athlete, Philippa has endured many comments from fellow coworkers about being married to a ‘Black’ man.
Philippa’s boss even sneered at her at their deVere Group office in Manhattan.
She has filed charges in a federal lawsuit. According to the NY Post, the lawsuit alleges that her boss said the following, “He’s probably f–ked the whole cheerleading squad by now.” The movies Wolf of Wall Street and Boiler Room is what Philippa’s boss was ‘supposedly’ trying to establish. In case you’re not familiar with these movies, ‘in those films, employees of male-dominated investment firms used highly offensive language and engaged in extremely inappropriate conduct, including sexual harassment and drug and alcohol use in the workplace.’
In October 2013, Philippa was the only woman to work at the Midtown office as a senior investment advisor. That’s right; she was the only woman in the office with 21 male co-workers. She heard vicious remarks as to why a white woman should not date a Black man. In addition to that, she was told not to change her last name because people would presume she was Black with the last name, Okoye.
She complained about her treatment, and was demoted and later fired. One of men named in the lawsuit Benjamin Anderson said he didn’t want women in the office. Even though the lawsuit can’t repair the damage done emotionally, it can hold the employer accountable for their actions.
A spokesman for deVere said, “These false and incredulous allegations made by a disgruntled former employee are vigorously and categorically denied. We are shocked and dismayed that a legitimate employment termination has sparked such a malicious response.”
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is an activist, speaker, writer, author, life coach, and host of The Sinclair Grey Show heard on Mondays at 2pm on WAEC Love 860am (iHeart Radio and Tune In). Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey