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During slavery and even as sharecroppers, many blacks spent their lives picking cotton. Those workers were often faced with brυtal beαtings and repulsive work conditions, but even though it’s now 2014, workers at a Tennessee cotton gin are alleging that they encountered racism on the job.
African-American employees at Atkinson Cotton Warehouse allege that the way they are treated brings to mind how cotton pickers were treated during Jim Crow and slavery.
Antonio Harris and Marrio Mangrum say their manager actually yearned for the good ‘ol days when whites had complete control over blacks. They say their manager would pine away for the day when whites could “hang” blacks for drinking from the wrong water fountain.
“He would be like, ‘You need to think like a white man,’” Mangrum recalled, according to WREG.
“He pulled his pants down in front of us and told us to kiss his white tail,” Harris said.
After dealing with months of abυse, Harris says he finally recorded his attempt to use a water fountain at the warehouse.
“I need to put a sign here that says ‘white people only,’” the supervisor says in the recording provided by Harris.
Harris was also told “you are not white” when he tried to use the microwave.
The supervisor also discusses how much he dislikes race mixing.
“Back then, nobody thought anything about it,” he recalls. “Now everybody is made to where to think it’s bad.”
“Put your sign on the wall then, because I am feeling to drink it,” Harris asks. “What would they do when they catch me drinking your water?”
“That’s when we hang you,” the supervisor adds.
The men filed discrimination lawsuits with the EEOC and the agency is reportedly mediating a settlement between the men and the cotton gin’s owner.