A Fox 5 news anchor is scheduled to appear in court to defend his use of the N-Word in a meeting. Apparently, he was punished for using the dreaded word while his African American co-workers were not.
Tom Burlington, a white, Philadelphia Fox 29 news anchor, is the latest in a line of n-word ramblers, including Michael Richards (Seinfeld’s Kramer) and Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Here’s the twist: While Richards and Schlessinger were tried in the court of public opinion, Burlington is actually going to court on Jan. 18. In fact, Burlington is suing his former employer. He claims that he shouldn’t have been fired for using the n-word in a staff meeting, when three African-American employees who said or wrote it in the workplace went unpunished.
In a 2007 team meeting about an upcoming report on the NAACP’s ceremonial “burial” of the n-word, Burlington asked, “Does this mean we can finally say the word ‘n—er’?” The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Burlington told a colleague … he did not necessarily expect her to use the word in her story,” but “he thought that doing so gave the story more credence.”
According to court transcripts and depositions, Burlington also told former co-anchor Joyce Evans that someone called her a “n—er b–ch” after the infamous staff meeting.
Burlington contends that his remarks were made out of context and his utterance of the dreaded word was used in a question, not in a derogatory fashion or with malice. Judge R. Barclay Surrick seems to agree. In denying Fox’s dismissal request, Surrick said that federal courts “had not determined whether a double standard, if found in this case, would violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” which deals with equal opportunity in employment.
He has a valid point, but why do white people WANT to use the word so much? None of us should be really surprised by any of this period.