Christine Turner had been working at a Detroit restaurant for ten days before she was let go over a dispute over two words, “light skin.”
According to the Detroit News, Turner was working at Green Dot when she used the term to a Black co-worker. A white employee decided to join the discussion and used the term to refer to herself.
Apparently, there was an argument between the two female employees over the rights of the term. Turner argued that the terminology is used among the Black community.
“I just laughed it off and didn’t think anything else because I, myself, am light skin,” said Turner.
But Turner found out the next day that she was fired for discrimination by a manager at the eatery. The white employee complained to management about their argument.
“He said, ‘Can’t you see how a white person would be offended?’ and I looked at him dead in his face and said, ‘No,’ ” said Turner, referring to her manager.
Luckily Turner had a second job, and the owner there persuaded her to protest against the firing, calling it unfair.
“When you’re Black, you try not to unintentionally pull the race card,” she said.
Detroit Solidarity Movement and By Any Means Necessary, two local activist groups, assisted Turner in organizing a demonstration outside her former workplace.
The eatery reached out to Turner to have a meeting but refused to let her attorney attend; she declined their offer.
Colleen Robar, a spokeswoman for Green Dot Stables, said in a statement emailed to The News: “We value our employees and their privacy. Our policy is not to share information about our personnel.” Racial jokes are a violation of the restaurant’s policies, which is outlined in its handbook.
The former employee wants an apology, not her job back.
“To take a policy that was out in place to protect minorities and people of color and use it against a person of color because a white person was offended is a perfect example of white supremacy,” Turner told local station WDIV.