A Beauty Pageant, Tough Skin and Chicago’s Rizza Cadillac (Who buys a Caddy anyway?)

rizza caddy

Here I was writing about the 14th Amendment for Constitution Day, shit goes down with the Miss America pageant and today, today I get a press release from CAIR Chicago about a dealership discriminating against Muslim employees:

In the lawsuit, the EEOC alleges that Adam Adawy, Medhat Adawy, and Mohammed El-Hajjami were subjected to harassment from managers at the Rizza Cadillac dealership from January 2007 through November 2009. The harassment included the regular use of offensive slurs, including “terrorist,” “sand n—-r,” and “Hezbollah,” as well as mocking and insulting references to the Qur’an and the manner in which Muslims pray.

Sadly this isn’t something new, I saw this regularly.  My post from Constitution Day starts with a story of a Syrian girl I helped, who was being bullied in her public school, by teachers!  Since 2001 discrimination in the workplace against Middle Eastern, Muslims, South Asians (MEMSA) community has been rising.  If you are experiencing this type of work environment, go check this link to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunities Commission).

Companies loose so much money because of stupidity like this, plus they loose a lot of goodwill in the community.  Unless you live out in the boonies where only racists ignorant folk are your primary customers, business owners and managers really need to understand that this sort of hostile work environment or behavior needs to be rooted out.  The first way to address the issue is to understand the law and then to humanize your employees to each other and then to have a zero tolerance policy toward any form of derogatory talk (boy’s locker room convo’s).  What if a customer who happened to be the butt of the employees conversations overheard?

The same racism that comes out when an Indian American woman wins a beauty pageant, and don’t get me misquoted here, I think these pageants are useless, also carries over in the way people think and treat other people who they perceive as not being American.  Thats why we, minorities, get up-in-arms about this stuff.  It has a direct impact on our means to support our families, earn a livelihood and pursue our American dream.

Obviously this isn’t new, people say “well just grow thicker skin.  The Jews went through it, the Irish went through it.”  Yet, how little do we remember about history.  There was a time when Jews weren’t considered American, and still many people treat Jews as outsiders today, but there was a concerted effort to “Americanize Jews.”  It didn’t happen just because Christian White folks felt that Jews had jumped through enough of the hoops to be considered “part of the team.”  There was a concerted effort through media and the radio to change Americans perception of Jews in America during the 1940’s.  But the same sort of attitude that perceived Jews negatively also kept them from owning houses, conducting business, working in certain fields, attending schools.

I am not surprised by the allegations against RIzza, in fact, just these past few days a court in California found that Abercrombie had discriminated against a Muslim girl when she was let go for wearing the headscarf.  Yes, she wasn’t wearing one when hired, but since faith isn’t static so goes the hijab.  Anyway, this is a great response by a soldier to anti-Muslim attitude and we can all learn from his example.

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