Thursday, June 21, 2007

Silver is not a protected race

Mobius just won a huge victory here in Chicago regarding a national convenience/retail store chain that was accused of racial discrimination by three street performers. The plaintiffs allege that when they would go into the store they would be followed around by employees, harassed and accused of shoplifting, and asked to leave the store because they were black.

That's all well and good, except the plaintiffs are crazy.

No, really, they're crazy. One is on anti-psychotics because he has a documented paranoid personality disorder. Another has some sort of emotional disorder which causes him to weep uncontrollably (think body-racking sobs) during testimony-- other people's testimony, not his. The third may not actually be crazy, but he has a chip on his shoulder a mile high and it was apparent to everyone (including the jury) that he was looking for a fight every time he entered the store.

But hey, even crazy people could be discriminated against because of their race, so I give them the benefit of a doubt. Except, the strange thing about racial discrimination is that people have to know you are black to discriminate against you because of it.

And these people are silver. And gold. And bronze.

Yes, our dear street performers paint themselves and their clothes head to toe in metallic paint, and then pretend to be statues on the streets of Chicago. Every now and again one pops to life, much to the delight (or fear, whatever) of people passing by. When their shift ends each night, they travel en masse into the retail store (usually between the hours of midnight and 2am), dragging a 5-gallon bucket full of coins behind them. Once inside the store, they are "watched and followed" on a regular basis, and have been asked to show a receipt when leaving the store with their purchases if they did not buy them at the front register.

They sued for 100 million dollars.

The jury was not impressed. They were out for less than an hour (including lunch) before returning a verdict of not-guilty on all counts.

And now, a fun and interactive poll! Leave your vote in the comments section!
For which reason do you think the jury did not believe the claims of the street performers?
A. Despite their claims of continual harassment over the course of 3 years, the performers shopped at the store 2-3 times a week, and three days during the trial.
B. The performers testified that they thought the chain was a great place, and overall does a great job of promoting racial equality, and it was just a couple of renegade employees who were racist, despite the fact that they were alleging that this store had a store-wide policy of racial discrimination.
C. The tin man started waving his bottle of anti-psychotic drugs around while on the stand and screaming, "It's these pills! These pills affect me!"
D. All of the above.


Melanie said...

I'm going to go with D... all of the above. Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.

E said...

I'm going with wait! False! The answer is False! Wait! I can't decide! It's these pills that you put me on! (Uncontrollable weeping).

Why's everybody looking at me? Quit looking at me! Stop reading!

So was the answer True?