In the midst of the celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, I came across a story that reminds me that there is still work to be done. Fashion powerhouse Louis Vuitton is being sued by employee Oliver Koffi who claims his boss at a flagship store acted racist toward him, the UK Mirror reports.
Koffi, who works as a sales associate at a London branch, says his former supervisor told him, “Black people are slaves who eat dirt off the floor.” Koffi alleges the words came as he was packing a pair of shoes for a customer in the stock room last December. His manager also reportedly referred to President Barak Obama as a “puppet” and said America would be better with Miss. Piggy as president since “Muslim people…don’t eat pork.”
In his lawsuit, Koffi says the manager’s tone was “cold and serious” while he made the comments. Three other staff members were also present at the time, it claims. “His reference to slavery in this day and age with regards to Black people is quite frankly revolting,” Koffi stated in the suit. “All of his comments were derogatory and a clear illustration of his prejudices toward other races and religions.” Koffi says he confronted his boss following the statement. “I told him that I was offended by his comment. He did not deny making the comment. He apologized and claimed it was a ‘joke.’ It was not a joke at all.”
In addition, Koffi says his manager asked him questions about his nationality and usually referred to customers by race. The manager also remarked that Louis Vuitton products were bad because they were “made in China,” the suit says. A spokesman for the company says that “Louis Vuitton has a zero-tolerance policy to harassment of any kind.” The organization also investigated the incident and “the manager in question no longer works with the company.” When you hear stories like this, how far have we really come? Let me know your thoughts by taking the poll below.