2008-04-09

I HOPE HE WAS FIRED FOR OTHER REASONS AND HIS MARRIAGE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS FIRING

Who am I kidding? That very well could be the case. I will openly admit I was scared to death to have my husband put a picture of me and him on his desk at his job he was working at the time. The office was very conservative and very white. There were no blacks in his office with professional positions. They all worked clerical or customer service. That was one of the first things he noticed when he took the job. He kept wondering, were they not able to find skilled, educated black people in a major metropolitan area? The company he worked for wasn't small either, it was a very big global media company at the time (the division he worked was later sold off to another company). Thankfully he no longer works there, and I knew his boss and co-workers before he worked at his current job, and know they had no issue with his marriage. They might have an issue with him wearing Iron Maiden t-shirts to work though on days there are no clients to see :)

If the accusations are true against the College VP, it goes to prove my point, that racist folks don't see "special" black folks or black women. This man's wife does not fit the type that is considered a "Mammy", but the "Aunt Jemima" talked flowed easily from his mouth (supposedly).

I found this story over at Ebony Women and Ivory Men.


JURY SHOULD HEAR COACH'S CLAIMS HE WAS FIRED FOR INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE: COURT

BY THOMAS ZAMBITO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, April 2nd 2008, 4:00 AM
Ex-Iona coach Craig Holcomb says he was axed over interracial marriage to Pamela Gauthier. Theodorakis/News


A white former Iona College hoops coach scored big Tuesday in his two-year battle to prove he was fired because his wife is black.

The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan said a jury should hear Craig Holcomb's claims that top-ranking officials at the Westchester school allowed racists to oust him from his job as top assistant to axed Iona basketball coach Jeff Ruland.

The court said a lower-court judge was wrong to toss out Holcomb's discrimination claim and sent the case back to trial.

In a first-of-its-kind decision, the court ruled that even though Holcomb is white, he still can make a claim that he was discriminated against because of his association with a black woman.

Holcomb accused Iona Vice President and former Athletic Director Richard Petriccione of repeatedly using the N-word to refer to black players and of calling a Nigerian employee a "jungle bunny."

In 2000, Holcomb says, he asked Petriccione if he'd received the invitation for his wedding to Pamela Gauthier, an African-American. According to Holcomb, Petriccione responded: "You're really going to marry that Aunt Jemima? You really are a n----r lover."


Petriccione also drew a racially tinged comparison between his players and those at rival Fordham, Holcomb said.

"Everybody at Fordham thinks they have these good black kids and Iona has n-----s," Petriccione said, according to Holcomb's complaint.

Petriccione has denied making the remarks.


School officials say they were "extremely perplexed" by the court's decision and claim that Holcomb was fired for poor performance.

"Diversity is one of the tenets upon which Iona's foundation and history is built," the school said in a statement. "The college is firm in its resolve to vigorously defend itself in this case."

Holcomb was fired in 2004 after refusing to resign and now teaches physical education at a Westchester high school.

"He's very happy to have his chance to have his day in court so that he can let the truth be told," said Holcomb's lawyer Jeffrey Udell.

tzambito@nydailynews.com

Another source with some additional information:

COURT: DISCRIMINATION LAW COVER WHITES WHO MARRY BLACKS


By Kenneth J. St. Onge
April 3, 2008

Anti-discrimination laws extend workplace protections to employees who have personal relationships with those of another race, a federal court in New York has ruled.

In a first of its kind decision, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that lower federal courts were wrong in ruling that a white basketball coach fired from Iona College was not discriminated against because of his marriage to a black woman.

Former assistant coach Craig Holcomb, who was fired from the New Rochelle, N.Y. college in 2004, alleged in a lawsuit that the school fired him because he was married to a black woman.

He was one of two assistant coaches – the other of whom was black – fired by the school. At the time he was fired, Holcomb was an assistant to Jeff Ruland, a white former NBA All Star and Iona Alumnus whose long-time girlfriend was a black woman and friend of Holcomb's wife.

In court papers, Holcomb showed evidence that an athletic director and a vice president at the school – two of the five officials responsible for firing him – used racial epithets and took other discriminatory actions against African-Americans.

Of central concern in the case was decision to ban Holcomb's wife, Ruland's girlfriend and high school recruits – most of whom were black – from alumni booster parties. Holcomb contended the move was part of a pattern of discrimination by school officials, one which ultimately cost him his job.

The school, however, contended that the firing of Holcomb and another assistant was due to their job performance. It also said that it had wanted to fire Ruland – the highest-paid employee of the school – but felt it would be too costly given his contract.


As far as the high school recruits who were barred from booster events, Iona officials said it was in response to its reading of NCAA rules that it claimed prevent colleges from allowing the practice.

The court agreed with Holcomb that "a reasonable jury could determine that Holcomb was fired in part because he was married to a black woman."

It remanded the case to one of two lower courts which had previously ruled in favor of Iona.