the south shall rise again

Your Post-Racial America: Civil Rights Hero’s Grandson Suing For Constantly Being Called ‘N-Word’ At Work

Do you remember how you cried and cried during Obama’s victory speech, particularly in the part about thousand-year-old civil rights hero Ann Nixon Cooper casting her vote for one Barry Q. Bamz? You can watch it right above, because we at Wonket are Not Afraid to Be Servicey!

Now, how would you feel if that civil rights hero’s grandson, Michael Cooper, was filing a lawsuit against his used car lot employers for constantly calling him the “n-word,” and threatening to shove his teeth down his throat for showing them in the presence of a white man, and paying other employees cash under the table to racially harass him so he would quit, and ordering him to tell other people that he was indeed the boss’s n-word? Which he did? And that the other employees had testified they were being paid cash to harass him? Would you feel like Michael Cooper was cloggin’ up the courts with his frivolous lawsuits? Would you feel like Michael Cooper should have been grateful he had a job in the first place? What if they’d already fired him and he didn’t have a job? And then when he went to get unemployment, they fought him on it, saying he’d been let go for being “untruthful”? And what if the employer’s opening salvo after being served with Cooper’s lawsuit was to defame him in court as some kind of disgusting disability fraudster criminal, even though he wasn’t? Who is the defendant’s attorney, James O’Keefe? Congratulations, America, Everything Is Terrible!

Perhaps the saddest thing about reading through both plaintiff Michael Cooper’s and defendant Michael Bell’s court filings is how very fucking long Cooper put up with the (ALLEGED — sure, why not) demeaning and humiliating treatment, once even going along with it when Bell took him to meet Bell’s daughter’s softball coach, and then once there, said, “Tell [the coach] you’re my nigger.” Cooper did. The coach did not laugh. Would you have laughed? You would not have laughed, presumably, because you are not a weird broken 1960s southern movie sheriff.

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And how smart is Michael Bell to (ALLEGEDLY) pay other employees cash under the table to racially harass Michael Cooper so he would quit (that’s per those employees’ sworn testimony)? Wouldn’t that seem to, we don’t know, OPEN HIM UP TO A HUGE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT? Is it possible — we are just asking here! — that Michael Bell is a fucking moron? Like, maybe it would have been a lot cheaper to just fire him and then pay the extra in unemployment insurance?

We’ve hosted a couple of the filings below; they’re not hilarious, like Paula Deen’s brother Bubba’s bourbon in a Styrofoam cup. They’re just America. Where’s a targeted drone strike when you need one?

[Defendants/Plaintiff]

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About the author

Rebecca is the editor and publisher of Wonkette. She is the author of Commie Girl in the O.C., a collection of her OC Weekly columns, and the former editor of LA CityBeat. Go visit her Commie Girl Collective, and follow her on the Twitter!

View all articles by Rebecca Schoenkopf

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108 comments

  1. actor212

    It's a good thing he didn't show his dick in the presence of a white man, say in the men's room, or Republicans would be accused of trying to shove stuff down someone's throat.

    1. James Michael Curley

      I thought I would fake that part so I guessed at the numbers. They sent me to flight school.

  2. edgydrifter

    Being racially harassed by a used car salesman is the definition of hitting rock-bottom.

    1. Boojum

      I just noticed something. On page 18 of Cooper's response, they talk about Bell telling Cooper not to talk about his family. What do you want to bet that he was talking about the civil rights hero grandmother, because she was a civil rights hero?

      This guy is just twisted.

  3. Baconzgood

    So much hate on Wonkette today. I hope the next post is about topless women hugging puppies.

    1. James Michael Curley

      They're working up to the post where the Obama FDA declares bacon is good for you and his poll numbers go through the roof.

    2. Not_So_Much

      Unfortunately, based on this week's new, 'topless women' will probably be a story about nuns that have been beheaded.

  4. Barb

    M&S Auto Parts of Fayetteville, Georgia. I bet they couldn't keep up with the demands for the car horns that blew the "Dixie" tune.

      1. weejee

        Does M&S Auto Partz get special white sale discounts on Viper™ Alarmz from Darrell Issa's beloved former bidness Directed Electronics?

    1. Pragmatist2

      "Dixie" is too left wing for Fayetteville. But demand for the "Horst Weseel Song"is steady.

      1. Chichikovovich

        I wouldn't be surprised to hear: "Sure we like the "Horst Wessel Lied". 'Cause you know what they say: " 'Dixie' is about heritage, not hate." And we're about hate."

      2. An_Outhouse

        I just finished reading "In the Garden of Beasts : Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larson so now I know what the Horst Weseel Song is!

    2. KotBR

      "Y'all got any them mud flaps with the outlines of the nekkid womenz on them? Them's purty."

  5. scvirginia

    The new strategy seems to be: never fire employees or you'll have to pay unemployment. Instead just make their working lives as hellish as possible so they'll quit.

    Sounds like someone didn't factor in the cost of a lawsuit, but maybe he's just assuming the same folks who contributed to Zimmerman's defense fund still have some change between the couch cushions.

    1. sullivanst

      Yeah, dumb-ass rednecks haven't quite learned the legal significance of the phrase "constructive dismissal" yet, although it does shift the burden of proof onto the victim.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      I think it's overdue for a visit by an F5. Someone should sneak a couple of trailer homes onto the lot, as bait.

  6. Doktor Zoom

    I would like to know where this used car dealership is, so that I could send them a polite letter objecting to their (alleged) practices. (Needless to say, I can also see why vagueness on this might be prudent–though it's an emotionally satisfying fantasy, vandalism or harassment is a real risk, and nobody on the "good guys" side should pull any such shitheadedness.)

      1. Chichikovovich

        I think we should make sure the car dealership is undamaged. To judge from the sworn testimony presented in the links, Michael Cooper will be owning it soon.

      1. sullivanst

        That's them alright. They appear to have spent a fair chunk of the money they weren't paying Mr. Cooper on their website, where Mike Bell's face may be seen in the advertising. Just for the curious, of course, not for the violently inclined.

        1. Designer_Radio

          It's always classy to have your sales force dress up like 1930s gangsters. Also, there are more black folk than I imagined, do they all have a similar experience to share, I wonder?

          1. sullivanst

            Considering his opinion of black folk, presumably he's targeting them in his advertising because he considers them easier marks to rip off.

            Not sure I'm convinced they're all actual employees. Less convinced again that they're all still employees.

  7. BaldarTFlagass

    That Plaintiff/Defendant website is unreadable, so I'll just snark off the cuff here. Did this happen in the South? Or Portland?

  8. actor212

    Is it possible — we are just asking here! — that Michael Bell is a fucking moron?

    Lemme see…redneck….used car salesman…Georgia.

    Hey, Editrix…YA THINK????

  9. SorosBot

    State of Georgia. I kind of wish good old General Sherman was still around to take care of those assholes again.

  10. CrunchyKnee

    I bet Bell watches Fox News and likes NASCAR. Sorry to profile, but, sometimes ya just gotta call a dumbass cracker mother fucker a dumbass cracker mother fucker.

  11. SorosBot

    Cooper taking offense at racial harassment from his boss and coworkers shows that he must be the real racist!

  12. ChernobylSoup

    I thought Gene Hackman put an end to all of this unpleasantness.

    Edit: Sorry, that was Mississippi. Carry on, Georgia.

    1. sewollef

      Er, you must be referring to Sidney Poitier then. I believe he fixed them Georgia crackers pretty good. Ray Charles didn't do half bad in the tunez department either.

  13. weejee

    because we at Wonket are Not Afraid to Be Servicey

    Dear Madame Editrix, note that you are now dropping the 'te" from Wonkette. Are we becoming gender neutral? Does this mean we will be able to post without first donning our official Wonkette tutus?

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Mais non! It is merely the adoption of a modified Cindy McCain spelling (Hey Wonkett, seems everything is funny to you) of the site, for ironical purposes.

  14. qwerty42

    What in the world was this Bell guy thinking? I know some crazy old people who think they can get away with this crap, but anyone born after …oh… 1960 knows this offends even the "polite" racists (by reminding them of what racism is and what it looks like to sentient folks). So is this one of his first amendment rights?

  15. Goonemeritus

    I know many African-Americans prefer racism to be out in the open as opposed to the sneaky racism in the North but DAMN.

    1. sewollef

      Not sure I'm with you on that one.

      I once had a genteel, old white southern lady in South Carolina refer — in pleasantly modulated tones — to the civil war [the one that killed at least 600,000 Americans], as, and I quote:

      "Oh, that last little unpleasantness". And followed it up with a reference to the war of 'Northern aggression'.

      Her tone simply oozed bigotry at its worst. I could almost taste the racism in her manner.

      This was June 2005.

  16. prommie

    I have been assured so so so many times by persons who pride themselves on their Southern heritage and residence, that in all their livelong lives they had never ever ever heard the "N-word" uttered, ever, not even once. These assurances came from respectable people of apparent intelligence, and from the state of High Dudgeon these speakers were exhibiting, one would think they were sincerely affronted by what they termed the "racism" inherent in the apparently mythical and bigoted beleif that racism in fact still exists in the South.

    My point being, that judging from all I am told all the time by Southerners in their high dudgeon, I am amazed that any Southerners now alive even know that the N-word exists, let alone know how to pronounce it, what with it having been wiped from the face of the South.

    1. Tyrannically_Joe

      That make sense, because when I visited New Orleans two years ago, it took me all of three days before I heard a young white person say the N-word, and mean it. Three whole days!

    2. Chichikovovich

      I'm also constantly amazed at how many times I hear otherwise liberal and intelligent whites from the South use the line "Blacks have told me that they actually prefer the South because the North is every bit as racist but it's hidden and more insidious". Most recently I heard it from a distinguished colleague of Chichikovna's from the medical school – a committed left winger who grew up in Mississippi.

      1. fuflans

        this is interesting. mr fuflans (far more intelligent and liberal than i) has often noted that he feels chi is more segregated than his native atlanta area.

        i cannot really answer as i have lived only in chi and la and both are, in fact, fairly segregated.

        i do know that you can pick up racist rocks in pretty much any part of the country. (though ole michael bell seems pretty accomplished in the art.)

      1. Chichikovovich

        Chichikovna's family moved from a Quaker-saturated town just outside Philadelphia to Mobile, Alabama when she was about 8 years old and she was sent to a genteel all-girls school until her mid-teens. Even at 8 years old her classmates called her "Yankee", "Bluebelly", "Carpetbagger", etc. and they weren't joking around.

        1. prommie

          "Damn" is often appended to the word "Yankee," as a prefix of some kind. Aapparently the sting of their defeat has not abated.

      2. SorosBot

        Well of course everyone says Yankee with venom, I mean they are the second most obnoxious team in all of baseball, outdone only by the Red Sox.

    3. Doktor Zoom

      We can only assume, then, based on the testimony of such decent whitefolks, that Mr. Cooper is a dirty lying Muslim.

  17. Sassomatic

    He should be grateful he lives in a country where black people are allowed to file lawsuits. So grateful that he does not, in fact, file such lawsuits.

    1. sullivanst

      Tony Blair would probably agree that in order to make sure your right to file lawsuits is never compromised, you must never file lawsuits.

  18. SheriffRoscoe

    Fayetteville GA just so happens to be my hometown. This sad tale of racist assholery comes as no surprise to me.

    1. harobedyelsnit

      Is this a big story in Fayetteville? If so, how are the people you know reacting to it? I'd say probably most folks are not openly racist in the south — at least no more than the north, it's just that there's a portion of the racist population who think its their right to be asses.

      1. SheriffRoscoe

        Oh I don't live there anymore. I got the hell out when I went to college. My family is still there, though. Fayetteville isn't exactly a backwater full of knuckle draggers and hicks. Okay, maybe there is a small contingent, but for the most part it is full of educated, middle class/well-to-do people. Lots and lots of churches. But racism and homophobia are alive and well. No secret there.

  19. fawkedifiknow

    Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and O'Reilly Law Firm will stipulate to the accuracy of the plaintiff's complaint and answer with a succinct, "The plaintiff fails to state a cause of action (i.e., there's nothing wrong with any of that, in our eyes)." Yea, tort reform!!!

      1. sullivanst

        Although it turns out that several of the "undisputed material facts" are, in reality, disputed; others are immaterial; and they fail to actually respond to almost half of the counts in Cooper's complaint. I suspect it's just Bell's lawyer going through the motions, making sure they can bill for another filing, but without any real expectation of being taken seriously by the court.

  20. Sue4466

    Sure, this sounds really bad, but think how much worse it would be if we weren't the new & improved post-racial America. It can't possibly be racist, because we have a black president.

    1. finallyhappy

      I had people tell me that at my museum when we had the exhibit Race:Are we so different. That the US is post racist and that talking about racism in our history(or today) is racist.

  21. James Michael Curley

    Seems in this case the 'Defendants" lawyers should seriously consider the old Latin legal term, "Effundite consilium" roughly translated to "Dump the Policy".

  22. SayItWithWookies

    That's odd that some people think we're living in a post-racist era — not odd in that it happened more rapidly than expected — odd in that the people who say it are the ones who think it means they can call black people the n-word and nobody's gonna mind.

    Anyway, none of the black people I know think racism is over for some reason. Naturally the racists are gonna say it's because they're the professionally aggrieved, just as Dr. King was described as a "professional negro" back when he helped the Memphis Sanitation Workers and their strike for a living wage.

  23. sullivanst

    Bubba's got some real competition for nastiest cracker ass bigot employer in the South. The only thing keeping him out ahead is the actual physical violence, which Bell only threatened, although the criminal obstruction of justice that Bell seems to have attempted almost makes up for that.

    Pat Pearson's an interesting character too, openly racist and refusing to lie about it. Oh dear Mike Bell, you appear to have employed an honest bigot.

  24. Terry

    M&S Auto Parts of Fayetteville, Georgia, looks to be a used auto PARTS store and not a used car lot. Am I missing something?

    1. Negropolis

      Only if you think it's a distinction with a difference as far as this story is concerned.

  25. sewollef

    "Where’s a targeted drone strike when you need one?"

    A targeted drone strike? Really?

    What's wrong with a broad-as-you-please drone strike, and wipe out Bell's entire extended family and relatives? You just know the rest of his family will be similarly bereft of intelligence. It'll improve the gene pool….

    Is that too harsh?

  26. proudgrampa

    Stories like this, while not a surprise, just continue to amaze me: it's like there has been absolutely NO progress since the antebellum era.

  27. Antispandex

    Just to cut to the real issue here, he resented being called a nigger, not the "n-word", right? We can say about any offensive thing we want to, here in our private bastion of "comments too freedomy" for other places, but we aren't adult enough to call a spade, a spade?…I mean tell the difference between black and white?…figure out what's in the wood pile?…crap, you know what I mean! Can haz moor Rielle Hunterz?

  28. valthemus

    You know what I love? Those little digital voice recorders that have really good mics and can be hidden really easily. I don't know how most courts feel about secretly recording the racist boneheads in the office (I believe it's actually illegal in Maryland) but I've always felt every African American stuck toiling in the corporate world might want to have a little recorder handy.

  29. ttommyunger

    Sadly, we've come a long way. I knew times when an undesirable "nigger" was simply killed and that was the end of the problem, period. Paid harassment to make one quit a job and remedies in the Courts are real progress, unfortunately. Of course this situation is taking place in Georgia, so murder is still not out of the realm of possibility.

  30. redarmyzombie

    "Where’s a targeted drone strike when you need one?"

    Miss Editrix, does this mean commenting rule # 2 is no longer valid?

Comments are closed.