Wednesday, July 01, 2020
TKC BREAKING NEWS!!! VA DIRECTOR RUSHES TO KANSAS CITY AMID WORSENING RACISM CONTROVERSY!!!
Growing protest outside the Kansas City hospital have resonated in the nation's capital, here's backstory and a glimpse at the next phase of the complaint . . .
VA director from DC makes sudden KC trip
He’s responding to recent wave of racism charges
Reports involve dozens of African-American staffers
Veterans Administration faces legal action & criticism
Local and national groups want a ‘total review of the entire agency”
Battling charges of widespread racism at a KC Veterans Administration hospital, the national head of the agency is in Kansas City today for a one-day, unpublicized meeting at the facility. Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Robert Wilkie is expected to be here for most of the day.
“We hope he’ll work with sensitivity, empathy and integrity to create a safe environment for African Americans,” said Rev. Rodney Williams of the NAACP.
Last month, two lawsuits were disclosed and multiple formal complaints were leveled and against local VA officials by dozens of current and former African American VA employers. The workers allege racist insults, unfair treatment and termination are common at the hospital and hurt patient care. They’re demanding radical reforms, starting with a “serious, total, independent review” of the whole agency.
Attorneys who represent the workers say they’re getting more calls every day from distraught and suffering workers.
The employees are getting support from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), the Metro Organization for Racial & Economic Equity (MORE2), the Concerned Clergy Coalition of Kansas City, the Methodist Ministers Fellowship, Reale Justice Network and other groups.
Over the past few months, hurtful and disproportionate mistreatment of workers of color has been more rampant at the VA Hospital at Linwood and Highway 40, employees and their attorneys maintain.
“Mean-spirited epithets are used, like the N word, ‘monkeys’ and Aunt Jemima,” says Rebecca Randles, who represents the complainants. “African American women have been called ‘bitch’ and African American men have been called “boy.”
The mistreatment takes multiple forms, she and others charge.
One African American man, for instance, holds two masters in hospital administration from credible institutions but is only in charge of maintenance. (The hospital’s CEO, on the other hand, has a degree from an on-line university.)
Other African Americans have been passed over for promotions or improperly terminated.
An African American woman, for instance, reports “My supervisor tried to get me to masturbate a patient with vasectomy. In one meeting, my supervisor wagged his finger at me. I assumed he wanted to talk so I approached him. He then told the group that he didn’t need anything, he just wanted to see if I’d get up and come to him if he just pointed at me. I’m taking action now so that other workers of color won’t have to endure this kind of demeaning behavior in the future.”
The controversy escalated in March when the NAACP wrote VA administrator about the systemic discrimination. Starting last Monday at 7:30 a.m. - and continuing every Monday for the foreseeable future - the protests outside the hospital over unfair working conditions are expected to continue.
Developing . . .