Three former Boeing employees who lost their jobs after allegedly being tricked into wearing Ku Klux Klan outfits don’t have grounds to sue, ruled a judge.
The Boeing workers attempted to sue their former employer for racism after a black colleague got them fired for wearing the KKK outfits. The three former employees– Francis Boyd Jr., David Smith, and Zachary Barker–allege that in 2012, black employee Kenta Smith showed his boss a picture of the employees dressed as KKK members.
Philly.com reported that the three Boeing employees were “standing in a row and facing the camera, wearing loose, white, robe-like suits and pointed white hoods. The hoods cover their faces except for a horizontal oval that exposes their eyes. Two of the men are holding makeshift wooden crosses approximately a foot high. The men to the center and right are leaning together so that their hoods nearly touch, a cross extended before them. The picture is very clearly an image of three Klansmen…”
Although Kenta Smith claims he snapped the photo of the three painters before they could do anything to stop him, the painters claim that they were set up. They allege that Smith told them that they looked like KKK members in their uniforms, then formed points at the end of their head gear, and handed them crosses to make the photo funnier.
The men also claim that Smith promoted a racially divisive atmosphere in the workplace by calling white people “honkey” and “cracker.”
The three men were fired from Boeing and an EEOC investigation took Smith’s side. The three men claim they were suing because, according to them, Smith was just as responsible for the incident as they were but was not fired. The judge threw out the lawsuit.