Breaking Brown

August 14, 2015

Man Gets Fired for Calling HIMSELF the “N” Word

Man Gets Fired for Calling HIMSELF the “N” Word

Calling another person the “N” word, especially at one’s place of employment, is considered racially offensive and grounds for termination. But what if a person calls himself the “N” word? Can you get fired for racially insulting yourself? One Syracuse, N.Y. government employee learned the answer to that question the hard way.

Todd Gordon, a black Department of Public Works employee, was fired after calling himself the “N” word.

From :

Gordon was working as a street repairman in the city’s Department of Public Works in October when another worker objected to their job assignments.


The other worker, Ed Firnstein, went into a supervisor’s office to complain that he should have been assigned a roller truck instead of a dump truck, Gordon said. Firnstein, who’s white, wanted to switch assignments with Gordon, who had less time on the job.


Gordon went in the office and objected. Firnstein called him a “f—— punk,” according to Gordon.


“You know what, man? I’m tired of this. You don’t like working with (N-words) like me,” Gordon responded.

Gordon was later fired for using the racial slur.

“You initiated a verbal confrontation with another employee, you used a derogatory term, albeit in reference to yourself, you violated the work place violence policy by using loud, disruptive or angry behavior or language that is clearly not part of the typical work environment,” DPW Commissioner Pete O’Connor wrote in a letter to Gordon.

DPW Deputy Commissioner Martin Davis told Gordon in January that the city has “zero tolerance” for the type language he used.

Gordon is fighting to get his job back and his union is supporting him.

“He didn’t call someone else a (N-word). He didn’t turn around and say, ‘You’re a f—— (N-word).’ He was talking about himself,” said Steve Barnum, president of the union that represents the city’s DPW workers.

Barnum says the other workers who’ve been fired in the past for using racial slurs used the derogatory terms against someone.

Watch the video below:




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15 thoughts on “Man Gets Fired for Calling HIMSELF the “N” Word

  1. Rick Manigault says:

    The only reason whites oppose the n word is because they think they cannot say it aka say it to you in a hateful manner. Remember when Hasslebeck was crying on the view? I grew up in southern ny with whites that would put they hand in the bible and declare themselves negus, so whites are crying foul in an effort to own our speech like they own the neiborhood.
    White people are giddy over any opportunity to tell a black man “you degrade yourself with that word” or ” that word is offensive to me” like Ashley Banfield said to a black commentator.
    We should all accept that the word means King or royalty and our people used it before whites existed. Throw off the chains of euromyths and legends.

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  3. AnonymousAnonymousAnonym says:

    Rick Manigault ‘ . . . the word means king or royalty and our people used it before whites existed.’

    Complete nonsense. Please stop getting your history lessons from rappers and internet comments sections. The only one wedded to european myths are people like you who will go to the length of fabricating an entire etymology and history just to continue demeaning yourself. Find yourself an Africentric psychologist who can help you to stop hating yourself.

    As to the article, the managers are clearly using this as a cover to fire Gordon for trumped up reasons. The report says the managers have been after Gordon, so this incident was just the excuse they needed. Also, the other staffer provoked the confrontation, but according to the report, was only suspended for one workday. So these people just seem to have it in for Gordon.

    That said, I would fire anyone of any ethnicity who uses that sick hatespeech for any reason at all, including off the job under the employment contract’s morality clause. The academic quoted in the article said it best: “The problem is, he wasn’t just referring to himself,” Lester said. “He
    was referring to other black people like him. The assumption was that
    (Firnstein) didn’t like black people because they’re N-words. So in
    essence (Gordon) was calling the person a racist and saying that the
    racism manifested itself in calling somebody that word.”
    Given pervasive anti-Africanism nowadays trumped up by propaganda language like n****r, any use of that hatespeech even when quoting others simply fans the flames . That helps keep this environment of anti-African propoganda alive and creates danger for Africans Americans and other Africans. People who defend the use of that language ultimately do not care about that danger. Such people are sick and firing is the least they deserve.

  4. Rick Manigault says:

    AnonymousAnonymousAnonym The dictionary is complete nonsense? Did you even take the time investigate? Niger means king and Nigeria means queen You idiot. I hate myself because I looked at history before 1492 and choose to see the Nile valley region as the center of human development instead of the Europeans from thousands of years later. 

    I promote use of the word because I despise totalitarian word police who know nothing about history, and want to demean other blacks by telling them what words to use at your discretion.  You feel big jumping intro a comment section to insult a successful black man for daring to tell you something you obviously know nothing about.

    I was a bit disturbed when you mentioned rappers. Internet comment sections can educate the ignorant like yourself. I left rap behind as a young man and feel you just made the most racist comment ever on the Breaking Brown website. Obviously you think little of the black race if you would accuse me of getting my history from rappers. Dr. John Henrike Clarke and Ivan Von Sertima are my black historians.

    Any person who believes in hate speech really just wants an opportunity to control others based on made up  morals that have nothing to do with anything real. I hope you feel big for trying to disparage a man that just taught you  the truth about such an important word. I have no respect for people who talk about words they have no mental capacity, or maturity to understand.

    Negus (Ge’ez: ???, n?g?? IPA: [n?gu??]; Amharic: nig?s?; cf. Tigrinya: ???? negus) is a royal title in the Ethiopian Semitic languages. It denotes a monarch such as the Bahri Negus of the Medri Bahri in pre-1890 Eritrea and the Negus in pre-1974 Ethiopia.

  5. Rick Manigault says:

    Please wake up people! You have been lied to by those who want to make you inferior when you are the exact opposite.

  6. AnonymousAnonymousAnonym says:

    Amharic ‘negus’ and ‘nigist’ have no etymological relationship to latin Niger, Nigeria, or ni***r. You demonstrated as much when you resorted to quoting a ‘negus’ definition instead of the ‘ni***r means king’ definition you say you’ve read in ‘the dictionary.’ Which dictionary? What’s the name of it? Who published it? When and where? Which edition? You can’t tell us that because you’re parroting made up silliness you heard on the internet.

    Please do not blemish the names of great men like Clarke and van Sertima with these escapist word games. If you want to call African men kings, nagast, oba, inkosi, faama, paqar, lamane, or qore, and African women queens, nigiste, ayaba, indlovukazi, qasa, kentake, lingeer, or qere, then do that. Why go around the bend to backwater, illiterate Europe for a word to honor Africans? Why not take the more direct route? The answer is because your entire rationalization game is for the underlying purpose of avoiding confrontation with the Eurasian criminals who are peddling this propaganda against Africans.

    Ex. 1: ‘I need to call myself and other Africans ni***r to combat “word totalitarianism”‘ — textbook white lliberalism and ‘European enlightenment.’ Because there is nary evidence of this obsessive ‘free speech’ nihilism in documented African histories. Rather, ‘responsible speech’ is the nearly continent-wide and African World-wide consensus. Ex. 2: ‘It’s okay if Africans call themselves ni***r. It’s even okay if Eurasians call Africans ni***r. Because they don’t even know they’re honoring Africans when they do it.’ Cowardly, escapist delusion. 
    You should’ve left word games behind in your childhood along with your one-time rap idols who specialize in them. Deal with those who harass, mock, and propagandize against Africans by defeating and destroying them, not by joining their propaganda campaign designed to radicalize the population against you and yours. Maybe then, after you’ve taken the fight to our actual enemies, you won’t feel so compelled to misdirect your outrage and anger at fellow African men like me.

  7. AnonymousAnonymousAnonym says:

    Rick Manigault Please read the comments below this video you’ve posted. There is an actual linguist writing there who’s made his life’s work comparative linguistics intra-Africa and between African and Eurasian languages (username Asar Imhotep or Imhotep06). He indicates that no relationship can be established between Amharic ‘negus’ and Latin ‘Niger’.
    Why and how do you and rappers Hakim Green and Nu Mensa Ogun know better than this linguist?

  8. AnonymousAnonymousAnonym says:

    The above was Rick Manigault.

  9. Rick Manigault says:

    AnonymousAnonymousAnonym I vehemently disagree.

  10. Rick Manigault says:

    AnonymousAnonymousAnonym You scrolled down to the 3rd to last commenter to find that. I looked the guy up and respect the brotha but will continue to to use the mind god gave me. You believe is word totalitarianism so you do not respect the ability of others to speak for themselves.

  11. jcluvstrnity says:

    But the other man who called him an “f’g punk”, did not?  I understand how they are turning that around. But if he opened up the door to call himself that, then he could not object if someone else called him that. Firing when a little too far….

  12. TinaSue says:

    Rick Manigault  Who created the word “Africa?”  Europeans or Africans?  I’ve always wondered about that.

  13. Rick Manigault says:

    The Romans Named the continent after the Afri tribe when they invaded. As I read it. Not sure. I’m aware of other theories.

  14. Johnw11 says:

    AnonymousAnonymousAnonym  Thank you for being well read and informed. Reading your comment was a pleasure.

  15. AnonymousAnonymousAnonym says:

    That’s very generous of you Johnw11. Thanks very much man.

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