EEOC Sues Ford over Response to Racism

October 2, 2001 ( - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Ford Motor Co. over its failure to discipline a white employee who made a threatening comment about lynching to a black co-worker, according to the Detroit News newspaper.

The EEOC suit follows the white worker’s 1999 actions against Rosemary Mazon and other black workers. Braided nooses were hung from equipment in the factory, Mazon said. The white man also used black slang, mimicked a “be-bop’ walk in front of her and made the lynching threat.

He said it was “a good day for a lynching,’ the EEOC said in its lawsuit, according to the newspaper.

Ford spokeswoman Anne Gattari said the company had agreed in principle to settle the case and had signed a consent decree. Ford earlier reached an undisclosed settlement with Mazon, Gattari told the newspaper.

“We have agreed to give everybody in the plant more diversity training,” Gattari said.
An EEOC lawyer told the newspaper the agency and the company had negotiated at length and could reach an agreement soon.

It is unclear why the agency decided to sue, given the apparent settlement.