Rights on Trial Audio Recordings (selections)

 

 

Chapter 1, Gerry Handley's story

 

         QUOTE 1: Incest and inbreeding

Gerry Handley: "They would like always bring up these racial conversations and make these racial jokes. What I would do is I’d just

ignore them. I wouldn’t laugh or I wouldn’t listen in, I would just sit there and they would try to pull me into the conversation asking me questions. They started talking about incest, and they started talking about blacks from slavery time, you know, they bred them and sold them, and they inbred them down in the south. And I’m from down south, and so they asked me, they told me a lot of the blacks had sex with their daughters and stuff like that, way back from the Caribbean’s. And I would just sit there listening like, oh my God, I know they’re not saying this. And the guy asked me, he said, did I ever have sex with my daughter. And so . . .

LBN:   He asked you if you had sex with your daughter?

GH:     Yeah.

LBN:   And this is your boss or your manager?

GH:     He was like my lead." 

 

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          QUOTE 2: "I would have just took it"

Gerry Handley: "These 10 people that were supporting me in the department, they like ruined their lives. They like had to move

and lost their jobs and had to relocate, and I could tell you, it was just horrible. It poisoned the whole environment. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t do it because I lost everything.

LBN:   So what would you do if you had to do it over again?

GH:     I would have took it. When he said that, you know, about my daughter, I would have just took it and kept my mouth shut and

not tell anybody. Keep your mouth shut and just take it, you know, because if you fight back, it ain’t worth it. The legal system and the justice, it ain’t there."

 

 

Chapter 7, Franklin Williams' story

 

          QUOTE 3: "10 foot pole"

Franklin Williams, describing the judges' treatment of the defense attorney:

"The judges wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole.  We asked that he be sanctioned.  We asked for judgments by default.  Had I been late one time, they’d have kicked it out. 'You lose.'  With him?  Nooo. Gave him all the time he needed. . . .

 

[M]y thing is this:  I’m black, true enough, but don’t fault me because I can read! In other words, the thing of it is, now I see why you want the slaves killed. If I can read, that mean I can understand what you are trying to say and do to me. And me being, you know, point blank right in to it, you show me, point blank, this is why I don’t want your ass to read. You can understand my system, you know what’s going on, so.

 

Therefore, to make a long story short, I took it as though they were telling me straight up, and let me be candid, 'Nigger, I’m not going to destroy his career for you. Okay, he doesn’t follow civil rules of civil procedure. I’m not going to do it for you. I’m not going to sanction him. I’m not going to do one damn thing.' And they didn’t. I said 'Okay.' And believe me, by law, we were right every time and on the money."

 

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          QUOTE 4: “Just us”

Franklin Williams: 

"You know, if it wasn’t for my wife and my children, I’d have did like this [mimes shooting himself in the head].  Because I lost everything, you know. And given the fact that like I said, I’ve never been arrested for anything, I’m thinking the law exists for everybody.  You know how they say it’s, “justice?”  It’s “Just us.” Not justice for all, and [president George W.] Bush is proving that now. “Just us.”

 

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           QUOTE 5: Lies about a witness's criminal record

Franklin Williams' wife, on the man who testified for the company:

"[He] had a criminal record and we were able to get information on that, although it was expunged, and technically speaking when it’s expunged, you can’t, you know, introduce it in court. But now, unless to impeach him with it. [But] . . . He got on the stand and lied about it . . . He said he had never been arrested before, never had any, so we went and got the docket number and came back and said, 'Okay, your Honor, he’s lying because on such and such a date, he was arrested and this is what the charge was.' And the judge looked and he looked, you know, and then they just let it go. . . . We impeached him, and the judge just let it go.  [He] just said, 'Okay, well, move on.'"

 

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          QUOTE 6: "Gun sights"

David Lever, the in-house counsel for the railroad company:

“Pretty clear, you know, . . . [Mr. Williams made] cracks . . . to supervisors about . . . what was it?  ‘From such and such a location I can see you in my gun sights, as we're leaving work,’ or something. It’s like, okay, ‘Goodbye,’ you know.”

 

 

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          QUOTE 7: "Who got the shiniest shovel"

Heath Cornwall, the general attorney for the railroad company

“This particular individual I didn't think had much of a complaint. Because nothing had happened to him. He was an individual with marginal skills who was working in a job that he would normally not be able to command that type of a salary or wage. But because of the inflated salaries of the railroad industry, he was in effect doing a lot better than he could in the market. He was complaining about relatively minor things with job assignments—you know, who got the shiniest shovel among the crew.”

 

 

 

Chapter 7, Annie Daley's story

 

          QUOTE 8: Being called a bitch 

Annie Daley:  

"And so and I’m telling my director, you know, 'Hey, this person is not doing this. This person’s not doing that. This person.' And so.  But she does not support me in correcting them . . . So there was one particular supervisor who, who made it very clear that she was not going to report to a black woman. . . . She even called me a black 'B' [bitch]. . . . You know, I’m telling Judy Berman all this stuff. . . But well, she’s not supporting, my director is not supporting me at all." 

 

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          QUOTE 9: "A quality person"

Ellis. Barry, Ms. Daley's attorney:

"I have a strong recollection of her, and she’s somebody who I got a very quickly, got a sense of being a quality person who I’m sure—I was sure at that time and still am—you know, was good at her job and was somebody who seemed to me like a quality employee who gave me an explanation of how things happened to her that I’m sure, based on my recollection now, involved the subtle kind of racial discrimination that you see a lot in the workplace." 

 

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          QUOTE 10: "She came across as rigid and sort of bitchy"

Mary Hill, the defendant employer's outside counsel representative:

"I am pretty sure that the Annie Daley’s supervisors and all the people in that line—because there were some individual defendants in that case too—um, felt pretty strongly that everything they had done was absolutely kosher.  And Annie did not have a case.  She had not been discriminated against.  Uh and, my recollection is that the in-house lawyers supported that as well—both the lawyer and his boss. . . And then I took her deposition, and I didn’t think she was a very persuasive person in deposition.  She came across as not terribly sharp and really kind of cold. . . . Not someone you would warm up to and feel sympathy for. She came across as rigid and sort of bitchy."