Worker records ‘racist’ supervisor in cotton warehouse

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- There are shocking allegations of racial discrimination in a Memphis cotton warehouse.

Two men filed charges against the Atkinson Cotton Warehouse.

They're accusing their former supervisor of calling them "monkeys” and telling them the water fountain and microwave were for white people only.

The cotton industry's history reminds some people of slavery.

Untonio Harris and Marrio Mangrum say their former supervisor was stuck in the past.

“He would be like, ‘You need to think like a white man,” said Mangrum

“He pulled his pants down in front of us and told us to kiss his white tail ,” said Harris.

He said after months of racist comments and feeling powerless, he decided to use his phone as a weapon to fight back.

He recorded his attempt to drink water from a water fountain in the warehouse office.

“Hey!” says the supervisor in the recording.

“What?” asked Harris.

“I need to put a sign here that says `white people only."

Harris also recorded his attempt to use the microwave.

“I am going to use the microwave,” said Harris in the recording.

“Hell no!” said the supervisor.

“Why can’t I use the microwave, man?”

“Because you are not white.”

“For real?”

“As a white man, we don`t even let Larry use it.”

“Larry has been there 10 to 20 years and he is a black guy also,” Mangrum told WREG.

In the recording, the supervisor also talks about the days when black and whites were kept separate.

“Back then, nobody thought anything about it. Now everybody is made to where to think it's bad,” says the supervisor in the recording.

Thirty seconds later in the same recording:

“Put your sign on the wall then, because I am feeling to drink it,” said Harris. “What would they do when they catch me drinking your water?”

“That`s when we hang you,” said the supervisor.

“I think about this every day, every day of my life,” said Harris.

Harris and Mangrum filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC, which is now mediating with the cotton's gin owner about a possible settlement.

Harris says it’s not about the cotton industry.

“I worked for another company for 12 years and they never did something like that to me.”

He says its about a man who left lasting and painful memories for two workers just trying to support their families.

The owner of the cotton gin said he had no comment, but did say he outsources the management at that warehouse.

We tried to contact that outsourcing company and they haven't called WREG back.

We called the warehouse, and a worker tells us that supervisor still works there but is on vacation.


  • fastback

    As a white man raised in the South and a member of the Sons of the Confederacy I’d just lie to say that the manager needs to be body slammed.

  • Joe Bo

    I don’t get, why is this story so surprising? This supervisor is just one of thousands of raciest idiots. He is not the exception, reading a variety of commits from other news reports, he is the rule. One thing, racisim is not unique to whites. In all fairness, it comes in all races.

  • Kibble Xavier Howell Sir Record Votes

    Can we hang the supervisor? People like him need to die without passing their ignorance to the next generation.

  • Mrs. T

    Get him. God created everything for everybody. We are all the same in God’s sight. Very unprofessional

    • DrDoctorPhD

      Mrs. T., that is the very attitude that continues this nonsense of racial superiority among the ignorant. Just look at the source for the big three lies also known as religion. Their torah, bible, and koran, are from the same Fraud the hebrews* made up so long ago. There’s no truth to those words at all, none of it. Then the jews feel like they are the only real humans and the rest of us are animals in human costume so they wouldn’t be served by a pigs foot handling their dinner plate. Just look to what the European jews are doing to the African jews that immigrated to Palestine. They would lynch them “fellow jews” just because they are so much darker than themselves. Funny that European jews would also kill the Palestinian Jewish because they are darker than themselves, and their ancestors converted to judah-ism, no real “jew”. blood in them at the time.

      The abrahamic religion(s) are the real problem on this planet. People thinking hebrews lies are the truth,,, what a pity. It is as if they are all absorbed by Landru and they can’t wait for Festival.

      *even with the many small errors, the free on line video titled Zeitgeist’ provides a great summary of the lies people call the jewish, the christian, and the islamic religions. They made it up by stealing stories, plagiarism, from others and changing the names of people and places to make it seem like it was themselves that was the center of historic attention all along. Those big three religions are frauds, and they are about to destroy the planet over their minor differences on the same lies of their religion.

      • MOM

        Where oh where did Mrs. T mention religion? PhD and all, you’d think you’d have enough common sense to get the point of what she’s saying – and she’s right. God, Buddah, Nature, Karma… I’ve lived too long to ignore that there is SOMETHING and it’s not “religion”.

  • Jeanie

    I am all white and if he you need to put him in you shoes ,,,,let you be the boss man. I’m in just don’t say mean things To anyone. Guys I’m on your side all the way,,,,

  • suzanious

    I am a white middle aged female. That supervisor needs to be on a permanent vacation. The company needs to compensate theses workers for having to work in a hostile environment!
    This really makes me angry!

  • Sick of the PC BS

    What a crock ! It sounds like they were all joking around –yep, black guys too,, and they do joke around about stuff like that. We did at our old job .. and this was done as a convenient way to get more $$$ ,, It’s ALL about how much money you can get out of YT, nowadays…play that race card. Yeah like women or whites have never had to put up with that stuff.

    FYI: I’m a white woman.

    • Mom

      You don’t speak for us all white woman…and shame on you if you “did this at your old job”.

    • Tiffany MizzBehaved Thomas

      What in the world makes you assume this was a joke? IF it was the recording would have been dismissed but I’m sure by the tone of the voices on the recording it was deemed hostile which is why the supervisor was fired and the company is working on a settlement. Get your head outta your behind lady.

    • Is that so!

      You can’t be serious. Even if their boss was joking that is not the way to joke especially as a person in charge. And in all honesty who repeatly jokes like that; someone who is truly racist! If he is saying these things in a joking manor it’s just to disguise his racism which he is doing a horrible job at disguising. So lady if this is how you joked around I’m sure you hold some type of racist views in your heart. Hey nothing wrong with that, you have the right to feel however you want but when you cross the line and bring that mess into a work environment you are setting your company up for civil suits and termination.

      • MOM

        Thankfully you don’t hear what most hear — facts. And, any human being with any decency would never “be present” in situations common to this” without having enough backbone to stop it.

    • mz4real

      i dont know why some people are having hard time believing what came out of an old white racist.
      He’s been around this cotton gin forever saying whatever he wants to these workers who he really believe are his slaves.
      Im sure everyone at this facility is aware he’s been during this the administration dont care because im sure someone has complained before.This time they got proof of this i hope they are well compensated and that this is a reminder to us we still need affirmative action.Most cloak themselves i just think this racist got too comfortable .

  • KoriMajhor

    you can look at this from two view points… First yes the fact is scientists have determined all our DNA has originated from a single tribe in Africa meaning we all originated as Africans yes- therefore the truth is we are all still African all of us have African DNA- that’s fact no one can dispute that. Now the other fact is the bible states Adam and Eve were made by God. This leads to speculation that if they were made by God they could have been made any color he chose. Realistically even Jesus would have been at least darker skinned than modern day Middle East residents because of the DNA shortage at that time (Mary an Joseph had no choice as to their skin color and were not made by God but by man so they would have been dark skinned) in human history. So if Jesus was made in Gods image and Jesus was dark skinned hypothetically you could justify the statement that Adam and Eve would have been darker skinned as well- meaning not Caucasian!!!! Everyone believes in something….I hope you racist minds are ready for what’s to come. GOD said: It will get worse before it gets better, yet they will feel me. I truly believe a lot of Caucasians are upset because GOD mentions JEWS and AFRICA in the Bible. People hate what they don’t understand. However, African American people will let GOD demonstrate his works. We don’t need to explain or fight; let go and let GOD. God can deal with racism,; far better than you and I can any-day!!!

    • Tom

      Thank you for your word salad. Please excuse me if I don’t have enough patience to wait until God sorts this out. We need stuff like this to be sorted out now, not in the imagined afterlife.

  • Rabo

    Why is the word “racist” in quotes in the headline. Why not “cotton” or “warehouse”?

  • crazytymes

    If this was a joke the guys suing dont consider the supervisor to be a friend if they are willing to risk his job over this and they couldnt really care for the owner either…dosent sound like playing around to me at all

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