AFP AUDIO INTERVIEW
Crystal Feliciano, a black employee of the New Jersey Department of Education, filed a complaint in April, 2004, charging that her supervisor, then 36-year-old Anthony Hearn, discriminated against her due to her race, a completely frivolous charge. Although Mr. Hearn’s supervisor at the time, a black man, advised him not to hire her because he sensed trouble, Hearn “argued strenuously” in favor of hiring her, and Ms. Feliciano started in her position in July, 2003.
Begun almost a decade ago, the case reached its conclusion a few weeks ago, when Mr. Hearn received the last check for his legal fees, putting the long nightmare behind him. Mr. Hearn, who “had perfect evaluations throughout the whole process,” lost 102 vacation hours, 49 hours in court appearances and $9,171 in back-pay. All told, the case cost him around $25,000.
AMERICAN FREE PRESS spoke with Mr. Hearn about his nightmare, which highlights how racial discrimination charges are destroying the lives of thousands of innocent, white Americans, everyday, in this exclusive interview (31:33).
Zimmerman Verdict Reveals Discrimination Subculture
• Racial discrimination charges soar nearly 500% since 1980
By Dave Gahary
In the aftermath of the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial, the racial divide in the United States is deepening, instigated by the view of most American blacks that justice was not served. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released July 22, found that “86% of blacks disagree with the verdict — almost all of them disapproving ‘strongly’.” This despite the fact that it was Zimmerman who was bloodied and injured in the melee and he who had exercised extreme restraint in not using his weapon earlier.
This overwhelming attitude that no matter the facts of the case nor the jury’s decision, that blacks are being discriminated against, may be part of a larger national trend that is manifested in the number of racial discrimination charges being filed every year by blacks in the public and private arena. Racial discrimination charges have increased sharply in every decade since Title VII of the politically-contentious Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, nearly 50 years ago. Title VII “prohibits discrimination…on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin,” and “applies to and covers an employer” with “15 or more employees,” as well as other rules.
Since the Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964, “employment-related discrimination suits have climbed more than 100% per decade,” compared with a mere 20% increase in “civil case filings in the federal courts between 1990 and 2000.” Experts feel the reason for the marked upswing can be attributed to the increased number of women and non-whites in “professional and managerial positions,” and “the increasingly integrated character of the workplace, making it easier to observe unfair practices against a particular group or groups.”
Federal racial discrimination charges are handled by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which was created exactly one year after Johnson signed the Act, and was the brainchild of President John F. Kennedy early on in his administration, who signed an Executive Order requiring government contractors to take “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.”
The EEOC’s website displays in its “Enforcement & Litigation Statistics” section, “Charge Statistics” from 1997 through 2012, detailing the dramatic rise in race discrimination charges, which comprise over a third of all the ten discrimination categories listed, and number around 35,000 cases each year, or 150 per day, over the last several years. The individual states are experiencing their own surge in racial discrimination charges, being handled by their own EEOC-type divisions in each state agency, created to prevent state employees and others from being subjected to discrimination.
These laws, perhaps designed with the best of intentions, have set off a feeding frenzy, where baseless and unscrupulous claims are given a venue to wreak havoc on the accused and proceed through the system for several years, and many times several decades.
Take the case of Crystal Feliciano, a black employee of the New Jersey Department of Education (DoE), who filed a complaint in April, 2004, charging that her supervisor, then 36-year-old Anthony Hearn, discriminated against her due to her race. Although Mr. Hearn’s supervisor at the time, a black man, advised him not to hire her because he sensed trouble, Hearn “argued strenuously” in favor of hiring her, and Ms. Feliciano started in her position in July, 2003. Begun almost a decade ago, the case reached its conclusion a few weeks ago, when Mr. Hearn received the last check of his financial settlement, putting the long nightmare behind him.
AMERICAN FREE PRESS conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Hearn, his first since the case settled. Although he reached out to the mainstream media with details of the case after its conclusion, he received no reply, in an eerily similar fashion to the way the mainstream media doesn’t touch the current wave of black mob violence sweeping the nation.
In another display of the politically-correct mood that has clearly taken hold in America in regards to racial matters, Mr. Hearn explained that “in May of 2006 I wrote to the ACLU asking them to take my case and deal with reverse discrimination and the violation of my rights. They did not respond.”
Mr. Hearn, a Certified Public Accountant with the N.J. DoE, described how that matter began.
“She claimed that I treated her differently,” he began, and “the woman who did the investigation was also an African-America.”
Interestingly, although the percentage of the black population in N.J. is just under 14%, according to the 2010 census, “over 30% of the state workforce is African-American.”
Racial discrimination charges are handled differently than most other legal matters in the U.S., where the accused is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. In these types of cases, the reverse is true.
Mr. Hearn was “demoted…to another job…with no supervisory authority,” and resulted in his income being reduced by about 10%.
The demotion and pay cut created more problems for Mr. Hearn than just the obvious, which explains why most of these cases turn out unfavorably for the accused.
“The only reason the union took on the case was because at the time I was a manager,” he said. After the demotion, he was forced to pay for legal fees out of his own pocket.
“There would be no way I would be able to financially afford a trial like this. Fortunately, I had the [almost $18,000] to lay out for all this. I would’ve been one of those people found guilty if I didn’t have the financial resources to fight the case.”
“They started the investigation in April of ’04,” he said, “and they closed it in September of ’04…before I got a notice telling me that I was guilty of racial discrimination. I fought the state for over five years to prove my innocence.”
AFP asked if he has seen this type of matter unfold with others.
“Yes, it unfolds in the state many times over,” he said. “If an employee alleges it, the State of New Jersey unfortunately bows down and pays off the person, to prevent people from turning around and suing them once they find you guilty, is they typically pay them off.”
“I did multiple Freedom of Information Act requests along the way,” he explained, “to find out if they paid her off and they just kept telling me that it was information that I wasn’t allowed to have, it was privileged.”
“I don’t doubt that there are valid discrimination cases. I can’t say I’ve ever seen any. I don’t think there’s anywhere near the amount of discrimination [cases] versus the number of complaints.”
“My racial discrimination trial was nine days,” he said. “The average [N.J.] murder case is only between three and four days.”
“The judge found me not guilty and awarded me both back-pay, legal fees and everything else that I lost in the process.”
“The state refused to pay it,” he said, and “in October 2010, the appellate court issued their final ruling granting me legal fees.”
“I got all my legal fees back,” he explained. “What I didn’t get back was my back-pay and the time I had to be off to deal with the trial.”
AFP asked if there was a stigma associated with the unsubstantiated allegations.
“Yes there was. I have a tremendous amount of black friends and it was embarrassing to me to have this come out.”
“My fear of race-related issues really keeps me from talking about things that are in the media because I have to keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to wind up in this situation again. Nobody tends to talk about it; I’m one of the few people who’s not afraid.”
Mr. Hearn, who “had perfect evaluations throughout the whole process,” lost 102 vacation hours, 49 hours in court appearances and $9,171 in back-pay. All told, the case cost him around $25,000.
Although he was put through more than many, Mr. Hearn remains committed to the process.
“These people have the right to complain,” he said, “but somebody higher up needs to be able to filter out those complaints.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.