There has been an incredible number of viral videos lately showing people engaged in racist rants in public. Sometimes these videos have also included the victims or others standing up to the perpetrators. In the latest, though, the video shows an unprecedented level of solidarity, and Antoine Dangerfield, the welder who shared it was fired for doing so — only after corporate executives tried to pay him to take it down.
The video is still online and still being shared, and Dangerfield believes it shows that the way to defeat unfair employee treatment is to stand together.
The context for the video below (strong language warning) is that it takes place on a construction site, beginning with workers in hard hats and reflective vests closing down and leaving the site.
The crew of around 100 workers was, according to Fast Company, building a new UPS hub, directed by a private contractor.
Employees say the supervisor has exhibited racist behavior, and they believe this was in play when he accused several employees (all Hispanic) of failing to obey orders and told them to go home. In solidarity, the entire crew walked out.
Again, strong language warning.
Dangerfield colorfully narrates the story, explaining that the boss tried to “f— with” some of the workers, and the rest stood up in support of their colleagues. He says he works for a different contractor on the same site and witnessed the series of events.
Driving a construction vehicle around to show, on video, how empty the site is, he expresses awe and respect for the solidarity shown and holds it as an example for others to follow when facing racist or other unfair treatment.
According to The Root, the supervisor in question is a safety coordinator known for “always messing with [Latino workers], taking pictures and videos, trying to get them fired.” Dangerfield emphasizes that the coordinator is specifically known for harassing “anyone who is not white.”
The breaking point, he says, came when one of the Latino workers refused to translate something for the safety coordinator, who got mad and told six employees to go home. Instead, the workers came together and agreed they would all leave.
Dangerfield says the strike worked — the safety coordinator was fired. However, corporate representatives for UPS came and tried to convince him to take the video down, even offering him $250 to do so. When he refused, he was fired too.
After he was fired for trying to tell the workers of the world they can stand up against mistreatment, if they stand together, a fundraiser was created for Antoine Dangerfield. As of this writing, it has collected over $37k.
Capitalism doesn’t appreciate his message, and white supremacy can’t appreciate his message — but thousands of the people subjected to those forces every day do appreciate it, and they’re passing it along.