Brandi Johnson (pictured above) was awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages last week, after she sued her boss Rob Carmona (pictured below) over a four-minute N-word tirade regarding her workplace attire and unprofessional attitude at his East Harlem, N.Y., nonprofit employment center. The March 2012 racially charged harangue involving Johnson, an African American, and Carmona, who identifies himself as Hispanic and also African American, was all caught on tape, according to the New York Daily News.
Carmona reportedly founded STRIVE, an agency which has assisted more than 50,000 at-risk individuals who are the hardest to employ and provided them with the necessary tools to find sustained employment. Johnson, who was employed at the agency, told a jury that she has long endured degrading comments from her employer.
The 38-year-old single Mother of two testified that during Carmona’s last rant, which was allegedly full of expletives, she decided to tape it with her iPhone then fled to the bathroom afterward, where she reportedly cried for 45 minutes.
Listen to Carmona’s abusive comments to Johnson here:
Carmona, on the other hand, claimed that his comments were just his way of doling out “tough love.” He contends that the use of the N-word in the Black and Latino communities has “multiple contexts” and that not all of them are bad.
During the court proceeding, Carmona reportedly testified that the N-word can sometimes be used to convey love and used the example of someone saying, “This is my n*gga. That means my boy, I love him, or whatever,” Carmona said. Asked if he meant to indicate love when he called Johnson the “N-word,” he replied, “Yes, I did.”
Did Johnson then misinterpret Carmona’s rant?
The young woman testified that after her boss raked her over the coals with his explosive language, she told jurors, “I was hurt. I felt degraded. I felt disrespected,” she said. “I was embarrassed.”
When Johnson tried to lodge a complaint against her boss, she was reportedly fired from her two-year stint as a STRIVE manager.
Here are some excerpts of the taped tirade that was obtained by CNN. Was Carmona conveying “tough love?” You be the judge!
You and [a previous employee] are just alike. Both of you are smart as s—, but dumb as s—. Both of you, you know what it is … both of you are n——, y’all act like n—— all the time, Carmona said to Johnson, according to audio evidence played in court.
Carmona called Johnson the N-word eight times during the entire recording.
And I’m not saying the term n—— as derogatory; sometimes it’s good to know when to act like a n—–, but y’all act like n—— all the time … both of you very bright, but both y’all act like n—— at inappropriate times,” Carmona said in the audio recording.