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Menial Tasks, Slurs and Swastikas: Many Black Workers at Tesla Say They Faced Racism | The New York Times

Menial Tasks, Slurs and Swastikas: Many Black Workers at Tesla Say They Faced Racism | The New York Times African-American workers have reported threats, humiliation and barriers to promotion at the plant. The automaker says there is no pattern of bias.

Tesla, Racism, Race, Auto Workers, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, Willoughby Avenue



FREMONT, Calif. — Owen Diaz had seen swastikas in the bathrooms at Tesla’s electric-car plant, and he had tried to ignore racist taunts around the factory.

“You hear, ‘Hey, boy, come here,’ ‘N-i-g-g-e-r,’ you know, all this,” said Mr. Diaz, who is African-American. Then, a few hours into his shift running the elevators, he noticed a drawing on a bale of cardboard. It had an oversize mouth, big eyes and a bone stuck in the patch of hair scribbled over a long face, with “Booo” written underneath.

On that winter night in the factory, when, he said, a supervisor admitted drawing the figure as a joke, Mr. Diaz had had enough. He typed a complaint to a Tesla manager on his phone. “Racist effigy & drawing” was the subject.

“When you really just look at it, you ask yourself at some point, ‘Where is my line?’” said Mr. Diaz, 50, who worked at the factory as a contractor for 11 months before he quit in May 2016.


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