Many would believe, given the long history of discrimination in the United States, individuals would do their diligence to honor the legacy and memory of those who fought for equal opportunity. However, that is not the case. It’s 2016 and Americans, citizens of the United States, still face discrimination. But the real question is why. Why do some people believe they can treat others unfairly because of such arbitrary differences like skin color or ethnic origins? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Just like the long battle to equality, the complexities behind the systems that support this mindset are ingrained foundationally in the many who hold positions of power and authority.
Individuals who face such discrimination do have some hope, however. The federal government in recent years has played an integral role in holding individuals accountable for discrimination. One such case in seen with a lawsuit filed against the New York Education Department that is being accused of a pattern of discrimination and in this case against three black teachers who worked at Pan American International High School in Queens.
The government believes that the school’s principal, Minerva Zanca, targeted the three black teachers and plotted to against the to lose their jobs. Several witnesses in the case claimed that she made clear and intentional efforts to ensure this plan through. Furthermore, anyone who challenged or questioned her was met with harsh retaliation. The school’s assistant principal, Anthony Riccardo, was one such individual that claims she called school security to have him removed from the building. He reported that she planned to give two of the plaintiffs unsatisfactory evaluations on lessons she did not witness. He also said she would not meet with another to try and help her to improve on a subject she once taught.
The teachers filing the claim all express similar sentiments of discrimination, racial intolerance, and social unacceptance from Zanca. The teachers involved, John Flanagan, Heather Hightower and Lisa-Erika James, also filed complaints with the United States Equal Opportunity Commission that found there was reasonable cause to believe this was truly a case of discrimination.
Zanca claims these allegations are unbased and completely outside of her character. However, evidence from all other parties involved proved otherwise.
This is only one hundred of casing seeking justice for hardworking Americans who face discrimination. The hope is that the justice system will continue to work hard to foster lasting change.