NY case puts N-word use among blacks on trial

Posted at 8:41 AM, Sep 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-03 08:41:00-04

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City federal jury has rejected the argument that use of the N-word among blacks can be a culturally acceptable term of love and endearment, deciding its use in the workplace is hostile and discriminatory.

Jurors last week awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages to a black employment agency worker who was the target of an N-word-laced rant by her black boss. They return Tuesday to decide on punitive damages.

The case against Rob Carmona and the employment agency STRIVE East Harlem gave legal airing to the complex debate about blacks' use of the word.

Former employee Brandi Johnson told jurors that Carmona's 2012 tirade made her feel offended, hurt and degraded.

Carmona told jurors that among blacks, the word is often used as a term of affection.