The poisoned workplace

We’ve all been there. Because the poison runs deep.

The identification tags shown above are for an employee at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.  Maurice Walker has detailed five years of such abuse in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday against the hospital and his supervisors.  Among other things, the lawsuit details “racial taunts, stymied job promotion, and forcing him to wear official hospital ID badges with the image of Jimmie Walker.”

What was the hospital’s response? 

The behavior described does not align with our missions, values and philosophy as a faith-based healing ministry.

Well, we’ve certainly heard that before.  But the number one problem with institutions holding missions or values or philosophy is that none of those nice warm fuzzies mean anything without any action.  If you say you hold these missions, value and philosophy, and your actions convey the opposite, your words are a lie.

Don’t get me started on “faith-based” ministries either.  Being “faith-based” is not antithetical to racism.  In fact, I’d suggest organized religions are often (mostly?) institutions of racism.

Racism has been thoroughly integrated into our society’s organizations and legal structure.  How deeply?

On Wednesday afternoon, a source has told ABC7 that at least one of the supervisors, Assistant Chief Dan Lempa, will be leaving the hospital security force as of the 23rd of this month to take a new position in Evergreen Park.

So Dan Lempa hasn’t had any difficulty finding a job.  I suspect the same will not be true for Maurice Walker or  Walter Bergstrom, Walker’s supportive white colleague.  Lempa went to Little Company of Mary, in case you’re curious.  Undoubtedly their mission as a faith-based organization doesn’t support racism either.  Except it does.

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