The Delaware Human Relations Commission (HRC) in 2008 imposed a $80,000 fine on Carmike Cinemas for the allegedly racist actions of one of its theater managers, in a classic example of how liberals can find discrimination where there is none. Thankfully, the Delaware Supreme Court has thrown out that $80,000 fine.
The HRC had claimed that a theater manager used a “condescending tone” to tell a sold-out theater audience watching a Tyler Perry movie (Why Did I Get Married?) to please silence their cell phones so everyone could enjoy the movie. One of the audience members was Juana Fuentes-Bowles, director of the state’s Human Relations Division. She stood up and claimed the manager’s announcement was blatantly “racist.” Why? Because he was addressing a largely black crowd and his tone struck her ears as “offensive and condescending.”
Bowles actually solicited audience members to file complaints; 33 complied. The HRC, apparently trying to prove what a waste of money its budget is, ruled that the announcement violated the state’s equal-access law because it was “hostile.”
The $80,000 was made up of awards of $1,500 for each of the complaining audience members, a fine of $5,000, and more than $20,000 in attorneys’ fees. Getting paid $1,500 to watch a Tyler Perry movie — talk about jackpot justice!
It is these kinds of ridiculous complaints that leave more and more people these days yawning when someone claims racism.