In a shocking example of systemic racism, a New York City jury awarded a Black female (former) employee of a shi-shi gym $11.25 million for being fired.
Röbynn Europe, a former employee at the high-end gym franchise Equinox, was recently awarded $11.25 million in a discrimination lawsuit she filed against the company. pic.twitter.com/wBlgRhSfqT
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 26, 2023
No, the gym was not racist. The jury clearly was.
The facts of the case are not in dispute: Röbynn Europe was chronically late to her job and had been warned both in the employee manual and through a counseling session that such behavior was grounds for termination. Röbynn continued to be chronically late, and she was indeed terminated.
Between 2018 and 2019, Röbynn Europe, a former professional body builder, worked at an Equinox on the Upper East Side, where she managed personal trainers. Years earlier, as a scholarship student at Brearley, the girls’ school several blocks away, where she began in seventh grade, commuting first from Canarsie and then Coney Island, she had experienced the coded bias of privileged teenagers. There was only one other Black student in her class. But still that had not prepared her for what she described as crass, unfiltered expressions of prejudice from male colleagues in an expensive gym, awash with the scent of eucalyptus oil if not the base notes of enlightenment.
Ms. Europe’s tenure at the club was short-lived; Equinox terminated her employment in less than a year because, the company said, she was late 47 times in the course of 10 months. Ms. Europe held a different view of her firing, believing that her lateness was merely a pretext for discrimination, and soon after she filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, arguing that she had been subjected to a hostile work environment and eventually let go because of her race and gender. Last week, a predominantly white jury of five women and three men agreed, delivering a verdict in little over an hour. The next day they awarded her $11.25 million in damages.
Every single person reading this knows two things, immediately: she was HIRED, not fired because of her race and gender; and she was fired because she couldn’t show up to work on time.
The jury knew that. Röbynn Europe knew that. The gym knew that. You know that.
Now we know that facts such as this are utterly irrelevant, because if one is of sufficient melanin-enriched and the correct genital-having class no amount of malfeasance matters. The jury basically decided to give Ms. Europe a pile of cash because…well just because.
The swiftness of the jury’s decision and the size of the payout — $10 million in punitive damages and $1.25 million for the distress she suffered — follow a pattern similar to the verdict reached in the same courthouse just a few weeks before, in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit against Donald J. Trump. In both instances, the process and outcome suggest the ways in which recent transformative social movements around race and gender might reframe the way that juries think about the long shadow of emotional disruption that bigotry or sexual violence can produce.
Ms. Europe, who had been an art student at Oberlin College, was an unlikely entry into the fitness world. Returning to New York after graduation, she took an office job at the David Barton Gym, where she worked to support herself through a tattooing apprenticeship. In 2006, she received her certification as a personal trainer. “Racism and sexism — they are just pervasive in the fitness industry,” she said when I met her at her lawyer’s office in Brooklyn recently.
Röbynn had a list of complaints she claims proved that she had been discriminated against, and her descriptions are harrowing. But given that describing anyone with pronouns they don’t like is “literally violence” and tantamount to genocide, I think we are past the point where we can take anybody’s descriptions of trauma seriously without tremendous evidence.
People “feeling” discriminated against is most often the result of delusion, not anything real. Claiming victimhood is a route to tremendous power, and obviously riches as well. $11.25 million of riches. That’s a powerful incentive to feel victimized.
It is notable that Röbynn Europe won this award in the same courthouse as Trump lost his case. This says more about New York juries than about either Equinox or Trump.
Blue states are cultural swamps, where normal rules don’t apply. Everything is a power play, and justice is nothing more than extracting resources from disfavored classes and giving them to favored ones.
This is, ironically, a form of systemic racism. Soon enough you can expect transgender people to use this tactic against not only White males but Black women, given their higher status on the intersectional ladder of oppression.
Pretty much the only solution is to abandon the Blue areas of the country.
They have become tyrannies and may already be irredeemable.