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'Gorilla incident' at hospital has some trustees citing racism
The Times and Democrat ^ | September 25, 2009 | GENE ZALESKI

Posted on 09/27/2009 9:10:48 AM PDT by kingattax

A hospital employee dressed in a gorilla costume and passing out bananas to the sounds of “Hail to the Chief” may have been an effort to recognize employees for a job well done, but some Regional Medical Center trustees are calling the incident offensive and racist.

Trustees Betty Henderson and Dr. Oscar Butler Jr. called for greater sensitivity and diversity training opportunities on the part of hospital staff and employees to ensure a similar incident does not reoccur.

“I know in the beginning in six days God created the earth and on the seventh day he made man,” Henderson said. “I know how that man was made and he was made from clay. As a race, we are offended when men portray us as gorillas.”

Howard Harris, RMC vice president of human resources, said about a month to a month and a half ago the hospital’s 10-member Culture Club, which is made up of employees, decided to have an individual dress up in a gorilla costume to help recognize employee contributions and “boost employee morale” in the implementation and training process for the hospital’s new Cerner computer system, which will come online in December.

The outreach was titled, “We’re Bananas Over You.”

“We were not thinking there was an issue with regards to a concern of people being offended because of the racial implications with regards to that,” said Harris, himself African-American. “We heard about it and it came to our attention. Our position was that we needed to get out in front of it. That was inappropriate and should not have been done.”

The Culture Club, which is described by hospital officials as a diverse group, was formed in the spring of 2009 to implement initiatives of the hospital’s “The Regional Way,” including customer service training and employee recognition to enhance the hospital’s culture.

The incident in question was designed to recognize the Information Systems staff on “TeamRegIS,” which is working to ensure the success of the hospital’s computer conversion system.

The gorilla incident was part of several outreach efforts to these employees, including a lunch and popsicle delivery.

Harris said a letter was written by the Culture Committee to the hospital employees apologizing for any offense.

“There was by no means any desire or any view of anybody wanting to show anything differently but to recognize people,” Harris said, noting the information was shared with RMC Board Chairman James Amaker shortly after the incident.

“We addressed that in very immediate fashion when it occurred,” Harris said.

Hospital Vice President of Compliance Brenda Williams said the matter has been taken seriously.

“We will make sure that we think about all the implications of what we do,” she said, noting following the meeting that the individual in the gorilla costume did not go to all the hospital’s employees but to those specifically involved in the Cerner project.

Williams and Harris said they were unaware of the incident until after it occurred and said it was their understanding the remainder of hospital administrative staff was also unaware.

Trustee Horace James said that as an African-American he could not see how the issue was racist, but Henderson challenged him.

“You said this is racial?” James inquired. “What is racial about that? I know I am not offended.”

Trustee Gladys Arends pointed out to James that a recording of “Hail to the Chief” was also playing during the incident.

“Typically when we have LDI’s (Leadership Development Institute) what we will do is play the first song, which is ‘Hail to the Chief’ with Tom Dandridge as the CEO. We heard that also and we went back and investigated that.”

LDI, which is separate from the Culture Committee, consists of a continuing education for hospital leadership. As a part of these leadership development efforts, musical accompaniment is provided.

Harris and Williams explained the song is one of many on the tape, which is commonly used during LDI events. The chief in “Hail to the Chief” refers to the hospital president, Dandridge. The song is a march typically associated with the president of the United States.

“If you are not offended by it, I am,” Henderson said, addressing James, noting that similar incidents have historically been controversial. “If you don’t know, sir, maybe you have not been around as long as many of us.”

Trustee Dr. M.S. Nassri asked Harris if the matter is “dead.”

Harris said that to his knowledge, it is dead. Butler stopped him short.

“There are about 300 to 400 employees involved in this that may not agree with him,” Butler said.

Butler also expressed concerns about “institutional racism.”

“Please don’t think that all the people up here working here are pleased, satisfied and think it was just an incident that happened without it being planned,” Butler said. “We need to get out in front and talk to our workers to see how they feel. As far as I am concerned, that is another incident that it appears to me where we as Negroes, blacks and Afro-Americans are not given the respect that we should have.”

The matter was brought up when Trustee Danny Covington asked Chairman Amaker if a board member had approached him about the “gorilla incident” and when the matter would be brought to the board’s attention.

Some of the trustees expressed their confusion and bewilderment about the question and asked Covington to “be clear.”

“I am embarrassed to talk about it,” Covington said.

“Evidently, you are not embarrassed, Danny,” Amaker said, noting the matter was immediately addressed with hospital staff when it was brought to his attention.

Initially, Amaker expressed his desire not to discuss the matter in public session but was halted by Covington.

“Folks, this is a repetitive situation of people that are just running wild,” he said. “This goes on over and over. You will continue with this type of attitude and you will let these things go on.”

Covington said the matter is another case of the hospital trying to “sweep things under the rug.”

Some trustees questioned Covington’s intentions on bringing up the issue as an effort to “defame” the hospital. They said he was out of order.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: diversityeducation; gorilla; hypersensitivity; napl; workplace
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1 posted on 09/27/2009 9:10:48 AM PDT by kingattax
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To: kingattax

People have lost all sense of humor and many of them are dangerously deranged.


2 posted on 09/27/2009 9:12:01 AM PDT by calex59 (FUBO, we want our constitution back and we intend to get it!)
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To: kingattax

Oh good grief. Get over yourselves.
This is as bad as the cartoon drawing
that offends some people.


3 posted on 09/27/2009 9:13:31 AM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (WARNING! WARNING! "Political Terrorist in Charge" — STAY AWAY FROM MY BODY)
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To: calex59

no sense of humor what so ever


4 posted on 09/27/2009 9:13:57 AM PDT by television is just wrong (one bad ass mistake America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: kingattax

Liberals are quickly passing Arabs in the “outrage” department!


5 posted on 09/27/2009 9:16:03 AM PDT by airborne (Don't let history record that, when faced with evil, you did nothing!)
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To: kingattax
Oh, yes......"Culture Club"......

6 posted on 09/27/2009 9:16:24 AM PDT by BenLurkin (Brave amateurs....they do their part.)
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To: kingattax
"I know in the beginning in six days God created the earth and on the seventh day he made man,” Henderson said."

Really?

"I know how that man was made and he was made from clay."

How about we portray you as clay would that be OK?

"As a race, we are offended when men portray us as gorillas.”

What about when gorillas portray you as men?

Yeesh these patronage appointments are great aren't they?

7 posted on 09/27/2009 9:17:19 AM PDT by jtal
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To: kingattax
bush Pictures, Images and Photos

Racist!

8 posted on 09/27/2009 9:17:20 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: kingattax

Oh, for heaven’s sake! Some people expend more effort looking for reasons to be offended than they do actually getting something productive done.


9 posted on 09/27/2009 9:18:03 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: kingattax; GOPsterinMA; Clintonfatigued; Clemenza; Impy; BillyBoy

It was only funny and acceptable when Dubya was portrayed as Chimpy McBushitler. Zero can only be portrayed with a halo, flowing robe, riding a unicorn and $hitting Skittles.


10 posted on 09/27/2009 9:18:07 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
BWAHAA! All hail the messiah, Obama! Pretty soon they'll be stoning us as heretics.

Lord forbid that Obama accidentally loses his shoe, or his followers will build a temple around it.

11 posted on 09/27/2009 9:21:40 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: kingattax

“I know in the beginning in six days God created the earth and on the seventh day he made man,” Henderson said. ‘I know how that man was made and he was made from clay. As a race, we are offended when men portray us as gorillas.’”

Sounds like she has issues with evolution, not race. But correct me if I’m wrong (I’m an atheist and am not much of a biblical scholar), but didn’t God supposedly make man on the sixth day and rest on the seventh?


12 posted on 09/27/2009 9:22:06 AM PDT by stormer
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To: jtal

“As a race, we are offended when men portray us as gorillas.”

Oh, how outraged were you during EIGHT YEARS of “Chimpy McBushitler”, and the “Chimp-in-Chief”? It was OK for you THEN, eh?/s


13 posted on 09/27/2009 9:22:49 AM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: kingattax


14 posted on 09/27/2009 9:23:35 AM PDT by IbJensen (If Catholic voters were true to their faith there would be no abortion and no President Obama.)
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To: kingattax

Why was it inappropriate? Do blacks now claim to be related to gorillas?


15 posted on 09/27/2009 9:25:59 AM PDT by abclily
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To: kingattax
Maybe they should have used the pigman.
16 posted on 09/27/2009 9:26:50 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: kingattax

What did God do on the 7th day?


17 posted on 09/27/2009 9:28:31 AM PDT by Delta 21 (If you cant tell if I'm being sarcastic...maybe I'm not.)
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To: kingattax
Genesis 1:

27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

18 posted on 09/27/2009 9:28:37 AM PDT by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Delta 21

Uhhh...Rested? Survey says...


19 posted on 09/27/2009 9:29:55 AM PDT by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: kingattax

All Gorilla Costumes must be banned entirely!


20 posted on 09/27/2009 9:30:29 AM PDT by NMEwithin
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To: kingattax

I thought God rested on the 7th day? Man had to have been created earlier, since God also spent Day 7 watching football.


21 posted on 09/27/2009 9:30:31 AM PDT by joejm65
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To: kingattax

He should have worn a sign that said “FORMER President (BUSH)” and there would not have been a problem.


22 posted on 09/27/2009 9:31:05 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

The zoo just called. The gorillas are outraged that they have been loosely associated with the presidunce.


23 posted on 09/27/2009 9:33:43 AM PDT by JICO
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To: kingattax
The costume and tune are entirely appropriate given the Illegal Alien's total lack of any real knowledge, professional, or executive experience with the American medical industry. Having him and his minions control American health care will even be worse than a bunch of chimps doing it, since the chimps would know their own limitations.
24 posted on 09/27/2009 9:37:26 AM PDT by libstripper
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To: kingattax
The costume and tune are entirely appropriate given the Illegal Alien's total lack of any real knowledge, professional, or executive experience with the American medical industry. Having him and his minions control American health care will even be worse than a bunch of chimps doing it, since the chimps would know their own limitations.
25 posted on 09/27/2009 9:37:44 AM PDT by libstripper
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To: kingattax

I’m guessing they wouldn’t appreciate my tagline.


26 posted on 09/27/2009 9:54:14 AM PDT by EggsAckley (There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply. W.C. Fields)
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To: kingattax

There can be racism everywhere...especially if you read it into everything.


27 posted on 09/27/2009 10:16:10 AM PDT by marstegreg
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To: kingattax

What town and state did this take place? Please add it to the Keywords.


28 posted on 09/27/2009 10:17:25 AM PDT by rabidralph (http://www.thealaskafundtrust.com/ http://www.sarahpac.com)
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To: rabidralph

south carolina


29 posted on 09/27/2009 10:31:24 AM PDT by kingattax (99 % of liberals give the rest a bad name)
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To: kingattax

That wasn’t a hospital employee dressed in a gorilla costume....it was Rev Al in his birthday suit.


30 posted on 09/27/2009 10:32:12 AM PDT by jmax
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To: kingattax
some Regional Medical Center trustees are calling the incident offensive and racist.

Whenever I hear someone quoted as crying "Racism", it simply translates into "Please remove all of my teeth".

31 posted on 09/27/2009 10:42:21 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: kingattax

Once the Congressional BLACK CAUCUS disbands then we will talk about ‘sensitivity and diversity training’!


32 posted on 09/27/2009 10:44:55 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kingattax

That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all month!

The reporter who wrote it is an absolute genius. I can’t remember the last time I said that about a news story.

It’s a bit long, but you have to read it all the way to the end.


33 posted on 09/27/2009 11:23:21 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Yep! Still waiting for my skittles. Don’t want any from the unicorn’s ass though.

Skittles backwards = Selttiks (Celtics)


34 posted on 09/27/2009 11:50:01 AM PDT by GOPsterinMA (Who paid for Mary Jo Kopechne's funeral)
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To: kingattax

Sheesh, they’re acting like a bunch of monkeys.


35 posted on 09/27/2009 11:51:23 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: kingattax
Get your racist paws off me, you damned dirty orderly!


36 posted on 09/27/2009 12:01:39 PM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: GOPsterinMA

I ain’t tasting that rainbow.


37 posted on 09/27/2009 12:01:43 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: Frank_2001
Oh, how outraged were you during EIGHT YEARS of “Chimpy McBushitler”, and the “Chimp-in-Chief”? It was OK for you THEN, eh?/s

You do understand that the black - gorilla analogy predates President Bush's birthdate? Has nothing to do with Bush.

38 posted on 09/27/2009 12:02:49 PM PDT by Sally'sConcerns (http://www.fda.gov/emaillist.html - Class I (life threatening) recalls email alert sign-up)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Hell no!


39 posted on 09/27/2009 12:05:18 PM PDT by GOPsterinMA (Who paid for Mary Jo Kopechne's funeral)
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To: 2A Patriot; 2nd amendment mama; 4everontheRight; 77Jimmy; Abbeville Conservative; acf2906; ...
This is from the Orangeburg Times and Democrat.

South Carolina
Ping

Send FReepmail to join or leave this list.

40 posted on 09/27/2009 12:47:15 PM PDT by SC Swamp Fox (Aim small, miss small.)
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To: samtheman
Maybe they should have used the pigman.


41 posted on 09/27/2009 1:21:36 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (Crazy is the new sane.)
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To: kingattax; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; martin_fierro; ...
Gorilla Laughing

42 posted on 09/27/2009 1:27:44 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (Crazy is the new sane.)
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To: kingattax

I didn’t know our President was a gorilla. I thought he was a half-white, half-black Hawiain with a Kenyan father.


43 posted on 09/27/2009 1:29:04 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: joejm65

EVERYBODY knows he was watching the PACKERS!!!!!!!!


44 posted on 09/27/2009 1:34:07 PM PDT by bakoj
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To: Delta 21
What did God do on the 7th day?

Watched NASCAR

45 posted on 09/27/2009 1:40:52 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom ;))
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To: Slings and Arrows
Ook; ook-ook-ook! Ook?


46 posted on 09/27/2009 1:45:49 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch ("Racist" and proud of it! I discriminate against Homo Liberalcuss at all times.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

Ook!


47 posted on 09/27/2009 1:48:28 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (Crazy is the new sane.)
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To: Delta 21

rest


48 posted on 09/27/2009 1:52:10 PM PDT by linn37 ( "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
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To: kingattax
Before  -10nobama was "elected" President, this program would have been done without a single complaint.

What a buncha BS!

49 posted on 09/27/2009 2:09:24 PM PDT by upchuck (New sign on my pickup: Are you a "Hope and Change" regretter?)
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To: kingattax

I am 100% opposed to all the PC bull crap.

I could never, never work in a place like this. I’d be fired within a week. Places like this drive me crazy.


50 posted on 09/27/2009 2:15:30 PM PDT by upchuck (New sign on my pickup: Are you a "Hope and Change" regretter?)
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