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Black Google employee gets security called on him, now others are sharing discrimination stories

Angel Onuoha, an associate product manager at Google said his ID badge was taken away and he was held up for 30 minutes.

Black Google employee gets security called on him, now others are sharing discrimination stories
Image source: Twitter/@AldadofDamian

Trigger warning: This story contains themes of race-motivated aggressions that some readers may find distressing

Angel Onuoha, an associate product manager at Google, was riding his bike around campus when someone called the security on him, showing yet again how deep-rooted a problem racism is. Onuoha, who's a recent graduate of Harvard University and Black, even had his badge on him when the security stopped him but they refused to believe him and took his badge away, causing him to miss his bus home. "Riding my bike around Google's campus and somebody called security on me because they didn't believe I was an employee. Had to get escorted by two security guards to verify my ID badge," he tweeted.


In a follow-up tweet, he stated that held him up for over 30 minutes. "They ended up taking my ID badge away from me later that day and I was told to call security if I had a problem with it. And that was after holding me up for 30 minutes causing me to miss my bus ride home," wrote Onuoha. The tweet sparked outrage with many others sharing similar stories of being subject to racism at their workplaces. One man said he was discriminated against at Google as well. "I was on lunch in one of the micro kitchens," wrote Albert Richardson. "My radio goes off like 'Hey Al when you get off of lunch can you head over to the second floor micro kitchen. A Googler just reported a suspicious individual in that area.' I spent a hour looking for myself." Another person wrote, "A dear friend of mine is in IT and he's Black. He dresses in shirt and tie everyday for work. He stands out among other IT workers who are white and dress in Ts, jeans and sneakers. He has said "If I dress like them I'll get the cops called on me!"


A Google spokesperson released a statement addressing Onuoha's tweet, adding that it was taking the complaint seriously. "We are in touch with him and are looking into this. We learned that the employee was having issues with his badge due to an administrative error and contacted the reception team for help. After they were unable to resolve the issue, the security team was called to look into and help resolve the issue," said Onuoha. "More broadly, one step we've taken recently to decrease badging incidents is to make clear that employees should leave investigating these kinds of access concerns to our security team. Our goal is to ensure that every employee experiences Google as an inclusive workplace and that we create a stronger sense of belonging for all employees."




Google had come under heavy criticism after its African-American employees called the company out for scaling back its own diversity efforts and not throwing its weight behind the Black Lives Matter movement, reported Business Insider. Google reportedly spent more time consoling black workers instead of actively educating white employees on systemic racism. The company has pledged to double the number of Black employees at the company by 2025. It's 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report found that only 4.4 percent of employees identified as Black, and only three percent of leadership roles are held by Black+ employees.




"Just about every leader it seems has sent emails to the black community saying that they stand in solidarity with us," read a message from an internal report. "I feel as though instead of only distracting black Googlers with floods of emails, I wish they would email white Googlers to tell them to check themselves, check their privilege, understand that their words can hurt, etc. I want white Googlers to be on these emails as well."




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