Angel Onuoha, an associate product manager at Google said his ID badge was taken away and he was held up for 30 minutes.
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.
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 🤦🏾♂️— Angel Onuoha (@angelonuoha7) September 20, 2021
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."
Dawg I worked as security at Google and got security called on me. Smh— Albert Richardson (@AldadofDamian) September 21, 2021
I was on lunch in one of the micro kitchens. 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.— Albert Richardson (@AldadofDamian) September 22, 2021
A fmr colleague of mine got stopped and frisked in NY directly outside the Google office while wearing a Google shirt. Insane.— Jboo (@JonTheMadhatter) September 21, 2021
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.
Walked into G with my badge prominently displayed/laptop in hand, going in door to building while someone else was headed out, she asked me who I was/do I belong there, and berated me for others “just letting me in”. 🤡— Kimberley Kirk 👩🏽💻🍱 (@KimBlievable) September 21, 2021
Well you hit the nail on the head, it was conditioned. You were literally taught to ignore America’s racist nature. But it takes growth and a lot of openness to be willing to see everything for what it is, even when it’s uncomfortable. More should do it.— Gina :: The Dope Bohemian💛 (@thedopebohemian) September 22, 2021
"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."
I was doing installs at geek squad for a while and the guy training me was black. He was a damn super genius. Dude always wore geek squad glasses, shirts, pants, belts and shoes. I asked him why, he said "keeps the cop calls down" I was like wooooowwwww...wtf?— LP (@Str8FrmThaCr8) September 21, 2021
HR is for covering Google's legal ass and is in no way designed to help employees. I learned this the hard way.— Ofcurtis -formerly Dee Nelson #BLM 💉House Moderna (@cosmiquemuffin) September 27, 2021
Trust them at your peril, and get a good lawyer to make this hurt enough so they actually address the problem.
I agree, except @Google should find out who it was and immediately fire that person. Then, that person should do whatever they have to do personally to figure out their life. If Google has a zero tolerance on sexual harassment why not racism? Hello? #Google— Tammy Pescatelli (@TammyPescatelli) September 21, 2021