Last Monday, Condoleeza Rice commented that what happened in the Gulf shows that race and poverty can still come together "in a very ugly way" in parts of the "Old South." But if it's still happening, is it really the "Old South?" Consider this August dispatch:
A lawsuit filed today alleges that Tyson Foods, Inc. is responsible for maintaining a segregated bathroom and break room, reminiscent of the Jim Crow era, in its Ashland, Alabama chicken processing plant.
Twelve African-American employees filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, alleging that a "Whites Only" sign and a padlock denied them access to a bathroom in the Ashland plant. The complaint states that numerous white employees had keys to the bathroom that were not provided to African-American workers.
True, Arkansas-based meatpacking giant Tyson is one of the most egregious violators of labor and civil rights law in the country. But they're definitely not alone.
And Rice's boss has a direct link: Tyson, which for years was a benefactor of the Clintons, has become close friends of the current administration, donating $100,000 towards Bush's 2005 inauguration alone. How does Rice feel about that?