So You Think
That's his voice on the radio. Sounds like the Great Black Hope. He's talking about rights and freedoms and Defending HIS people.
He's talking about his favorite topic; Reparations. Anything to do with getting money is at the top of his agenda.
When it comes to hypocrites, no one beats Jomo Jarret.
I used to work for him.
I came to work for Brother Jomo with a sense of achievement. That someone like me could get a job with one as important as Jomo Jaret was unimaginable.
I looked at him as if he were Marcus Garvey. If he told me to jump out the window, I would have. For this was the Great Jomo Jaret.
In the first days, I would brag about working for him. I made the fact I almost always did overtime sound like a contribution to the Mission.
Some people tossed water on my fire, telling me I should be paid for overtime.
It wasn't until he docked my pay for ten minute lateness that I started to think I should be paid for overtime.
Black Man Time
We were expected to be at the office, at our posts bang on 8:30 and not to leave until he said, although our quitting time was to be 4:30.
He paid us each Friday. That was a real trip.
The Great Jomo would make us wait until way past 5 while he babbled on the phone with friends and worshipers. We would wait, wait for out pay, for the pay we earned; and he would make us wait.
He also made deductions from our meager pay for lateness, leaving early, for anything. If we were absent, he took the day's pay.
The Great Black Hope never gave sick days, never gave vacation pay either.
Why we put up with this was based on our belief he was doing some great work on behalf of humanity and we were making contributions. Not that he was a power hungry mercenary who exploited his 'own' people.
We didn't understand that deep down he had no respect for his own people. They were an exploitable commodity.
Feet of Clay
I, who was supposed to leave at 4:30pm would be given tasks at 4:20 pm. Tasks which would take until 5:15 pm or later to complete. Despite my overtime I didn't get one cent more.
But arriving 10 minutes late, resulted in a deduction from my pay.
That was standard Jomo.
It was that deduction which opened my eyes, at least a crack.
I started to notice he spoke to us pretty gruffly. He'd shout, and it wasn't just tension or 'battle fatigue' as he once called it. The truth was, he didn't respect us.
I guess if I hadn't been wearing 'blinders' I'd have seen it from my first week, but because I had idolized him, I felt he had the right, or that those who were his victims, deserved it.
It was soon after that 'docking' of my pay for 'lateness' when he didn't pay one cent for overtime it hit me like a bomb; he treated us as if we were his slaves.
One of my co-slaves went home on Friday and didn't come back. She never said a word, gave a signal. Just left.
Jaret never mentioned it.
Here was this empty desk, and Jaret went on as if he didn't notice. There was work on the desk and no one was told to do it, so it sat.
However, Jaret was in a permanent P.O. after that. He barked at everyone in the office. I was his major punching bag.
Then, he claimed I took money from his drawer. I didn't. I think everyone knew I hadn't, even him.
I had been trusted with five times the amount that had allegedly been stolen before. But for some reason, Jomo went at me, and fired me, Just like that.
I didn't believe it. Went back to my desk and sat down. In about three minutes he was in my face shouting to get out. So I left.
I went back the next day, giving him a chance, and he shouted again, so I went to
the Employment office to report him.
Reputation vs Reality
When I filed my complaint, no one believed me. Those at the employment office demanded I write it down, substantiate my allegations. They spoke at me as if I were a born liar.
Eventually they investigated, and found that not only had I been fired without two weeks pay, by the Great Black Hope, but there was no record that I or anyone worked for him. In short, we were all off the books.
He was charged under every conceivable heading of the Labor laws.
As a famous Liberator the conditions of employment of his staff became front page
news. Although a few of my co-workers were afraid to talk, smart reporters learned
that no one had ever had a paid vacation. Or sick leave.
However, because of his fame and the worship the public had for him I became
Public Enemy Number One.
Until the Trial.
The Prosecutor was not impressed with the Great Jomo.
When Jomo tried to bellow about how I stole money from his desk, she stopped him. She indicated this was a matter concerning his breaches of the Employment Act. Not just in my case. He had not paid Overtime, Sick Leave, Vacation Pay, etc for for the entire staff. PLUS he had not made any Statutory Deductions as required by LAW.
The public now changed its opinion of him. Somehow, he was allowed him to make a deal. He had to pay all sorts of back taxes and give all of his employees what they were owed.
Being the Great Black Hope he left Court, and disappeared.
Eventually we got a few pennies on the dollar after his property was confiscated and auctioned off.
Most of us gained employment over the next few years with average people who
treated us like human beings.
That's his voice on the Radio. Speaking from another Jurisdiction. Thinking everyone has forgotten. Maybe everyone has. Maybe his hype has outlasted his horror.
He is talking about Reparations. How the Black Man is owed so much by the White Man who Enslaved Him.
I have to admit, he knows a lot about enslavement.