NAACP: Sensitivity training not enough in recent racial incidents

Posted: Updated:
SECAUCUS -

The vice chair of the Edison chapter of the NAACP says that sensitivity training is not enough when it comes to combating racial discrimination at businesses.

Juanita McKoy says that there should be companywide change, such as a separate corporate body to respond immediately to discrimination complaints.

“Is it going to be a black person doing the training? Because you cannot tell me that you’re going to have a white person sit there and train them on sensitivity when they have not walked in those shoes,” McKoy says.

RELATED: LA Fitness employees fired over treatment of black customers
RELATED: Starbucks to close stores for an afternoon for bias training

In a recent incident at an LA Fitness in Secaucus, Asbury Park resident Tshyrad Oates says that he and a friend were harassed inside the gym because they were black.

Oates says that staff approached the two men to ask to see their membership credentials after they'd already checked in and that staff also called police on them. Oates recorded the exchange on his cellphone and posted the video on Facebook

“I was asked to scan in again. I’m the only person in the gym that was asked to scan again,” Oates said in the video.

Police responded but said that the men did not commit any crimes. Three employees of the gym were later fired.

Two black men were arrested inside a Philadelphia Starbucks earlier this month because they sat at a table without making a purchase. The men said that they were waiting for a friend before they ordered.

Starbucks apologized to the two men and announced that it would close many of its shops for a few hours in May in order to hold sensitivity training sessions for employees.

“I go back to the corporation itself. You had to know something, somebody knew, something wasn't done fairly,” McKoy says. “To go back and say ‘We’re going to do a sensitivity training,’ that's not good enough. That's not acceptable.”

Oates declined to be interviewed about the incident, at request of his attorney.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • 70th Emmy Awards

    70th Emmy Awards

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

  • Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

  • Guide: Where to find food trucks in New Jersey

    Guide: Where to find food trucks in New Jersey

    Food Truck Friday: Callahan'sFood Truck Friday: Callahan's

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them in New Jersey.

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them in New Jersey.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."