A former Seattle city employee has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging he was a victim of anti-White discrimination due to a “racially hostile work environment.”
Joshua Diemert, who worked as a program intake representative in Seattle’s Department of Human Services from 2013 to 2021, filed suit Nov. 16 against the city and its mayor, Bruce Harrell, claiming he was constantly belittled and harassed at work for being White and that he was denied advancement opportunities and retaliated against due to the color of his skin.
Diemert’s lawsuit blames the alleged anti-White culture he experienced on the city’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), which seeks to “end institutionalized racism and race-based disparities in City government,” according to the city government’s website.
The lawsuit alleges that Diemert’s race was an “albatross around his neck” throughout his career, and that the discrimination became “increasingly pervasive and hostile” as his career developed.
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“The City routinely urged Mr. Diemert to join race-based affinity groups and required him to participate in training sessions that demeaned and degraded him based on his racial and ethnic identity,” the lawsuit states. “He was chastised and punished for combating racially discriminatory hiring practices by [Department of Human Services] colleagues.”
“His supervisors and other colleagues continually dismissed his concerns over a period of years and claimed he could not be a victim of racism and discrimination because he possessed ‘white privilege,’” it claims. “And he was denied opportunities for advancement by the City based on his racial and ethnic identity.”
As part of his RSJI training, the lawsuit alleges, Diemert was required to attend a two-day workshop in 2019 called “Undoing Institutional Racism,” during which facilitators declared, “white people are like the devil,” “racism is in white people’s DNA,” and “white people are cannibals.”
“When Mr. Diemert objected, the facilitators used their platform to belittle and attack Mr. Diemert,” the lawsuit claims. “Other coworkers that were present continued the mockery in the workplace and made Mr. Diemert the office pariah. Mr. Diemert’s coworkers called him a ‘white supremacist.’”
“Mr. Diemert’s colleagues used their work emails to berate and entertain violence against him, referring to him as ‘some a–hole,’ the ‘reincarnation of the people that shot native Americans from trains, rounded up jews for the camps, hunted down gypsies in Europe and runaway slaves in America,’ noting that it was not worth addressing his concerns because he would ‘just come back with more stupidity,’ and that someone should ‘get a guy to swing by when Josh is in the restroom and beat him bloody,’” the lawsuit alleges.
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The lawsuit also claims that Diemert was required to attend racially segregated trainings for White people and meetings where supervisors forced employees to “identify their race and to stand and affirm where they ranked themselves on a defined ‘continuum of racism.’”
“In June 2020, the Office of Civil Rights emailed Mr. Diemert stating that it was hosting a training on ‘Internalized Racial Superiority,’ and that this was ‘specifically targeted for White employees,’” the lawsuit claims. “The training focused on examining white employees’ ‘complicity in the system of white
supremacy,’ and how white employees ‘internalize and reinforce’ racism.”
“The goal of the training was to turn these employees into white ‘accomplices’ who would interrupt the ‘whiteness’ that they saw in their colleagues,” it added.
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The lawsuit says Diemert repeatedly reported incidents of discrimination, but the city took no action, and that medical documents he provided saying the RSJI training was negatively impacting his mental health were ignored. The matter eventually caused Diemert to quit his job, the suit says.
Diemert is suing Seattle for alleged violations of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. He is seeking “compensatory and punitive damages in the amount of $300,000.00 for the salary that Mr. Diemert was denied as a result of being discriminatorily denied promotions and constructively discharged as well as for his mental pain and suffering, and for the Defendants’ blatant and unrepentant violations of Mr. Diemert’s civil rights.”
Pacific Legal Foundation announced in a press release that it was representing Diemert as a pro bono client.
“Instead of supporting its employees and providing them with opportunities, the City of Seattle is encouraging racial discrimination and harassment through its Race and Social Justice Initiative,” attorney Laura D’Agostino said in the release. “Seattle employees should be treated as individuals with dignity and evaluated by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.”
The City of Seattle did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.