Senior Ohio Civil Rights Investigator Fired For Referring To Black People As 'Unappreciative Dogs'
Julia Acosta-Grommon said she hated representing Black people after being forced to leave a bar.
Senior civil rights investigator Julia Acosta-Grommon was fired on Tuesday after telling a Black bartender she "hated Black people."
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Acosta-Grommon, employed by Dayton, Ohio's Human Relations Council, went on a racist rant directed at Ryan Collins, a Black bartender at Elsa’s Corner Cantina in Sugarcreek Township.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Acosta-Grommon and a friend went to the bar on August 29 where she later became enraged when Collins asked her to quiet down. Other patrons told Collins they were uncomfortable by conversation and wanted her to talk quieter. When she began to speak inappropriately in front of the whole bar, Collins took her drink away.
In an email sent to the city of Dayton and shared with the Dayton Daily News on September 3, Collins said Acosta-Grommon repeatedly shouted "I hate Black people," and "I hate representing them."
She told Collins she hoped he got a "call from the KKK" and that they burned a cross on his lawn.
She turned to her friend and began to loudly list the reasons she hated Black people. Shortly after, the bartender asked her to leave and offered to call her an Uber home.
Acosta-Grommon responded by telling Collins where she worked, referencing her position at the Human Relations Council while telling him he would "never be more than a Black piece of sh*t bartender.” She went on to say Black people were "unappreciative dogs" who didn't want to work and only wanted handouts.
Craig Orzechowski, a co-owner of the bar, confirmed Collins' statements in his email and gave the city video evidence of the incident. By the middle of September, the city decided to fire Acosta-Grommon.
Reporters for the Dayton Daily News managed to get a copy of a memo in Acosta-Grommon's personnel file and documents from her interview with the city. She claimed there was no argument between her and Collins but confirmed she was thrown out of the bar for using "adult language."
Acosta-Grommon had a decorated academic career and was reportedly "highly" recommended by Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein before being hired in April. She served as the director of the office of Latinx, Asian and Native American Affairs at Wright State University.
At the university, she reportedly taught within the organizational leadership program and served on multiple committees for the university including race and social justice, diversity advisory and strategic planning steering.
Collins said in addition to telling him where she worked, he was able to identify her because she left one of her business cards.
Before working for Wright State University, Acosta-Grommon was employed at multiple centers for women, LGBTQA affairs and the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, according to the Dayton Daily News.