British lab technician makes harmless joke to black colleague; someone formally complains about the joke; his employer suspends him; he commits suicide

In a comment earlier today I said that white men experience a weakening of the bowels at the very thought of saying anything that might be taken as critical of a black. And now we see why.

The story is from (where else?) the Mail:

A medical technician killed himself after being suspended from work after someone complained that he made a politically-incorrect joke about a black friend.

Roy Amor, 61, who was devastated at the prospect of losing his job making prosthetics, shot himself in the head outside his house.

He was facing a disciplinary investigation after suggesting to the black colleague that he ‘better hide’ when they noticed immigration officers outside their clinic.

It is understood that the man was a close friend of Mr Amor and was not offended. However, it was overheard by someone else who lodged a formal complaint.

Five days after his suspension, Mr Amor received an email about the incident from his employers, Opcare, a private company that provides prosthetic and orthotic services to the NHS.

A few hours later police found his body in the road outside his home near Bolton, Lancashire, after being alerted by a neighbour.

Sources told The Mail on Sunday that he left three notes, all of which mention Opcare, including one written outside his workplace at 5pm on the day before he died in which he describes his despair.

The black man, who is believed to have attended Mr Amor’s funeral and had known him for many years, is said to be ‘shattered’.

His distraught family believe that what he intended as a light-hearted remark became overblown.

Mr Amor, a classic car enthusiast, was married to his wife Ann, a former nurse, for 39 years. The couple have a grown-up son and daughter.

Last night, Mrs Amor, who was not at home at the time of her husband’s death, was too upset to comment. Friends said Mr Amor was a highly regarded and experienced prosthetics technician.

One said: ‘Roy made a joke along the lines that his friend had better hide in case the officers found him. It was nothing more than a good-humoured joke but apparently someone overheard it and made an official complaint because they thought it was racist.

‘Roy was devastated when he was suspended and was worried he might lose his job.

‘His colleague has known both Roy and Ann for years and is a family friend. He went to Roy’s funeral and is as shattered by what happened as is everyone else.

‘He has told Ann that he didn’t make the complaint and despite requests from the family, the company has refused to discuss the details of it. The family is not even sure whether the investigation is still ongoing.’

The email from the company that Mr Amor received on the morning of his death was a request asking him to address the statement he had made about the incident.

Unable to open an attachment containing the details, Mr Amor emailed a reply saying he was too upset to deal with the matter immediately. He then shot himself in the afternoon.

Opcare has run the ‘disablement services centre’, which stands in the grounds of Withington Community Hospital, Manchester, for the past three years.

The centre had previously been run by other private companies. In all, Mr Amor had worked there for more than 30 years and ‘adored’ his job. He had not faced disciplinary proceedings before.

Last night, the female manager at the Manchester Opcare centre and a spokeswoman at the company’s Abingdon head office in Oxfordshire said they were unable to make any comment.

David Warlow, one of Opcare’s directors, was also approached by The Mail on Sunday. ‘I’m unable to comment on the matter,’ he said.

Opcare chief executive Michael O’Byrne admitted that Mr Amor had been suspended over the joke.

He added: ‘It’s an enormous tragedy and we are all in mourning. I knew Roy personally and he was an excellent technician.’

Asked if he had any regrets about suspending him, he replied: ‘I don’t want to comment further.’

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said details of Mr Amor’s death had been passed to the Bolton Coroner’s Office. A full inquest would take place in August.

‘There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death,’ the spokeswoman added.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes to Joseph L, who sent the article:

It’s a very significant story.

I can understand this man’s feelings. Suddenly suspended (apparently without any procedure) from a job he had had his whole life, and in a way that made him feel that the social order that no doubt he completely believes in had turned on him and cast him as a transgressor, he was shattered. Since he accepted the liberal premises of the society that was punishing him, how was he to defend himself? The ground had been cut out from under his feet.

When the revolution starts eating its own, the end is in sight. When Danton was on the way to the guillotine, he cried out to Robespierre (at least he did so in the movie version), “Your time will come soon.” And it did.

Anna writes:

This story is so very sad, and seems so full of implications for the future.

Yet, it seems there must be more.

Reading the story in the Mail, it seems the company suspended an employee on the word of a third party, without interviewing the “victim” or the “perpetrator.” An employee (“the perpetrator”) with 30 years experience and no disciplinary action on record. A “victim” not placing a complaint. How strange.

Mr. Roy Amor, 61. Married to former nurse Ann for 39 years; grown son and daughter. Friends said Mr. Amor was a highly regarded and experienced prosthetics technician. It is also said he “adored” his job.

Mr. Amor—not only excellent technician; also husband, father and friend. This should have been, with all due respect, a “bump,” maybe less, maybe more than he’s known before, on the road of life. Certainly not a cause to end it.

For the company, I can find no excuses for their actions from what I have read. Despicable.

For Mr. Amor, husband, father, friend, we did not really know you, did we?

For the future, let’s stop the despicable.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 12, 2010 12:15 PM | Send

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