Randall Emmett sued for race discrimination, hostile workplace by former assistant district attorney Randall Emmett.
The story of Randall Emmett is a cautionary tale of the state’s growing intolerance of difference and the cost of discrimination laws. His own story of coming to terms with his identity, and overcoming the obstacles he faced, is a reminder of why it’s essential to take action now against discrimination, if we want to live in a society built on inclusion, not exclusion.
Emmett grew up in rural Maine with his mom and two brothers. He started elementary school in the 1950s, but the end of the school year came without notice, leaving him at home without any teachers or other staff to call upon for help.
For the first two weeks of the new school year Emmett went to school by himself. Even though he was in the second grade, he had grown up around people with a range of ages and different experiences. His classmates were in elementary school or even older, and most had left home to go away to school and work.
On the last day of school before winter break, he was in the hall with a friend and watched a teacher ask students to stand up with a certain posture. “I asked the teacher if I should stand up, too,” he recalls. “She said yes, so I stood up; and my friend who was next to me stood up, too. That was the first time I told others my name and asked why they were there.”
Folks were coming and going all the time, but never really spoke to one another, he adds. “They were kind of afraid of strangers.”
That, and the fact that he had grown up surrounded by people with different backgrounds and experiences, made him feel all alone.
The next day, he decided to stop being a stranger and decided to stand up.
He was not sure where to stand; he had never been tested for his ability to stand. There were some other students there as well and he was able to watch them try to stand up. The teacher explained to them what was going on and they all stood up without falling over or looking as if they had a stiff back or neck.
In the middle of the room they