2 Black Air Force Reservists Allege Racial Harassment
Two black aircraft mechanics at Kelly Air Force Base said Monday they were harassed by co-workers who rode in a government van and wore pillowcases that looked like Ku Klux Klan hoods.
Kevin Harris and Phil Head, both mechanics at the reservist 433rd Airlift Wing, said they also were subjected to other incidents of racial harassment at Kelly before filing administrative complaints with the Air Force over the Sept. 16 van episode.
“You put up with sly remarks, you put up with little innuendoes, but this is where I draw the line,” Harris said. “I’m not going to be subjected to anything like that.”
Harris said he later found the pillowcase hoods and turned them over to security police.
Harris and Head appeared with their attorney, James Myart, who detailed their formal complaints and showed pictures of pillowcases cut with eye holes. Both are civilian workers with reserve status.
According to an Air Force memo, the four in the van Sept. 16 said that they intended their action as a “joke” and that they were pretending to be terrorists.