Our View: Racist acts or ageist axe? Who knows, and who cares?

Southeast Texas Record Nov. 4, 2014, 8:15am

When the Cowboys or the Texans play, it's easy to know who to root for – except when they play each other, as they did last month.

But what happens when neither franchise plays and you have to settle for a contest with no Texas team? You might have a fallback favorite in the match-up or prefer one team to the other for a variety of reasons, but what if you don't like either?

What if you find both repugnant, don't want to cheer for either side, and would actually prefer to see both lose – if only that were possible?

Court cases sometimes provoke similar reactions in justice junkies, when neither plaintiff nor defendant is appealing (in the aesthetic sense) and the subject of dispute seems juvenile or otherwise irrational or mean-spirited.

The age-discrimination suit that James Schubiger filed against his former employer on Sept. 11 in the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas may be another example of a case we'd like to see both parties lose.

The 59-year-old Schubiger claims that he was fired in August 2013, after 11 years of service, because of his age. His employer, Voith Industrial Services, insists that he was let go because of racist comments directed at a Native American boss.

That employee allegedly complained that Schubiger had taunted him with a make-believe Indian chant (“Hey, ya, ya, ya”). Though he received an informal warning from his supervisor regarding the matter a week before his termination, Schubiger denies chanting the chant and points out that other workers called this same employee “Chief.”

According to Schubiger, the allegedly aggrieved Native American “never made any objections to [him] about being referred to as ‘Chief’ by anyone or to people chanting ‘hey, ya, ya, ya’ in his presence.”

Who's right? Who's wrong? We have no idea and we couldn't care less, but we would like to see both parties punished for bringing this childish dispute into our courts.

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