Workers Quit Illinois Lube Shop After Co-Worker Who Suffered Repeated Racial Abuse Was Fired

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An oil-change shop employee in southwestern Illinois was terminated from his job after objecting to the shop owner’s racist behavior and constant use of the “N-word.”

DeWayne Wren and four of his colleagues approached East End Xpress Lube owner Paul Beeler late last month to confront him about his ongoing racist antics. Beeler and his wife Marcia refused to apologize to their workers and claimed they could say anything they wanted to because it’s their shop. Wren was fired shortly afterward, and four other employees quit the job in protest, leaving one mechanic working.

DeWayne Wren
(photo credit: Wren’s Facebook)

Wren started working at the Belleville, Illinois, lube shop in February and began noticing the owner’s racist behavior quickly, according to River Front Times.

“You never knew which one you were going to get,” said Samuel Sargeant, a former East End XPress employee.

Wren experienced Beeler’s racist behavior after the owner referred to Black kids as “monkeys.” Wren said it became personal once Beeler started to pick on him. The former employee’s pants were falling down on him and his belt kept slipping down. Beeler told him, “I don’t understand why Black people get offended when they’re called nigger when they wear their pants on their ass, because that is what they look like and right now you look like a nigger.”

Wren and other employees who were white at first tried to dismiss Beeler’s bigoted actions, but eventually, they became completely fed up. Wren was the only one fired among the crew.

“They fired Wren because he was Black and they did not want to own up to it,” said former employee Ethan Hass.

Wren shared his experience on Facebook and wrote, “So I was an employee at this place the owner used ‘nigger’ towards me and around me like it’s normal so me and the entire staff confronted them about the use of the racial slurs and in return I was fired immediately.”

Neither Beeler nor his wife has commented on the incident.

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