Protest expands over discrimination claims at Kansas City’s VA Medical Center


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Claims of race discrimination at the Veterans Administration Medical Center are bringing together more protesters outside the hospital.

Civil rights groups say their demands are being ignored.

FOX4 first reported on racial discrimination claims at the VA hospital in March, before the coronavirus crisis started dominating the news.

Current and former black workers at the VA medical center claim they’re treated differently at the hospital and many are afraid to speak out for fear of being disciplined.

The local branch of the NAACP said it’s received nearly 100 complaints about how the hospital treats its black employees.

Workers have vowed to continue protesting every Monday, and they’re joined now by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equity.

“I was the brunt of a lot of racial jokes and comments, which was very humiliating and demeaning for me,” said Charmayne Brown, a former nurse supervisor who worked at the VA for 17 years.

“When it was reported to the administration, absolutely nothing was done to the people who were guilty of doing these things to me. However, I was met with retaliation. Making my life really difficult.”

The group wants an investigation of every claim of racial discrimination in the last 10 years, including the number of settlements taxpayers have paid to end discrimination suits.

They also are calling for the immediate termination of an emergency room nurse, who they say called a black veteran the N-word.

They want human resources practices investigated and hospital leadership removed.

Most importantly, protesters want to ensure that all black workers are treated with respect and equality. The VA has not yet responded to FOX4’s requests for information about race discrimination complaints — and FOX4 has been asking since March.

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