For Antoine Dangerfield, a 30 year-old welder in Indianapolis, Tuesday began just like any other day. He showed up to his job at a UPS hub, where he was working for a construction contractor. But when he arrived, he learned that some of his Latino colleagues had been dismissed by a white boss he described as racist and unjust in an interview with Jacobin Mag. Soon, all the other Latino workers on the construction site – a number he estimated at over 100 – followed suit and walked off the job in solidarity.
Dangerfield captured the moment in a video that has since gone viral – both for its impressive display of unity in numbers and because of Dangerfield’s own humorous commentary.
“They thought they was gonna play with these amigos, and they said, ‘aw yeah, we rise together, homie.’ And they leaving! And they not bullshitting!,” he can be heard enthusing in the video, as he marvels over how the workers completely shut down the work site with their impromptu strike. “They got me geeked up on my Malcom X shit!!”
In an interview with Jacobin, Dangerfield revealed that his employer offered him $250 to take the video down, and eventually fired him over it. But he made it clear he has no regrets.
“It was life-changing to me to see that happen,” he explained. “Because it was like, dang, they really came together. And that’s why I’m not mad about the video, about getting fired. Because it’s five million people who saw that. And it might change their view on things. Empowering people. So me losing a job is nothing compared to the big picture. If we can get it in our heads that we are the people, and if we make our numbers count, we can change anything.”