Katrina Pierson is an impressive figure, if only for her ability to out-batshit her employer, Donald Trump. She serves as a campaign spokesperson and talking head, frequently appearing on cable news to offer summaries of Trump’s, discriminatory policy proposals and his general hardline xenophobia and bigotry—which makes it, perhaps, a little funny that once she sued her boss for racial discrimination.
Pierson’s most outright racist statement so far (November is still pretty far off!) came after Trump’s startling pledge to completely ban Muslims from entering the United States. When challenged on CNN about barring “regular Muslims,” Pierson scoffed: “Yes, from Arab countries. You know what? So what? They’re Muslims.” The ability to deliver this line with a straight face ought to require either a very stiff drink, or a sincere and abiding belief that a particular ethnic group is inherently unworthy of rights enjoyed by more favored groups.
In 2008, before her ascent to Tea Party star (Texas-area regional division) and a failed run for Congress, Pierson worked for Sanofi-Aventis, a pharmaceutical company, marketing prescription drugs to doctors in the Dallas area. Two years later, she filed suit against the company, claiming that they “engaged in practices towards her which willfully discriminated against her on the basis of her race.” In her complaint, uncovered by Gawker, she demanded restitution for lost wages and “emotional pain” due to her treatment as a non-white person.
Pierson, who is black, said a former manager spoke “down to her as if she were a child,” behavior she blamed on racial bias. She alleged said she was sabotaged by the company “by failing to provide her with advanced notice of periodic training tests and not granting her standard time out of the field to prepare and study,” which she said was typically afforded to white employees. According to a later filing, Pierson and her former employer (which denied her allegations) settled out of court, and the suit was dismissed.
Multiple attempts to contact Pierson regarding the suit and whether or not racial discrimination is actually bad were unanswered.