Comedian Dick Gregory was paid between $15,000 and $20,000 plus expenses by the Census Bureau to speak to its workers in February during Black History Month. The figures were released to the New York Post by Celebrity Talent Promotions, which books Gregory.
Apparently Gregory offended someone, because the Census Bureau released a statement to the Post, saying:
We understand [Gregory’s] comments offended some members of the audience. Gregory’s statement and opinions were his own and do not reflect the Census Bureau’s commitment to an inclusive workplace environment free from discrimination and harassment. We make every effort to ensure that our external speakers represent diverse viewpoints while also respecting the audience … We will seek to continue to meet this standard in the future and are thoroughly reviewing our procedures for selecting speakers to ensure their views are appropriate for a federal workplace.
Gregory allegedly referred to Census management as “crackers” for eschewing attending his diatribe.
Gregory has been ripping on the issue of race for years; he said in 2012:
Out of the thousands of black cops in America, you never turned on the TV or picked up the newspaper and see where a white family is complaining that some black cop shot their child or mother or father in the head 40 times. Now, you ask the question: are black cops more spiritual than white cops? Are black cops better trained? No, black cops know that white folks ain’t going to tolerate it. That’s why you don’t see that. And when we get to the point that we say we’re not going to tolerate it—now, what will have to happen for black folks to stop tolerating, let cops beat up the black folks’ car. It ain’t no accident you never heard a black person say, “That white racist cop shot my car. There’s something inside of me that wouldn’t tolerate it. I tolerate you my mother, my children, my family, but don’t mess with my car.” And you see that. And when that—and this will help that change. This will help that to come out before there’s an incident and send a message. Or if we was together enough, if we had one Christmas boycott against police brutality, then the white folks that’s not involved in it—the turkey growers, Disneyland, all you media folks—they would come out and stop it. And when they nod their head, it stops.