Is “Zombiatic” a word? It’s in the Federal Record.
Is “zombiatic” a word? -atic is a suffix forming adjectives “of the nature of the thing specified” (as in problematic or emblematic). But the only prominent “zombiatic” hits on google are about a death metal song named “Zombiatic Nerve” by the aptly-named band, The Neologist. The neologism predates that usage and appears in 2008 in a Federal District Court opinion about race discrimination, wherein a pro se complainant alleged discrimination at the New York Public Library.
RICHARD E. STONE, Plaintiff, -v- THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, ASTOR, LENOX, AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS, Defendant.
05 Civ. 10896 (DLC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32800
Decided – April 22, 2008
The opinion is written by Judge Denise Cote, describing a variety of incidents during which the plaintiff-patron was allegedly discriminated against, including:
On June 3, 2005, also at the Mid-Manhattan Branch, Stone alleges that at approximately 5:50 p.m. (ten minutes prior to closing time), a “young black female” turned off the computer that he was using without warning him that she would do so. Stone reported this incident to a supervisor, a white woman, who was “dismissive” of his complaint. At his deposition, Stone stated that he believed that the actions taken by both individuals during this incident “could be racially motivated” because “[w]hen it comes to certain people they feel that they don’t have equal rights,” and that they can “just dismiss your complaints because they don’t consider you worthy of taking any action.” Specifically with regard to the actions taken by the “young black female,” Stone testified that “[t]his is a social phenomenon . . ., to put it in street parlance, they dis their own men.” With regard to the supervisor’s actions, Stone also stated that “she seemed zombiatic,” and that “maybe she didn’t like her job, that is not an easy job.”
It should be noted at the outset that Stone has not alleged that he was denied access to or use of any library books, facilities, or services, or that he was ever asked to leave a library, and Stone remains a frequent visitor to various branches of the NYPL. Rather, Stone’s allegations are based upon several instances in which he felt that he was given inefficient, discourteous, dismissive, or otherwise unfair treatment by library staff. In certain of these instances, he has identified individuals of another race who he believes received better treatment; in other instances, he has testified that the actions in question were simply irrational, and must have been racially motivated for that reason.
In sum, while “no action is more contrary to the spirit of our democracy and Constitution” than racial discrimination in places of public accommodation, Daniel, 395 U.S. at 306 (quoting President Kennedy), Stone has not submitted any evidence creating a genuine factual dispute regarding whether he was given unequal access to or “enjoyment of” NYPL services on account of his race. 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(a). Because it is apparent that Stone cannot “carry [his] ultimate burden of showing that [he was] denied services based upon [his] race,” summary judgment must be granted to the defendant. Lizardo, 270 F.3d at 106.
So in this case, we see the word “zombiatic” used by a black man in New York describing a white librarian-supervisor who was unreceptive to his complaints. The Court here is similarly unreceptive to the man’s complaints and I would presume Mr. Stone also had some choice words to describe the legal system.
Also recall incidentally, Zombie Law Post on Undead Libraries