At least two people have been fired after their Twitter comments about the recent George Zimmerman verdict reached their unsympathetic bosses.
Last week Texan Rita DeShannon was fired for a string of racist tweets, starting with one reading, Confusing political correctness with not being a bigot, she started out with “I’m really f***ing tired of being politically correct for nothing after all these years!” She went on to call Martin a “thug in training” but also noted that she wasn’t racist and that would “kill any color of person who tried to kill her first.”
DeShannon was a special investigator for Child Protective Services (let that sink in for a minute) which has a clear policy on prejudiced behavior at all times and in all venues, including social media. She was fired for violating that policy, which included several tweets with the N-word. (NOTE: I’m working to get a copy of the Texas CPS policy and will update when I receive it.)
In the second instance, a 17-year-old lost a job before she even started in Michigan, after tweeting she was thankful for the bullet that killed Martin on the night the Zimmerman verdict was announced. Sarah Taylor (who listed her name on Twitter as sarah fucking
taylor-RED FLAG) was canned by her new boss at Biggby Coffee after several tweets and Facebook posts alerted him to her comments, which he described as “horrific.”
Both of these ladies were infrequent tweeters with low numbers of followers. If they would have taken their opinions among friends, they’d probably still be employed and I wouldn’t be blogging about them now. But they both turned to a public forum to take part in a larger conversation and added a lot of heat and very little light to the discourse, taking their own employment and reputations down in the process.
I can’t say I’m surprised. The case and the verdict have been so polarizing along class and race lines that people have been very public about their feelings. Unfortunately for these two those feelings don’t reconcile with positions that serve the public at large, which include people like Martin AND Zimmerman.