Should Racist People Lose Their Jobs? The Internet Weighs In



Since the violence in Charlottesville, America has been dealing with complicated questions like, “Is Racism Bad or Good?” Some people have engaged in even more nuanced analyses like, “How Can I Be A Racist If I Don’t Label Myself A Racist?” and “I’m Not A Racist But [insert racism here].”


A more recent take on this question is whether or not people who profess racist beliefs or take part in “white pride” rallies should be fired. Many who attended the Charlottesville rally were fired from their jobs after being doxxed on social media. Of course, that’s tragic. Can you imagine being discriminated against by your employer because of something that doesn’t impact your work performance?


Whether or not you’re holding a huge bucket of popcorn in front of your computer monitor and cheering when you see fasc – oops, “alt-right white-rights activists” get fired for their beliefs, you have to acknowledge that there’s a lot of different opinions on the subject. Here are twenty-five different takes on the subject.


1. Free To Be Wrong: “You’re free to go to a white supremacy march. You’re free to write horrible things on the internet about women. You’re free to rant about Jewish people. You’re free to explain why gay people are nature’s mistake. But everyone in society around you is free to refuse to hire you, free to fire you, free to turn their backs on you because they find your behavior dangerous and repulsive. It’s especially true because some of your chosen group are crazier than outhouse rats and armed. To put it inelegantly, if you’re going to take a crap on the table, don’t expect to be invited to dinner.”

(Katherine Bailey)



2. Does Love Trump Hate?: “One of my favorite authors, Peter David, who is Jewish himself, advocates not firing bigots, provided they behave at the office. He hopes to help them overcome hatred. I’m very inspired by stories like this one about a Rabbi who opened his heart to racists: “When he was a cantor in Lincoln, Neb., Rabbi Michael Weisser confronted die-hard Ku Klux Klan leader Larry Trapp, befriended him and eventually inspired the life-long racist to renounce hatred and speak out publicly against bigotry.” But I also know if a store hired a KKK member, I wouldn’t feel safe walking in. So I’m torn.” (Elke Weiss)

3. Words Unspoken: “I think there is a difference between just speech and advocating violence against a group (or a person). These Nazis and alt right and KKKers may or may not have SAID they advocate violence in so many words, but showing up in uniforms with weapons and shields says it just as clearly. And the videos seem to indicate they started most of the violence that happened. I don’t think that really qualifies as free speech.” (Kimc)


4. With Great Freedom Comes Great Responsibility: “A viewpoint from the right: “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty” – John D. Rockefeller, Jr. A viewpoint from the left: “We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities,” – Bill Maher. A viewpoint from a feminist: “Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame,” -Erica Jong. Suck it up, buttercup. When you are a d*ckhead, bad things follow.” (Scott Welch)


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