TV weatherman fired after uttering racial slur on air


#130

Oh, no, @Mindysan33 - you might lose your lucrative Commentor on the BBS job! Whatever will you do?!?/s


#131

Also, to stress a point here, this particular guy is going to be fine.

jeremy-kappell-says-hes-getting-support-across-globe

He’s getting EXTRA sympathy in this lifetime, not less.

On his twitter, he is thanking people for joining a movement to help him, which seems a pretty wild word choice for someone who wants you to think he would never belittle the struggle of MLK.


#132

Well, that’s humiliating! :wink:

I’m not surprised… twitter has a habit of doing that, in order to pwn the politically correct libtards…

At some point, he’ll start talking about how he’s the Rosa Parks of… weathermen? I dunno.


#133

So let’s review: you soft-played direct confrontation of a colleague who was saying overtly racist things about another colleague, failed to report it to HR (which would have been confidential), then was ostracized when your chat session was published to the whole company.

Without having any idea of where you were employed, I would say they did a crappy job of educating you on your responsibility to report racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior to HR. I may not have liked the amount of time I (and every single one of tens of thousands of employees) had to waste on mandatory training sessions on the topic, but I will say they made it perfectly clear that if I witnessed such behavior and didn’t report it, I was part of the problem.


#134

This whole incident speaks to a pathology we see a lot in which any perceived transgression is punished brutally as a way to avoid looking in the mirror at systemic, structural white supremacy. As Robin DiAngelo (a white liberal academic) points out in her excellent book White Fragility, “I am convinced that white liberals do the most daily damage to people of color.”

The guy made an obvious gaffe. His punishment, apparently, is his professional career and personal reputation. Any attempt to project racist intent into his gaffe is just that, a projection. I don’t know if he’s an overt racist, and neither do most of the folks condemning him so loudly.

This reminds me of how most white liberals are MUCH more offended when someone uses the N-word than they are at the quantifiable fact white supremacy remains ubiquitous through every layer of our society. As DiAngelo points out, white people really get defensive about their own alleged lack of prejudice when that inconvenient truth is brought up.


#135

OMG what happened to him now?


#136

It’s not either or… language and how it’s used to demean others actually matters. As much as the shooting of young black men or the major issues of the criminal justice system? Of course not, and literally no one here is suggesting that (at least not from what I’ve read).

If you were up on critical race theory as you seem to think, you’d be well aware that intent is not the only thing that matters here, and things such as language and attitudes of whites are critical to maintaining white supremacy, and to dismissing the ideas that the problems are systemic. [ETA] The entirely dismissive attitudes around incidents like this are PART of the white supremacist system, not outside or even incidental to it.

This guy will land on his feet, he’s a middle class white dude after all. They tend to have a habit of failing up…


#137

People are talking mean about him on the interwebs!


#138

I didn’t even call him a cracker or anything…


#139

Even if you had:


#140

lloyd-kaufman-yes


#141

I’m in the never let a racial slur slip or otherwise. Weird take on this.


#142

Not a weird take at all. We have ALL misspoke and fumbled words and had either the wrong word come out or been misheard by others.

And I directly stated that even doing that one time can be cause for termination; however, in this instance I doubt it is a one time thing. I’m in the category of there is probably a history there where it was more than a one time issue.

Take your trolling and/or misrepresentation of MY viewpoint elsewhere.


#143

I don’t understand why people are focusing so much on whether this was accidental or intentional. He’s not getting charged with a crime, who cares about intent? He (1) Screwed up bigly in what appears to be a key job responsibility as determined by his employer (I’ve been fired with less cause), and (2) Said something hurtful.

When I say something that hurts someone and realize it, whether I intended to cause harm or not, I need to atone. This guy basically said I’m sorry if what I said hurt anyone, but I’m the victim here! For four minutes! That doesn’t count! All he needed to say is something along the lines of:

Earlier in the program/last night/last week/whatever I used language that was hurtful. I am deeply sorry for any harm caused by it. Please understand that it isn’t representative of my views, or the views of this station. Additionally, I would like to thank those who have turned out on social media in support of me, but ask that you instead turn your support towards the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Foundation. Together, we can make a real difference in our society.

If that doesn’t fit with your ethics, I’d ask that you instead support the Shorn Valley Racist Raccoon Spay and Neuter Sanctuary. Those fuzzy little bandits grew up in a raccoon society that glorified hateful language, much like the language I used earlier tonight. They faced tremendous pressure from their litter mates and have such tiny brains. It’s not their fault, and they could use your help. Thank you.

Two minutes tops.


#144

Like many people here, I’m just standing up for what I think is right. I comment on @beschizza’s posts when they appear to shame someone under uncertain circumstances. I’d ask Rob to consider being more selective when he humiliates someone, and commenters consider being more skeptical when someone is shamed. I do the same thing if I see it in my local paper, or national news service.

In many cases, public shaming is absolutely warranted. For example, if a public figure makes an intentional, racist action, or a police officer carves hate symbols into his flashlight:


Great! We need to call that shit out! However, on BoingBoing we’ve had people shamed who possibly don’t deserve the additional negative attention. For example, a teenage girl who messed up a skill testing question, a man who appeared to be mentally ill, and this guy, who might have just messed up his line.

Public shaming is a form of punishment that hasn’t gone through any kind of legal process, and it’s much worse than pre-internet. Now, small mistakes can become immortalized and omnipresent.

The rational that it’s ok because other publishers are doing it is wrong. Just like if you see someone bullied in real life. Do you stick up for them, or join in?


#145

I did report it to HR. This was an ongoing issue, and I told him many times in many ways to stop, but myself and the victim were both relatively new, and the racist was a key member of the team.

This is when I learned a hard fact of life: HR is concerned with the wellbeing of the company, not you. There was no proof of racism and the victim was unwitting. That said, it’s easy for you to tell me in retrospect what I did wrong. I know I didn’t handle it perfectly, but I did what I thought was right at the time.


#146

Ok, but I don’t see anything shaming in @beschizza’s post. The title is factual and nearly identical to the national news stories outside of BB. Discussing something that happened is not “humiliation”, as you keep describing it.

Again, this is based on the idea that simply discussing an incident is bullying. A case like this is exactly the sort of thing that is worthy of discussion, as it touches on the race tensions that are front and center right now in the U.S.


#147

Forget it, Mags; it’s Psychological Projection-town.

Again, if the weatherman in question had been a person of color who ‘accidentally’ said a slur against White people on live tv and then got fired for it, I seriously doubt that the same people would be so very concerned or “empathic” to his plight.


#148

If you share something embarrassing that someone else did, you are humiliating them. If something embarrassing happens when you’re at school and I share it with people at your place of work, I’m humiliating you.

If it were in the context that it happened, then I’d agree, it wouldn’t be bullying, but when you publicly share something embarrassing with a crowd who were not originally involved, that is humiliation.

One important respect in which humiliation differs from embarrassment is that, whereas we bring embarrassment upon ourselves, humiliation is something that is brought upon us by others.

From this article:


#149

Kappell isn’t being bullied. He isn’t being mobbed. He isn’t being oppressed. Please refrain from the hyperbole that minimizes the real-world suffering that real people experience when being bullied or attacked. The people on this thread who have criticized him have done so in response to all the apologists who’ve crawled out of the woodwork to come to the defense of the poor, helpless (probably racist) white guy.

Somehow this detail didn’t make it into your wall o’ text in the first draft.

Absolutely true.

And that’s not what I wrote. I criticized the HR department for giving you insufficient training on what to do in that situation. They deserve even more criticism if you reported it and they allowed the racist jerk to retaliate against you by sending out the chat text to everyone. If their job is to protect the company, they were pretty incompetent at it.