Kansas City journalist Lisa Benson shared Ruby Hamad’s “How white women use strategic tears to silence women of colour” on Facebook, and her white coworkers proved the essay's point by getting her fired.
The firing was publicized when Hamad tweeted about it on Monday to garner support for Benson:
Just to cap off a great weekend, I have just been informed a WoC got fired for sharing my white tears article. So there you go.— Ruby Hamad (@rubyhamad) August 20, 2018
According to Hamad, Benson was fired from her job at KSHB-TV in May after two white female coworkers reported her to HR for sharing the article. The station allegedly said Benson "made broad, unfair characterizations of white women as a group based on their race and gender.”
Lisa shared this piece on her PERSONAL Facebook page which is set to private. Two white female colleagues saw her post, which she tells me she shared int he hopes of "starting a conversation" & "hopefully enlighten people" about her own other WoC's experiences. They contacted HR.— Ruby Hamad (@rubyhamad) August 20, 2018
On May 11th Lisa was suspended from her job at KSHB-TV, for making "made broad, unfair characterizations of white women as a group based on their race and gender." She and my article did no such thing. This is a lie and must be flatout rejected.— Ruby Hamad (@rubyhamad) August 20, 2018
Benson confirmed the news via Facebook in June:
At the time of her firing, Benson had a pending discrimination lawsuit against the station, according to The Kansas City Star. The lawsuit said Benson was assigned stories based on her race and sent to a Ku Klux Klansman’s home alone for an interview.
Lisa has a lawyer who is working to prove that:— Ruby Hamad (@rubyhamad) August 20, 2018
A) The article & her sharing of it was not discriminatory or offensive.
B) The argument employed in the article is a point of discussion in many other mainstream & academic platforms.
C) Lisa was unfairly dismissed.
News director Carrie Hofmann denied Benson’s allegations.
“We can confirm that, in line with its contractual rights, KSHB did not renew Lisa Benson’s contract,” Hofmann said. “We cannot comment on pending litigation. We stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our workplace.”
Another black journalist, Demetrice “Dee” Jackson, also filed a lawsuit against the station for racial discrimination. Jackson, a sports journalist, said he was denied a job as sports director twice after the higher-ups had him convinced he'd get the position.
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