President Obama is a lot of things. The President of the United States, for one. A husband, a father, and– strangely enough– a former subject of Terry Richardson‘s photographic lens. But I’m pretty sure he’s not a ‘nigger,’ which is what a woman in California called him on her Facebook page. Now granted, thousands of others did the same online (and, I’m sure, in the privacy of their own homes), but this particular young woman’s boss wasn’t having it. Neither is the Secret Service. Click inside to learn more.
Complex has the story, and here’s the video to go with:
22-year-old Denise Helms has won the scorn of the nation after leaving a Facebook status update where shereferred to President Obama as “the nigger,” and called for his assassination during his second term. For her ignorance, Helms lost her job at Cold Stone Creamery and earned the attention of the Secret Service. Though she admitted that the whole “assassination” part of her comment was harsh, she wasn’t apologetic at all.
“I’m not saying like I would go do that or anything like that, by any means” she said. “But if it was to happen, I don’t think I’d care one bit.” She also denied that her use of the word “nigger” makes her racist, saying that she was only stating her opinion. But when asked if she associated the word with President Obama, she said yes. Apparently, in her warped mind, that makes sense.
Cold Stone Creamery store director Chris Kegle didn’t take too kindly to her comments, so he fired Helms. A Secret Service agent from the Sacramento office reached out to her, saying that her comments will be reviewed.
You see? This is exactly why I don’t believe you can reclaim the word ‘nigger.’ It just doesn’t pan out in the end. Now, without getting into whether or not this woman is a racist or not (if we can), I’m really interested in this new wave of Facebook firings. I mean, sometimes I still can’t believe that you can actually get fired for something you say on Facebook… but I’m kind of into it! The lines between so-called ‘reality’ and ‘technology’ are blurring all of the time and I don’t think there’s really such thing as a Facebook world that is completely separate from the real world. They’re coexisting and we need to accept this.
However, I can’t help but wonder if the Cold Stone store director was right to fire her. Did he fire her because she appeared to be a racist… and can/should you do that? Unemployment would sky-rocket like cray, lol! Or did he fire her because she spoke violently against the President– and, if so, does that bring up Free Speech issues? I dunno. I’m not fighting for Ms. Denise to get her job back, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want her spitting ‘nigger’ into my birthday cake remix (damn, I could go for one of those right now), but I’m wondering if this particular story will open up the door for more situations where Facebook status updates start being taken more seriously. And is that a good thing?
And seriously people. Can we stop calling President Obama a ‘nigger’? That’s so not creative.