Suzanne Lucas (Evil HR Lady) recently posted an article about whether employers should or can fire the white supremacists (neo-Nazis) who participated in the deadly rally in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.
I’m going to repost my comment from Evil HR Lady’s blog post (and Inc. article) about this here.
Here’s a link to her article (somebody may have already beat me to this): Should You Fire the Charlottesville Protestors?
If you don’t follow me on Twitter, I also posted this thread.
My comment on Suzanne’s blog:
This is tricky legal territory. I agree with Suzanne; employers should be really careful to make sure they’re not firing someone unlawfully.
You can be fired if your employer deems your presence disruptive and all the legal conditions are satisfied. If you work with clients, they could decide it’s too much risk–what if one of them recognizes you and they lose customers because nobody wants to contribute to your livelihood?
And she’s right that mob identification can often result in a mistake–recently in London, a jogger randomly pushed a woman in front of a bus. Quick action by the driver kept her from being killed. The police picked up  someone who was not even in the country at the time of the incident because he looked like the jogger in the CCTV video (they still haven’t found him). Luckily, they realized their error quickly and the man was cleared. If the cops can mess up, then anyone can. So do your due diligence.
I think people need to remember that our right to free speech only applies to government interference with that speech. This means the US government can’t prevent you from airing your opinion on Twitter, or marching to protest an injustice, or even staging a detestable display such as this group did, as long as you’re not breaking any other laws.
But it does NOT protect you against the consequences of that speech. When you’re out in public, you have NO expectation of privacy. You should know that attending public events might mean your face ends up on TV. People might be able to identify you. Social media makes it very easy to figure out who someone is. And yes, it may affect your employment.
On the other hand, DO NOT DOX PEOPLE. Identification is one thing. But putting people’s personal information (addresses, employers, Social Security numbers, etc.) on the internet is NOT okay. That gets into some very murky moral territory, because it’s usually done to facilitate harassment.
Just don’t be that person. If I were an employer and I found out you were doxxing people, regardless of whether they were Nazis or not, I would really rethink my decision to hire you.
Hate speech has absolutely no history of or evidence backing it up as being in any way constructive. It exists merely to harass, intimidate, and terrorize people who are different from the person saying it. It can be (though not always is) inciting, which is not covered by the First Amendment, according to Brandenburg. v. Ohio. When designed for this purpose, hate speech can incite terrorism.
The neo-Nazis want ONE thing–the complete destruction of anyone they view as “other.” That means anyone who is not white, or anyone who opposes them. They are pushing a false narrative of oppression to justify this agenda.
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to entertain this kind of thing. I think we’ve (almost) reached a point where you’re either a Nazi sympathizer or you’re not. There is no “many sides.” There is no longer any nuance.
We fought a worldwide war to rid ourselves of this. Do we have to do it again? Are we going to have a war on American soil, and will troops from other countries come here to fight with us? I highly doubt it; they’ll probably just watch us tear ourselves apart from the inside.
Then someone will take advantage of the chaos and step in and take over. Guess who that could be? Might rhyme with tootin’.
If we don’t call it out immediately, it will only get worse. Trump’s waffling and refusal to do so has literally excited them. They think he supports them–he probably does, for the votes, at least until he sees that there is no way in almighty Hell he’ll be re-elected. We have to make SURE of that.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
–Call your Congressional representatives (please be polite to the staffers) and tell them how you feel. Demand the removal of Nazi sympathizers Bannon, Gorka, and Miller (and for good measure, known racist Jeff Sessions) from the Trump administration. Tell your representatives that you support their efforts to combat domestic terrorism perpetrated by right-wing factions.
Contact information and scripts here: 5calls.org
–Donate to organizations that combat hate and discrimination. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) are working hard against it. You can also report hate incidents at SPLC’s Hatewatch page.
–Report hate crimes in your community to local law enforcement.
–Don’t forget to vote in local elections as well as national ones. If someone needs a ride to the polls, give them one. Vote against discriminatory candidates, and against voter ID laws, which target poor and minority voters who are more likely to vote for progressive candidates. Election schedules can be found at the My Time To Vote website.
–If you want to counter protest, stay safe and do it lawfully. This article from Self magazine has tips on safety, what to bring, etc. and useful links at the end:
21 Things To Know About Your Right To Protest And How To Do It Safely
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