An employee in an Atlanta-area school district has been fired from her position as a “paraprofessional” in the Forsythe County Schools.
Jane Wood Allen was let go after making racist comments to her Facebook page regarding Michelle Obama. The official statement from the school explains that “racism and discrimination are not tolerated” in the Forsythe district.
Allen was let go after posting to her Facebook page about Michelle Obama. In the post she refers to Mrs. Obama as a “gorilla” and says she needs to “get a total makeover, especially her hair”.
Kyle Foley of Heat Street wrote about the incident and discovered that this isn’t an isolated incident in the Forsythe District.
It’s not the first time racially charged comments have landed Forsyth County’s school system in the national spotlight. In January, an associate superintendent, Jeremy Spencer, lost his job for posting a picture on Facebook implying that President Obama should be lynched…
Forsyth County caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey back in 1987 because for most of the 20th century leading up to that point, the county had never had a black resident. For that reason, she decided to tape a show there, during which some residents told her it was their right to live in an all-white community if that’s what they wanted.
As a professional culture critic and op-ed writer, conservative and black woman I feel a bunch of different ways about this.
- Good riddance to bad rubbish. If you refer to a black person as a gorilla you know what you’re doing and you know what you mean. There’s no spin on that. You’re being a racist a**hole.
- I’m sick of seeing people who hate the Obamas take it out on the way Michelle looks. She isn’t ugly or a drag queen or an animal. She’s black and her body-type reflects the characteristics of her ethnicity. As does her hair. There are enough things to hate about this administration without going after the looks of a 50-year-old woman who happens to look pretty damn great for her age.
- If you’re going to post racist garbage make sure your account is set to “private”. I have a friend who works in HR at a government agency. She regularly tells people that she does comb through the public social media accounts before hiring someone. I believe anyone has the right to say whatever they want on their own, private social media pages. Its like a diary, or a phone conversation with a friend. Its no one’s business but the people its directed to. However, Allen is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed because she set her post to “public” and it immediately went viral. She seems too stupid to be dealing with children. They were right to fire her. If its in the general public domain, all bets are off.
The internet has been a great tool for discussion and communication but our social media spaces can sometimes give us a false sense of security as we cannot directly see the eavesdroppers and busybodies. My friend in HR suggests not befriending co-workers you aren’t already close with and to make sure you keep you accounts off of the “public” setting.
Remember kids, the internet is forever.