Women Fired for “I Love Being Black” Button

A woman in Missouri was fired for wearing a button saying “I (heart) being black” among other buttons commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, according to the Progressive. The human resources director said it was offensive, and compared it to wearing a swastika to work, because, obviously, MLK Jr. was known for his fascism and belief in the superiority of the Aryan race.

As the woman, Daphne Jones, pointed out, “Workers here wear ‘I love being Irish’ buttons on St. Patrick’s Day. And he said that was acceptable.”

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12 Responses to “Women Fired for “I Love Being Black” Button”

  1. mas Says:

    “Martin Luther Kind Jr.’s birthday”

    The director must have been thinking of Martin Luther Not-so-kind.

  2. Agent KGB Says:

    Agh, typo, thanks for letting me know.

  3. lightcontrast Says:

    That’s harsh. Is there such shame in a black person showing their pride? Because what is it to be American? Anyone can be American. I’m American and Asian, but yet I don’t always feel like I’m accepted as being an American. And I think people have a problem with me calling myself an Asian American.

  4. mas Says:

    Lightcontrast, would you consider an “I’m proud to be White” button divisive or inappropriate?

    Liberty Level, when are you coming back?

  5. lightcontrast Says:

    Hi, Mas. I wouldn’t consider it inapropriate but I would consider it to be a bit divisive. In a way, whoever is wearing the button, is attempting to isolate themselves from others around them, and some would find that offensive. I wouldn’t find it offensive unless the person was a white supremacist and was trying to make a statement to deliberately cause an uproar. It all depends on the situation. If by inappropriate you mean offensive or uncalled for, again, it would depend on the situation.

    Where is Agent?

  6. mas Says:

    Hi Lightcontrast, I have no idea where he has gone. I trust I didn’t scare him off with my “Martin Luther Not-so-kind” joke, it was just too good a set-up to let pass.

    I was just checking with my question. A “Proud to be Black” button also isolates or sets one apart from others so is a bit divisive, and some may consider it offensive.

    The manager may have a point that race is not the same as country of origin, I haven’t quite decided on that yet, but in my opinion people should have the right to express personal opinion as long as it is personal opinion and not being used to deny promotion or such, so I still disagree with his decision.

  7. lightcontrast Says:

    Naw, that’s unlikely. In the short time I’ve known him through this blog, he’s posted daily and he doesn’t get scared off.

    Race and country of origin? How would one distinguish between the two? Are we of a certain race because of our country of origin or is it for some other reason? For instance, could it be because of our genetic traits? I agree that people should have freedom to voice their opinion, as long as they don’t hurt others in doing so. But it’s hard to balance freedom and protection of rights.

  8. mas Says:

    I didn’t really think I could scare him off – this is his blog, after all.

    Someone on another blog I go to took a month off after a death in the family. Hope he’s okay and all well with him.

    Biologically “race” is not suppsed to be a valid category. Myself I don’t know, but that’s what they say. Still, it’s a convenient one at times.

    I said “country of origin” instead of “nationality” precisely because of the question you raise. Traditionally “nationality’ referred to some combination of race/religion/tribe, I’m no expert on this just what I gather, like “Cherokee nation” or “Jewish nation.” And if they dominated a country “citizenship” and “nationality” would be synonymous – for them, not for minorities. In Israel today for example there are over 100 recognized “nationalities” (if I recall correctly, a lot at any rate) and they are citizens but not “nationals.”

    The idea that a country should be for all of it’s citizens changes that, so here we can all have “American nationality” and it doesn’t say anything about our race or religion or such.

    So that’s why I said “country of origin,” to avoid that sort of confusion with “nationality” or “race.”

    Sorry if I just “lectured” or something, just trying to explain.

    I don’t mind if people get hurt by opinions as long as a) they are honest opinions and one is willing to defend them, b) they don’t distort what the other person is trying to say, c) as I mentioned they are not used against someone in an offical capacity.

    My two cents, plus.

  9. Agent KGB Says:

    Hey, no one died, I’ve just been busy with finals and some other things. Sorry I kind of vanished.

    In regards to the button, IMO, sucks as it does, society is not and never has been color-blind, so the same button or message applying to different races are different. Part of the situation light mentioned fifth comment down might include history (I don’t know if that’s what you meant, but I’m using a broad interpretation of “situation” there), so considering that forty years ago everything was segregated in favor of whites, a “proud to be white” button and a “proud to be black” button should probably be interpreted in context as different. It’s a kind of weird fine line, the Irish ones the woman talked about aren’t seen as divisive by many people, because Irish aren’t known for a belief in superiority, whereas segregation depended on such a belief.

    I myself don’t think anyone should be proud of their race or nationality (regardless of your definition of them), but I’m white, if my parents had been prohibited from drinking at certain water fountains or sitting certain places I might think differently. It’s not something everyone can just forget, so while her “proud to be black” button might be divisive, it was on MLK JR. Day, it was black pride in response to historical white pride. At the same time, it’s the manager’s business (I think, if it was something government-run that’d be different, the article’s gone now, I just realized this post is over a month old), so if he doesn’t want his employees to wear such buttons that’s his decision.

  10. mas Says:

    “Hey, no one died”

    Glad to hear it, and welcome back.

  11. lightcontrast Says:

    I’m glad to hear that no one died. I hope the finals went well.

  12. maldives travel Says:

    good article

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