The city of Charlotte for the first time has fired an employee for violating its social media policy.
– Crystal Eschert – who is white and a CLT fire investigator – wrote this Facebook post on her personal page this summer: “White guy shot by police yesterday near Ferguson…Where is Obama? Where is Holder? Where is Al Sharpton? Where are Trayvon Martins parents? Where are all the white guys supporters? So WHY is everyone MAKING it a racial issue?!? So tired of hearing it’s a racial thing. If you are a thug and worthless to society, it’s not race – You’re just a waste no matter what religion, race or sex you are!”
– City officials said such a post negatively affects the fire department’s reputation and violates city policy.
– Eschert claims she’s being punished for being a whistleblower. In August, she told a City Council member the renovations at the new arson unit center were unsafe. An investigation was launched.
– “In my opinion, racism is so stupid, and I think that if you commit the crime, you’re a thug. I have a cousin who I say is a thug.” — Crystal Eschert
– “They hunted her down.” — Council Member Claire Fallon
– “It’s no worse than other stuff I have seen other firefighters say in public posts.” — Marty Puckett, vice president of the Charlotte Fire Fighters Association
First, the above quotes don’t really make us feel any better about the city, firefighters or Eschert’s cousin. Second, this whole thing is dumb and dumber. It’s dumb to post stuff about race on social media unless you’re going to be all Kumbaya. And it’s dumber to fire somebody over something like this on social media. Even the former local NAACP chairman and the city’s first black mayor say the termination was too harsh.
Photo: Abbi O’Leary / Charlotte Observer