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Man Fired For Calling Watermelon Obama Fruit

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posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:22 PM
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Dear friends...having been in management for many years, and having to actually deal with stuff like this....let me simply say:

Never talk, initiate, discuss, or joke about politics, race, religion, or sex at work. Never....Never.

No matter how innocent or accidental such comments may be, management will have no choice but to follow the company guideline and discipline such actions and comments. There will always be someone that will be offended or embarrassed.

Remember, you are at work...you represent the company, the company ideas and policies, and are probably on company property and company time, or are a part of a company activity.

This doesn't mean you are a slave to the company, you are being respectful of your employers. If you were visiting friends and their kids were in the room, would you tell an explicitly dirty joke? If not, does that mean you are a slave to them? No, just being respectful of the kids.

Likewise, be respectful of your co-workers. It shows a depth of character and respect that many admire, and a sense of discipline and self control that employers desire.




posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:27 PM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


I agree. There's a time and place.

I also think there's a distinction between being racist (one who believes there are distinct differences that make certain groupings of ethnicities better than others, and hold the position that the other is subhuman), and repeating stereotypes as a joke. The only one who knows if it was racist, would be the one who said, as only he knew whether there was any hate behind the stereotype or not. my 2 cents.


[edit on 7/22/2010 by Arcane Demesne]



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:31 PM
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Here is something to make you think a little.Within the last couple of days a remark made by a lady that worked for the USDA. This ladies name is Shirley Sherrod. There were parts of her statment that was heard and then used to call her a racist. Although the words she said did sound racist to some, but when the whole statement was heard you can see it was not put out there to be racist it was just misunderstood and it cost her a job. Some people hear only what they want to hear and act on that one statement which probably wasn't meant to be a racist remark at all.The company shold have sat down with this person and heard his reason for the remark. Firing the man was a bit harsh in my opinion.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:32 PM
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Well, the man should know his fellow employees and what is acceptable by them. I can say some things in a joking manner at work and get away with it, and my colleagues can do the same. In company of some other employees or new employees, I would definitely keep it back some. We all know the rules are there, so we are careful who we say things around. We all know that if the wrong person hears certain things, that's it, job over.

After saying that, racism? I think racism needs to be redefined here. It is using a stereotype, but I think racism is more of thinking that one race is better than another. Did he say that blacks are horrible people because they may like watermelon? And to the people who brought up that slaves ate watermelon ... well, most people don't know that story, it's the first time I heard it.

Having fun with stereotypes should not get one fired. If an employee of a company refers to dumb blondes, should that employee be fired? If so, I know of lots of people should lose their jobs.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by aching_knuckles

How do you know what Im a mix of? I find your statement offensive.



Thats ok, I find all your lumping of all "whites" into one homogeneous group offensive too. Why should I care what you are a mix of when you dont care what "whites" are or where they are from?



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


At company picnics people do tend to get more relaxed and joke around a little more than if they were in the office. I could see if he were sitting with a client/customer at the office and said that then that is a good reason to terminate him, but at a company picnic he should have been talked to not fired. If these people didn't like his comment then they should have said let him know it was an inappropiate thing to say. There are many ways to deal with a situation like that first before firing someone.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by aching_knuckles

Originally posted by GummB
maybe he did deserve to be fired.

But can anyone explain to me how that is racist or offensive. Comparing a person to a piece of green and red fruit seems like a very miniscule comment. Sorry I just don't see any connection, if someone could shine some light on the situation it may be more understandable.

GummB



This is exactly what I was talking about..."How is that racist?? I dont get it"

Im sure youve never heard of a black person/watermelon stereotype ever in your life. Please. Have the moral fortitude to not take this angle to justify racism.


OK - this watermelon/black person thing is unknown to me .. what is the connection?

It must be an American thing - Ive never heard of it - seems kind of amusing when viewed from a perspective of complete ignorance - compare someone to a fruit and get fired? Lol's - I guess it must be something only Americans would understand.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by AlreadyGone

This doesn't mean you are a slave to the company, you are being respectful of your employers.

...

Never talk, initiate, discuss, or joke about politics, race, religion, or sex at work. Never....Never.


Of course it does mean your a slave - and the idea that you can fire someone because they embarrass or hurt someones feelings is a joke.

What a sick twisted world - harden the fk up and stop being babies.

I am for free speech, people should be able to say whatever they like, racist or not. "Never, never talk about it" what a crock - they have people scared to even mention stuff - tell me this doesnt add to peoples stress when they can be fired for a offhand comment that someone finds offensive.

People can censor themselves - if people are rude, anti social or whatever it will bite them in the a--, we dont need these kind of rules and rubbish - people will work it out themselves, we dont need top down morality lessons, get the fk out of peoples lives.

[edit on 22-7-2010 by Amagnon]



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


Funny you should say that. I worked for Stanley tools in the late 90's and I had a boss that would tell some crazy jokes. It is alot easier on everyone if the employess and workers are happy towards each other.

So having a little fun and a good joke at work is used to help the day go by a little easier. As long as you aren't the target of the jokes then why worry about them making their day a little easier, and a happy employee is a better employee.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:04 PM
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Originally posted by OutKast Searcher
I love the people who don't think this is racist.


I love that the guy says "I'm not racist".


I think the main problem for most racists is that they have no clue that they are racists..they see this as normal behavior. Which is why we have the problem we have today...with a bunch of people not being able to see the blatant racism that has sprouted since Obama won the election.


Just because you say "I'm not racist" doesn't make it true...you will be judged by your actions...not a self-label.



Agreed 100%
Just saying you're not racist does not negate your words or your actions.
Thankfully we have company laws against this kind of ignorance.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:05 PM
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reply to post by aching_knuckles
 



Im sure youve never heard of a black person/watermelon stereotype ever in your life. Please. Have the moral fortitude to not take this angle to justify racism.


We all like watermelon! Who gives a # if people think you like it because you're black? Most people assume white people cant dance. Should someone be fired for saying so? Its all just such stupid crap to get upset about.

EDIT: Although, I do think the business owner has a right to fire this guy. He was clearly trying to provoke people.

[edit on 22-7-2010 by Hudson]



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by CodyOutlaw
 


So i guess that every comedian and late night talk show host are racist because they have joked about Obama. Now what Michael Richards said a while back now that was racist, what this man aid was far from a racist remark.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by Hudson
 


Oh don't forget the white men can't jump. Beause if this is not considered a racist remark then Obama fruit damn sure isn't racist.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:25 PM
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This man was most indeed being racist, made a joke that he thought would receive an ovation, but instead received disgust. He most likely played it off, and when he was fired changed the story to saying he innocently was calling the president a 'Melon Head' and not insinuating a racially charged statement.

It is also interesting that this happened after those popular photos of the white house growing water melons, and a few other racist photos of the president and melons, circulated among various tea partiers and other conservatives.

He is guilty of making an inappropriate, racially charged joke and appears to be essentially trying to rewrite history to make himself appear the victim in order to collect benefits.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:30 PM
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Racist or just stupid, either way he got what he deserved. Most places have policies in place that prevents this stuff. I don't know what it's like in the States but up here the work place can also be defined as "2 or more employees in a gathering", say a bar. So it's not just at the work place.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:32 PM
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I just want to how this out here for you. How many of you know a real racist? I can show you what real racists are especially where I live in Ga. Some of the things I have heard come out of peoples mouths would just make your jaw hit the floor. I guarantee you would not believe that their are still people out their that have that much hatred toward races that are not white. People need to stop taking a remark someone makes and instantly call them a racist.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


Just wondering could there have been a different way to deal with this before firing him. I don't know if he had the chance, but he should of been able to explain what he meant by saying that. If he did say it as a racist remark then yes he should be fired especially if he has been known to say those type of remarks in the past. If this man is not one to say these kinds of remarks in the past then no he did not deserve to be fired. There are other ways to handle a situation like this before firing an individual.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:42 PM
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Originally posted by tsurfer2000h
Just wondering could there have been a different way to deal with this before firing him. I don't know if he had the chance, but he should of been able to explain what he meant by saying that. If he did say it as a racist remark then yes he should be fired especially if he has been known to say those type of remarks in the past. If this man is not one to say these kinds of remarks in the past then no he did not deserve to be fired. There are other ways to handle a situation like this before firing an individual.


That's what I was thinking. Usually the employer will acknowledge that the person needs "sensitivity training". Not canned right off the bat. If the Appellate Court upheld this I think this wasn't his first go around.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by DJM8507
 


Do you have any proof that he was making a racist joke? Also do you know for sure this man had changed his story? I am going to bet you have no proof so how can you call him a racist? You cannot call him a racist unless you know the man personally. Other than that it is all heresay.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


Yes they did go against him,but it makes you wonder what his employer has to say about him. They could have said anything that would show him in a bad light because of this remark. I know a few employers that will say whatever it takes to make you look bad. I had one of those employers myself. I would love to see what the employer said then we would have a clearer picture of what really happened and why.



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