white women got this black reporter fired for sharing article about white fragility

August 22, 2018
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A white women’s beauty will launch a thousand ships but a white woman’s tears will get Black women fired with the quickness. Don’t tell this to an actual white woman though. Don’t even bother sharing an article about it on your private Facebook because two of your coworkers might go to HR and get you fired. This is the case for Black broadcast reporter Lisa Benson Cooper who shared Ruby Hamad’s article ‘How White Women Use Strategic Tears to Silence Women of Color’, prompting a flood of white tears that carried two white women to HR resulting in Benson’s dismissal. Oh, the irony.

Hamad’s article explores “speaks to how black women are often mistreated at work but afraid to speak up because white women too often accuse them of being combative,” wrote The sharing of an article that reflects on a popular pop culture discussion may seem like shaky grounds for dismissal but then again, This Is America and the rules don’t apply unless they come out of the white supremacist playbook. Benson Cooper had already filed a lawsuit against her Kansas City station KSHB-TV, alleging that she had been discriminated against repeatedly because of her race. The lawsuit states that reporter was ‘consistently’ sent to urban areas as well as being forced to do an interview in the home of Klan member.

Benson Cooper’s firing over sharing an article after a history of calling out racial discrimination in the workplace is a business as usual, especially considering that in 2015, Benson Cooper was suspended without pay for being “too combative” (right out of the playbook) because she dared to ask why other (white) employees with less experience kept being promoted over her. This is no small question considering Benson Cooper is an Emmy-award winning journalist who reported on the Obama inauguration. “From covering the inauguration of president Barack Obama to becoming an Emmy award-winning journalist, I will forever cherish my work here in Kansas City!” Lisa wrote on her Facebook page.

Hamad took to Twitter to shed light on her article getting Benson Cooper fired, sharing Benson’s story and the fact that reporter will be fighting the ground for the firing by arguing that sharing the article was not discriminatory because it is a discussion happening in academic circles and mainstream media. Lisa’s lawyer seeks to argue what we can all see clear as day: her dismissal was unfair. White women have survived so long not answering for their racist antics because of the weaponization of their “victimhood”, mentioned in Hamad’s article (go read it!). The fact that Benson Cooper was fired just proves the article to be justified and racist white women would rather maintain the status quo than own up to their role in it. The kind of protected role that allowed Emmet Till to be brutally murdered while his accuser can live her life and later admit she was lying about Till flirting with her. Phew, CHILE the racist complicity.

To adapt the sentiment made by former Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams, “White tears are like bleach: it works miracles for your whites but it will ruin your colors.”