Foss: Firings for beliefs a tactic that should be used sparingly – New York News

If employers want to fire white supremacists and neo-Nazis, that’s fine with me.


One of the big revelations of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville is that espousing hateful views in public has repercussions. 

Some march participants have been fired from their jobs. At least one marcher announced that he would not be returning to Boston University. Another marcher, who was featured prominently in a Vice News video, was booted off the dating site OKCupid and is wanted for arrest on charges in Virginia.

“I can’t live in this community anymore,” a 21-year-old man from the Monroe County village of Honeoye Falls told the Livingston County News, after being publicly identified as one of the marchers. “I’m in the process of figuring out what to do. I’m 21 years old and now my life is over in this area.” 

Boo hoo hoo. 

No, I don’t feel sorry for anyone coming to a belated realization that participating in a rally where people carry Nazi flags and chant “Jews will not replace us” might not be socially acceptable. 

Pressuring employers to fire people with abhorrent ideas is a way to stigmatize those ideas and send a message about the costs of expressing them. 

It’s a tactic. 

And while it might be an effective tactic, it should also be used sparingly. 

Generally speaking, we should be wary of advocating for employers to fire people based on what they do and say when they’re not on work. 

It’s easy to support firing white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but these aren’t the only people whose beliefs and associations might strike an employer as unsavory and unacceptable. 

Those who belong to…

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