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LETTERS

What good does it do to just fire someone for racist comments?

Billboards light up with an "All Black Lives Matter" message and a Pride flag in New York's Times Square on June 24.
Billboards light up with an "All Black Lives Matter" message and a Pride flag in New York's Times Square on June 24.Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images,

Do people who are fired for racist statements change their stance? If not, what’s the point? There should be consequences, other than drastic financial loss. What about the long-term impact?

An increasing number of people are being fired, or close to it, after making statements seen as racist. For example, a Vermont school principal was put on leave this month after expressing views on Black Lives Matter (”Principal on leave for ‘insanely tone-deaf’ Black Lives Matter post,” June 15). Holding her accountable is important, and as a Black teacher, I think about whether she has other views that harm the Black and brown students under her care. Still, the next principal could hold similar views and just not express them outwardly, which could be worse.

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Another recent Globe article (”Here come the white people: the new antiracism,” Ideas, June 14) indicates that “call-out culture,” the policing of others’ language use, does not create change and can alienate future advocates. Losing your job over something you said, with no recourse, is the ultimate form of call-out culture. Instead, we should have mandatory training, where people in these cases talk about their thinking (similar to the “deep canvassing” described in the Ideas piece), devote community service hours working for the people they’ve harmed, and accept some financial loss.

The gratification of seeing someone get fired is cathartic and seems like justice, but that person doesn’t just disappear — what happens next?

Genelle Faulkner

Mattapan