Social media can land employees in a heap of trouble, and meteorologist Rhonda A. Lee found that truth out firsthand. Ms. Lee lost her job at KTBS-TV, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La. when she responded to a Facebook post criticizing her short afro.

The post read as follows via Journal-isms:

On Oct. 1, a viewer identified as Emmitt Vascocu wrote, “the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still its not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news.what about that (cq).”

Lee replied the same day, “Hello Emmitt–I am the ‘black lady’ to which you are referring. I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer. I’m a non-smoking, 5’3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I’m in perfectly healthy physical condition.

“I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don’t find it necessary. I’m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn’t a reason to not achieve their goals.

“Conforming to one standard isn’t what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that.

“Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching.”

Vascocu replied that Lee was right to be proud of who she is and that he is not a racist, but “. . . this world has . . . certain standerd (cq). if youve come from a world of being poor are you going to dress in rags?. . .”

Though Lee’s response seems professional and mature given the nature of Vascocu’s criticism, she was reprimanded by her employer and subsequently fired. It’s even more puzzling that KTBS-TV could not reference a documented rule that Ms. Lee was in violation of: “I had a meeting with my ND [news director] and GM [general manager] Friday trying to get my job back,” Lee said. “They told me the policy I violated isn’t written down, but was mentioned in a newsroom meeting about a month-and-a-half prior. A meeting I didn’t attend. So when I asked what rule did I break there isn’t anything to point to.”

Lee cites racism as the impetus behind her firing, and says she’s experienced it regularly since becoming a meteorologist as “weather is [a] white boy business.” Be that as it may, she shouldn’t have to fight off racist attacks from viewers, and certainly not from her employer.


What do you think of Rhonda Lee’s experience, Clutchettes? Should she have responded? Is KTBS-TV justified for firing her?

  • Yb

    F*ck KTBS-TV and the idiot who made that comment.

  • Ako

    So when that fat white lady responded to a viewer who wrote in a few months ago the entire nation got behind her right to be fat and unhealthy. Rhonda A. Lee responded in a more tactful, articulate manner and she gets fired?!?! She only responded on Facebook that fat white woman got a damn segment on her station to address her critic.

    Complete.Bull#$%^!

  • Apple

    Lawyer up

  • Rakel

    Love her hair, and her response (especially about her contribution to society). She was tactful and not disrespectful at all. I hope she gets her job back. Better yet, I hope she gets an even better one.

  • Anthony

    She needs to sue the hell out of those @$$holes!

  • Smilez_920

    If they don’t rehire her, she should take this matter to court, especially if they are firing her for a policy that she was not informed of . If a employee is not at the ” new policy meeting” information should be emailed to all employess and printed on the companies employee page so that they can be given the proper information.

    I think her response was very professional. And if this man commented on her personal Facebook page and not the company fb page , then I don’t see the problem. ( I’m aware that a lot of companies have social media policies ).

    I think the station was waiting to fire her, and finally found a ” bs reason”.

  • http://theaaridan.tumblr.com theMuseintheMirror

    Thank you Ms. Lee! As a fellow journalist with natural hair, I applaud you for standing up! Even though we are in a field where there is a standard for how you are supposed to look on air, you defied that. I appreciate that because I realize that I’m going to go through the same thing when I get a professional job. They’re going to tell me to straighten my hair or wear a weave.

    What I don’t get is how she got fired, but the overweight news reporter who spoke out against her aggressor wasn’t? Here’s a link to the story:

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/man-who-scorned-local-reporter-for-being-overweight-doubles-down-on-comments/

  • Anthony

    All I can say is that man who criticized her short hair must not like women because Ms. Lee is one fine looking female.

    That dude needs to go to a Korean hair store in the hood, buy a wig, wrap it around his junk, make himself happy, and leave the rest of us alone!

  • victoria

    I wouldnt be surprised if the viewer who wrote to her via facebook was a black man.

    Her reponse was extremely professional. They clearly were looking for a reason to fire her. And I have to say, Ive never seen a black female meteorologist. Im sure she upset a lot of people with that.

    Btw, she is a beautiful woman.

  • Misty_Moonsilver

    Wow. complete BS. Why didn’t that fat journalist get fired for addressing comments made to her?? When a black woman defends herself, its unacceptable. Wow.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    I hope she sues the white off their butts.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    OMG this! So a white woman can fight back with words and a buckets of tears on anti-bullying concerning her weight to defend her image but Mrs.Lee can’t fight back concerning her natural hair..WTF? Sighs but I am not surprise I hope she gets a lawyer and sued their @ss.

  • http://gravatar.com/mslberry mslberry

    They were WAITING for a reason!

  • JN

    This makes no sense to me. NO SENSE… oh wait, this happened down South? Never mind.

  • Taryn

    Makes me wanna holler.

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    My hand to God, I had this mental image when I got to the ‘rags’ line. >_<

    From what I can see, she didn't curse and she didn't tear down her detractor. She was quite respectful in her response, so why on earth was she fired? As others have said, another reporter took someone criticizing her size, yet this lady's being punished for defending herself? *side-eye* Come on.

  • EST. 1986

    I don’t see anything wrong with her responding to what was said.

    I do think her employer firing her was completely unjustified.

  • http://hearmytruths.wordpress.com Hurit Nitika

    Somebody set her up….they full well who she is and what they were trying to do…seeing that one of her attributes is speaking up for her Self—her Self empowerment is strong and ABLED. Somebody behind the desk didn’t like that…she just fell in the “trap”. She was going places with her destiny, someoneSSSS cut that route short. But of course, she can also embrace this opportunity as a blessing to venture into even greater worlds.

    Folk often have some counteractive unproductive indirect comment to make toward your achievements. When you see a gradual growth in that being, you’re on your right path.

    Eventually you’ll come so far away from those particular vibrations and frequencies that such negativity won’t even be ABLE to reach your height. Be your own superstar before the flame. Keep going up. Bless

  • EST. 1986

    I was going to mention the same thing. The overweight woman responded to her detractor on air and she was applauded for it.

  • Kay

    Wow. I’ve been watching this kind of white backlash for a while now, and as a nation we’ve been steadily regressing instead of progressing. This could have been a moment for the station to rally around its employee and champion diversity, instead they chose this route. It’s sad, and what’s even more sad is that the viewer who somehow equates short Black hair with poverty will feel validated by this station’s actions, instead of being educated about their ignorance. It surprises me how vocal people are becoming about their racism nowadays, and they dress it up as being anti-PC when they’re really anti-people of color.

  • minnie

    Can you say lawsuit!!! Her response is very tactful while providing a bit of history of African American’s hair. I agree with the others that said the other overweight anchor woman was praised for standing up against bullying. They were looking for a reason to fire her. So Ms. Lee, look for a reason to sue the socks, pants, shirts off of them. How dare they enforce a policy that they never implemented to all the employees. I would love to find out what happens here.

  • Lara

    Soooo the fat white woman can respond ON AIR and be praised but the natural hair black woman gets FIRED? Boy I tell ya whitey is mad Obama got 4 more years!

  • http://twitter.com/alexmac84 Alexandra MacArthur (@alexmac84)

    There’s no reason to ignite the words of the “fat lady’s” harassers and fat phobics to make your point. It’s not the white newscaster who is bothering you anyway, it’s the way that people have reacted differently to these two scenarios – and it’s an important observation you made. But you shouldn’t belittle the first lady for defending herself, the problem is that both women should have gotten this opportunity. We need to petition this!

  • dee

    Ok,

    1) She looks amazing.

    2)What did she get fired for, For responding with non-hateful speech to a unsolicited comment from a most likely white viewer.

  • WaterLove

    I am confused. What was she fired for? How can they justify it? This is ridiculous.

  • Karen Mason

    Hope people in Louisiana boycott this station!

  • Starla

    Where is Gloria Allred on this one?

  • Trace

    They have no grounds for termination, especially when they could not refer to their policy and procedures! She needs to take this to the next level!

  • funkyhairchic

    That was my first thought.I believe she was set up. Perhaps a phony account FB provoking her to respond. I.find it coincidental that they happened to convene in a meeting about an unwritten rule a month before. She better sue for wrongful termination immejiately! She’s gorgeous by the way.

  • kara

    Good for her. I hope that she sues and gets paid a million dollars.

  • Starla

    @ Hurit Nitika, this was actually my first thought, that the firing was a blessing in disguise. She is a stunning woman and seems to have an air of sophistication about her. She could easily go national.

    Rhonda Lee, sue them, get what you’re due and take it to the big leagues.

  • cb

    this is Obama backlash

  • Ron Ltp

    Another reporter responded to someone criticizing her size,.. And she made the NATIONAL STAGE… (CNN,CNBC etc.)
    Oh that’s right I forgot… She was not AFRICAN AMERICAN…

  • naturaltoo!

    Why are some of you being fatphobics? You Skinny doesn’t mean healthy and fat doesn’t either,but stop comparing stories. Are you all really surprised that a WHITE lady was praised and a BLACK woman wasn’t? It had nothing to do with her fat she is.It had EVERYTHING to do with how WHITE she is. Like my father and mother tell me,”You can’t do what they do” It is a sad truth.

    The lady with natural hair looks great. If the hair style didn’t suit her,so what anyway. It has nothing to do with looks because I am sure that if she were a darker tone,people(blacks) would be going in on her and agreeing.

    This woman was hired to do a job and responded greatly to a IDIOTIC shallow remark by a bum behind a computer. Look on the upside,she doesn’t need much time in the hair and makeup chair! lol Firing her was just pure prejudice and nothing else.

    No matter if she is fit or fat,she deserves some respect and the ability to do her job and defend herself. If she poster would have called her a f@g, there would be articles on every newssource. Racism is still alive and crap like this happens. A classmate of mine was told that she should take down her afro(beautifully styled and trimmed) before starting a summer internship. It was for a law office.

    The girl told me that the lady was just jealous. I told her that she might be right. People get offended when they see an afro or braids in such a professional setting. They might not let you go,but they’ll treat you different or may think that you are trying to make some racial statement with your hair,but little do they know that it is NOT that serious. This is how our hair is. I’ve been there and it sucks.

  • Nicole

    Granted it’s not even the same station or state for that matter, but this takes me back to Jennifer Livingston, the news anchor who responded to a commenter who had words about her weight… Her response was lauded and the commenter quickly tagged a bully. Now this Newscaster in good old Louisiana responds to her own “bully” in an amazingly professional manner and she is fired. Fired?!! As if she cussed him out. I smell a suit. If they made up their so called rule in a meeting not attended by everyone, it seems that it would have been prudent on their part to make sure an official memo citing the amendment to their rules of conduct be sent out. As for the commenter, what can you do about a!!holes? Even they are entitled to an opinion!

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    Forgive me for looking at the bright side of this. This is her opportunity to do bigger and better things without being associated with a racist organization. I predict great things for her future. F*** KTBS-TV.

  • Rebecca M

    They BETTER give her her job back..

  • http://gravatar.com/nattynay nattynay

    I’m pretty sure states in the North, West, Mid-West, and East Coast are thriving non-racial utopias.

    Granted,the South is known for some severe, hardcore racism historically…

    But like most things reguarding racial-insensitivity, it’s due to ignorance rather than location.

  • Laqueena

    OMG. I’m from Shreveport and I loved watching her. I didn’t know you could make watching the weather fun until she started. This is pure fuckery.

  • GameChanger

    Sue!!!!

  • Courtney

    Call the ACLU! that’s ridiculous.

  • http://going-natural.com Mireille Liong

    This is absolutely outrageous. The woman is beautiful and intelligent which I can tell by the way she responded to such an ignorant comment. I hope this is not the end of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TrinaRachael Katrina Hall

    That is outrageous. She responded gracefully and clearly. She should not have lost her job.

  • BriA

    Just sent a NEWS TIP to the Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/contact/

    Under Women and Black Voices

  • Dan

    If you’re from the area and you disagree, turn off the TV. Forget marching and writing. Everything these days are run by ratings. If their ratings suffer for their racist decision, they’ll be willing to play, if Ms. Lee decides to come back.

  • Ksocial78

    I may get bashed for this comment bit I honestly think in the white lady’s situation and this situation it was unprofessional to respond. When you are in the public eye people will always talk about you and say silly things. I see no purpose in responding. I am sure that as a Meteorologist it is not her job to respond to everyone who is watching her and dispelled their opinions. Her job is to tell the weather. If her employers didn’t say anything bout her hair why does she came what bum behind a computer has to say? I don’t think she should have been fired by at all but in our race for equality we certainly need to learn to pick our battles and this one wasn’t necessary. Her employers may be racist or they may also want to save their ratings by not having the public upset at their station because of her rebuttal. Sounds more like a business move to me. Either way no response was necessary. She was superior to that comment as it was so ignorant it didn’t deserve a response. Oh and yes I am a black woman with natural hair in corporate America.

  • Daron Calhoun

    She should be encouraged to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and file a charge. I promise you the response from the company will not be you violated a non-promulgated policy! Lets not forget, La IS the Deep South! All of the old ways are STILL there! B

  • Lester_Diamond

    Which in itself is rooted in ignorance.

  • Rakel

    If you guys feel like making a call or sending an email. I found the contact info for the station on a thread from Long Hair Care Forum.

    http://www.ktbs.com/contact-us/contact-ktbs

  • Mike W.

    On the personal side, there was a time when I might have agreed with Ksocial78. If the bosses didn’t ask Ms. Lee to grow her hair or start getting “creamy crack” treatments, then who cares what an ignorant viewer has to say? But, in this day and age when television stations pretty much mandate that employees, particularly the on-air folks, engage viewers on social media, I can’t argue against Ms. Lee’s response. Had she cussed the guy out, that would be a different story. Just because she’s on television and may be considered a local celebrity, that does not give viewers, or anybody else, the right to talk to her any old kind of way. Message like that often come into the station through an account that everyone in the newsroom receives. So, if the bosses didn’t want her to respond, they should have told her. Particularly, since there is no written policy prohibiting responses.

    On the professional side, I always advocate using social media with great care, particularly on emotional subjects. While it certainly appears Ms. Lee gave considerable thought to her response and went to great lengths keep it as professional as possible, it is still an emotional response, something that I don’t recommend. They almost always end up coming back to bite you in some way.

    As a former news anchor and newsroom manager, I do not think what Ms. Lee did warranted her dismissal. Considering that there is no written policy outlining her actions as unacceptable and defining discipline for an infraction, she may be holding a good poker hand.

  • JN

    Racism happens everywhere, yes. But it is more overt in some places than others. You can’t deny, for example, that racist acts occurred more in the South than elsewhere.

  • Val Profit

    The news station was definitely wrong for firing Lee…i felt her reply was verymuch professional and in good taste. I feelthe way the station responded let the public know this unfortunately a “gOOD OL BOYS CLUB” how sad.

  • http://www.dahveed.com Author D. A. Isley

    That is some BS!!!! How in the world are you going to fire someone and can’t demonstrate the reason behind it.

  • nikki

    Since the woman responding to the criticism of her weight did it on air I am assuming she got the permission of the station manager and the higher ups. I am not sure this is the case for the woman in this story. Not saying that firing her is okay but had she gone through the proper channels with her bosses this may have been avoided and she could have also addressed the issue.

  • http://www.dahveed.com Author D. A. Isley

    Ms. Lee, I wouldn’t even worry about that BS. You are a beautiful black, intelligent woman. Your job options are limitless. This story has really given me something to write about . . . time to put the pen in motion.

  • ImaniKristina

    Certain things must be in writing in order for them to be enforceable by law. In this case, the violations must be in writing and ALL employees are entitled to have a copy of same. Each should have signed a statement indicating that they acknowledged receipt of the violations. If Ms. Lee did not have knowledge of the violation, she “should” not be held responsible for violating it.The National Labor Relations Board should be contacted immediately.

  • Rose

    I think this is BS….Rhonda you should be glad to know who you really work fo….instead of supporting you in your comment being fired was a slap in the face and a sure indicator who and where the racism lies….better things ahead….I’m so proud of you for standing up for yourself….

  • Jay Cee

    I hope she sues them.

  • http://makedarenee.com dara

    Wrongful termination much? Rhonda need not get mad, but get even. This case is a slam dunk.

  • Jointarms

    Many people are employed “at will”, meaning that they don’t have a formal employment contract with their employer and state law thus permits their employment to be ended at any time, or that they do have a written contract under which contains an “at will” clause to that same effect. However, even “at will” employees are entitled to certain legal protections against wrongful termination, and cannot be fired for reasons that violate the law or public policy.

    Pretextual Termination – Civil Rights Laws

    The Civil Rights Act in 1964 extended anti-discrimination protections to employees, whose employment could no longer be terminated for reasons such as their race, gender, skin color, religion, or national origin. Additional legal protections now exist to deter certain forms of age discrimination. Following the creation of these anti-discrimination laws, it became possible for employees to argue that their terminations were “pretextual” – that is, although their employers were citing lawful reasons to terminate their employment, their employers were actually motivated by unlawful discriminatory motives.

    Within this context, it should be noted that employers of at-will employees may end their employment for reasons that are arbitrary, provided they don’t run afoul of the law. For example, while civil rights law protects employees from being fired because of their skin color, there’s no similar protection against being fired because an employer doesn’t like the color of your car. At the same time, any employer who might face a discrimination claim would be ill-served by trying to defend a wrongful termination lawsuit by presenting such a ridiculous basis for the decision to fire an employee.

    In the case, our meteorologist, Ms. Rhonda A. Lee , could has a strong wrongful termination claim under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  • SS25

    Save that petition sh#t!! Ms Lee was more tactful than the FAT white lady and I hope sue them for millions.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 3

    Of course you will defend the white lady and diminish how we feel. GTFOOHWBS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/PatrickE.Miles.Sr Patrick Miles

    I hope she sues them and wins, her treatment was unfair and harsh. Clearly racially motivated

  • Andrea Burke

    Please sue them!

  • Andrea Burke

    Agree

  • JN

    *during the election

  • Dawn

    I was so outraged by this story I contact the station to express my disbelief.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kcoger Karin Y. Coger

    I hope and I am sure that Ms. Lee is seeking legal counsel. I am sure that she will have the support of the NABJ, Urban League, NAACP, and the public. She should not be penalized for breaking a rule or policy that doesn’t exist. Her response was educational and professional. Karin Y. Coger, Esq.

  • Melita Haynes

    I think she was very mature about the issue at hand and NO she shouldn’t have lost her job behind it. If it wasn’t put on paper then NO she was not in Violation. At that so-called “Meeting” she missed is so full of Crap!!!

  • p

    Hmmm…..I dont know…..The viewer didnt insult the texture of her hair or call her a b***H!, or h***e! In fact he was more polite than Ive seen many Black men treat Black women who wear their hair in a twa….. He seemed to have a problem with the length(as many men do..but who cares) more than anything else…..So I think she could have let it go and not respond.

    But, there was no reason to fire her.

  • Vanessa Vanesrad

    People talked about Jesus… so what get over it you dont see him going around checking people on TV GROW UP AND BE A WOMAN!!!!

  • juicey jenny

    what happend tx freedxm xf speech.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcus.jones.33234 Marcus Jones

    I think that it is a very sad situation that we cannot express our right to Free Speech, a right in which allows the station to exist in the first place. Both parties had a right to what they said, but firing the employee was indeed an indictment on the character of the station’s management. She should pursue legal action.

  • Gary

    I think they found a reason to fire her even though there was no rule. And from what she said in response was professional and to be fired for it was unwarranted.

  • Caramel

    She explained herself in a glib, eloquent manner, and he still didn’t get it. Go figure. My advice to her is to “Get Money!!!”

  • Stefy2u

    I personally did not like her as the weather person, I changed the channel everytime she came on because she was annoying to me, however, I do believe she responded respectfully to the rude comment that was made towards her. I do not believe she was fired for her skin color. And if it was a policy she had been warned about previously, then she needs to follow policy. Who was the white male that was also fired after 8 years ??? I believe that’s what they said. Did they fire him because he’s white?

  • Jessica

    This is the most insane thing ever. I hope the station is ready to be boycotted…. besides, what was their actual “reason” for firing her? Law suit on yo hands… uh oh.

  • R.Franklin

    Simple recourse…The TV station has every right to hire and fire who the want…and you as the viewer have the right NOT TO WATCH THE STATION ANYMORE…Bring the ratings down and that will get their attention…hit them in the pocketbook if your really upset with them….more over…find out who the sponsors are for the news, and threaten to organize a boycott of each and every one of them if they continue to sponsor that station…again hit them in the pocket….and that WILL get their attention…end of line…

  • LouisiananiansAreNotAllDumbISwear

    My husband is a friend of hers and I’ve met her in person and yes, she is very beautiful and very intelligent.

  • Monro Brown

    SHE SHOULD Contact the ACLU/AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTY UNION

  • LouisiananiansAreNotAllDumbISwear

    I work in this industry, as does my husband. Veeeeery few meteorologists work without a contract. It would be safe to assume, knowing both the market and the industry, that she was working under contract. That would really be her only recourse as Louisiana is a hire/fire state. I doubt Rhonda would have shouted from the mountaintops if she felt she had no recourse. She is a very, very intelligent woman.

  • Jamie

    The news station that employed a Caucasian woman who was called fat by a viewer and responded on air to the comment wasn’t fired. And her reply wasn’t half as classy and appropriate as Lee’s. I’m extremely disappointed by this station’s reaction and will ensure that my family in north Louisiana no longer view their news or network if at all possible. Had she had notice of the unwritten policy, then her response should’ve received some reprimand, but during her without notice if the policy is wrong. The guy doesn’t realize that opinions are like anus’…

  • minnesotanicest
  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.meares Mary

    I just wrote an email to the station director, George Sirven ([email protected]), expressing my disappointment at their actions. I encourage others to do the same!

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.dykes.3 Travis Dykes

    Living in Shreveport, I can tell you that racism here is alive and well, and a LOT more prevalent than any other state Ive lived in and more than most Ive visited.

  • Joe

    Nah, that was CBS affiliate WKBT in Wisconsin. This is KTBS in Louisiana. I can see how you might get them confused with them sharing 3 of the same call letters.

  • Lola

    I have just read this I am astounded.
    The Lady’s response was a professional response to this mans very rude and offensive statements.
    Her employers have clearly been unfair and unprofessional and sacked her on “fabricated grounds”.
    KTBS-TV are totally disgraceful!!!!!!

  • http://www.gamemusiclife.com Haha_YouAint

    I love what she said about her hair, and the way she described the pride in having such hair. Her words describe exactly how I feel about my natural hair. As depressing as this story is, I still feel inspired by her words.

  • leelah

    typically if an employer has a policy that could result in a firing, then that policy is written on paper, somewhere.

  • J.D.

    Leelah, I totally agree with you. a policy is sometning that is in the employee handbook, which you will sign for to say you received it. Are even if it’s a policy mentioned in a staff meeting, it would be sent in a memo for everyone to sign to say that they were at the meeting and aware of the policy. If they don’t have the minutes of the meeting recorded and also who was in attendance to the meeting, they can’t say she violated policy. And I’m not sure what policy they’re saying she violated. Her response seemed very professional to me.

  • SelenaD

    Wait a minute! So a white women news anchor get praised for defending herself about her weight, but this short haired meteorologist gets fired for doing the same thing? What’s the difference between these two stories?

  • Subira

    Well I think she looks lovely! And there was nothing wrong with her response. I want to know what was this “rule” that they spoke of!

  • Paige

    She needs to sue them, i’m pretty sure they have no legal grounds for firing her. And she is rocking that twa! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/awesomerrr sharif ball (@awesomerrr)

    I really hope she’s pursuing legal action. That’s absolutely depressing.

  • Rosa

    “The TV station has every right to hire and fire who the want…”

    Actually? No.

  • Keshawn Gibson

    SUE

  • Pingback: Meteorologist Fired for Responding to 'Racist' Facebook Post

  • http://twitter.com/AfroDiva Onica N. Makwakwa (@AfroDiva)

    The station should have immediately defended its employee before she had to jump in and defend herself. I hope she sues them for everything they’ve got, it is unfortunate that sometimes that is the only option.

  • Dawn

    She’s beautiful and did the right thing. A classy, professional lady who needs to go to her states Human Rights Organization and fill in some paper work.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    Typical white feminist- downplay the racism while complain about your own plight. #GTFO

  • http://www.facebook.com/adrianusluca Adrian Luca

    That is one adorable, telegenic meteorologist. I can’t believe another station isn’t going to snap her up quickly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lydia.rupinski Lydia Rupinski

    Dear Rhonda Lee,

    You have every right to get your job back with some compensation for the nonsense. Get yourself on change.org and make a petition. You can easily get thousands of signatures and present it to the station.

  • Lena P

    She should be allowed the same expression of “free speech” as the anchor (white) who responded to the FB post about her being fat. That woman still has her job. This woman responded and was fired unjustifiably because of an “unwritten” rule that no one knew about except the people in the meeting, oh yeah, she wasn’t included in that either.

  • BD

    I’m from the area, and that is just wrong! Best believe I’ll be making calls to that horrible news station!

    If those news directors and managers know anything about contracts, verbal additions can only clarify a written policy, not add to it! Also, all parties must agree on the policy itself, so they are violating her rights for not informing and writing the new policy.

    Hidden agenda, indeed.

  • Bren

    She should definitely sue. I can’t believe they fired her for defending herself against someone’s biased remarks. She did not curse the viewer out but merely justified her reason for wearing her hair the way God created it. Apparently she’s too much of a threat: she’s black, educated and natural.

  • truth be known

    Ronda Lee please take this as a blessing in disguise & sue their sorry asses honey, they are so asking for it…Sometime things happen that might seem tragic but is really a much bigger blessing in store for you….go get ‘em gurl & show them when it comes to your world…you run this mutha…not them!

  • http://gravatar.com/wouldyakindly wouldyakindly

    i am a white woman, and i support all women- whatever race, cultural heritage or nationality, to embrace their natural physical appearance or conform to whatever standard of beauty they like.

  • siobhan

    Wow, I’m so stunned! What did she say wrong? That was a very mature way to comment back after what he said about her, I’m doby understand why she got fired?

  • http://RealGoesRight.Com RealGoesRight

    This is really sad. I wonder how many people think she’s playing the “race card” in this situation. If she violated a rule and that’s what had to be done, ok…but the fact this rule isn’t written down and wasn’t exactly fleshed out for her since she didn’t attend the meeting…well…that seems a little bit suspicious to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Divaland Erika Hill

    A. It is called SOCIAL media, not EMPLOYMENT media, professional media, workplace media… This whole idea of using facebook as a way to use ones personal feelings against them in the workplace has always seemed ridiculous to me.
    B. Her response was professional. She didn’t say anything negative about the person, no profanity was used, her statements didn’t degrade any race & was, I think, somewhat enlightening.
    C. Where is the support? This woman has done NOTHING wrong. She has a very strong legal case and I hope the network is ready for the backlash and the fight that there will be afterward.
    Rhonda Lee, I applaud you. Please find an attorney that will stop at nothing to get you justice and make all networks take a second guess of attempting this in the future.

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    I used to rock a fade a few years back and also worked in television. I was also approached about my hair and kindly told my employers to take it or leave it. She had every right to speak up for herself. Trust … it sounds like her employers may have been looking for a way to get rid of her for whatever reason anyway and FB was a scapegoat. They knew (just as my employers did) there was very little they could do legally to force someone to change their hair (unless the issue/guidelines were made known upfront and in writing i.e. policy letter, memo etc. beforehand) I hope she takes them to court.

  • Joe

    You may be right, but mostly based on the odds that a white person (though most likely male) would be in upper management of a broadcasting company. Not necessarily because of race. Who kows, maybe they’re just lame @ssholes.

  • Janae

    Ahh yes cupcakes and shiraz, your anger is feeding the machine. Let’s continue to divide and conquer women for the sake of the patriarchy.

    I believe the previous poster was upset about perceived “fat shaming” not some sort of white vs black preference.

  • Janae

    Come on really? Why do you think it’s a black man? Are you trying to shift some of the claims of racism? Either way you’re wrong. Emmitt also posted before on the stations page that giving toys to poor black children was racism.

    Also, you can take look at him yourself. He’s not black.
    facebook(dot)com/emmitt.vascocu

  • John Hester, Jr.

    KTBS-TV is wrong. Period. Their actions, as stated in this article, are inexcusable, immoral, unethical, and illegal. They do not deserve to have a meteorologist with the class and character of Ms. Lee.

  • Janae

    That guy has been leaving stupid comments on the station’s Facebook page for a while. I don’t think it was a setup, I think he’s a jerk and so is the manager who made the decision to fire her.

  • Janae

    I don’t necessarily think it’s a white backlash, if you look at the commenter’s facebook page you’ll see that he’s an old white guy from the south that probably felt this way for a long time. It’s the same old ignorant story fed to him by his parents and/or peers.

    Racism yes, some sort of new backlash? No.

  • noonetteJoanna

    That is ridiculous. What a professional, well-written response she wrote–shame on her station. I’ll find their email address and write directly to them as well. Thanks for reporting on this story.

  • http://baucemag.com/ baucemag

    I just don’t understand how other anchors/reporters get to pop off at the mouth on Twitter and talk poorly to people and still keep their jobs and Lee who was simply addressing an issue gets played. Not fair at all. This is a blessing in disguised. Stay strong, keep your head up, and go for what God is bringing you!

  • CatieCan
  • Jim Ramsey

    I didn’t see anything wrong or racist about the viewers remarks regarding Ms. Lee’s hair. Just very opinionated but not hateful or wrong. Nor did I see anything wrong with Ms Lee’s response. Very much polite and to the point and it pretty well answered all the viewers concerns. There has to be more to this firing than just this. Channel 3, you’re not looking very good here. The thing that makes the least sense in this matter is your explanation of events.

  • [email protected]

    Mr. Emmitt’s comment was of pure ignorance and was very insensitive. It simply showed his stupidity and immaturity of who he is and how he thinks. KTBS’ firing is unjustified and only feeds the ignorance that Mr. Emmitt and others that are polluting and infecting this society with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.hawkins.568632 Brian Hawkins

    It really bothers me that the network can get away with firing her, she should sue them for enough to put them out of business. She was completely right for what she did.

  • Joe Log

    If this is not corrected then what is all this freedom talk about? If she doesn’t take them to court someone should. America……wake up, there is more than one view of this country. White only is not it anymore, all are included now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.hawkins.568632 Brian Hawkins

    Wow, I went on his page and he is a typical ignorant hick IMO. Looks like my four year old cousin could teach him a few lessons in spelling and grammar.

  • Paul

    There is no loyalty it seems in the news business, and it’s odd that TV news who are staunch supporters of the 1st amendment rights, denied Rhonda the same such right, citing a policy they couldn’t show her because it wasn’t in writing, and not in her file ? if it isn’t in writing, it isn’t a policy, all policies in order to be enforced have to be in writing ! She had the most responsible and polite answer to a piece of hate posting, not only admirable but should be the model for the industry !

  • http://twitter.com/KiaJD Nakia (@KiaJD)

    From a social media policy standpoint, she was wrong. Most corporate social media policies include language that prohibits employees from responding to negative posts toward the company (and those within it) unless they are authorized to speak on behalf of that company on social channels. It’s not completely clear but from what I’ve read it appears that she did not have that authority.

    If that were all there was to the story then that’d be the end of it. However, the problem is that the station’s social media policy wasn’t very official nor was it widely distributed. Lee may have a claim because she’s being fired for not complying with a policy she didn’t know about and one that wasn’t written down anywhere. It could seem really arbitrary.

    But as far as whether she was right to respond? No… at least not in the way she did so as an unauthorized employee on the company’s Facebook page. Even though I totally support her stance and message, the medium and method DO matter when we’re talking about rules and workplace protocol. If you don’t believe me you might want to check up on your own job’s social media policy before you find yourself in hot water.

  • Gary

    She was fired for violating an unwritten rule meaning there was no policy violation chi Ching

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.lanson Dave Lanson

    I don’t really think that was an intentionally racist post per se, just a matter of ignorance, and I think her reply was polite, informative and very appropriate. To be fired for violating an UNWRITTEN rule? There’s one vital requirement about such rules, EVERYBODY has to know them. She should be reinstated and offered an apology by the station.

  • http://gravatar.com/hotflashes51 hotflashes51

    I haven’t a facebook account (cancelled mine), so I’m going by what was published here. I don’t think his comment was racist. He said she was a nice lady, and assumed that she might be a cancer patient. I have the impression that because the newscaster didn’t like the comment, she took it as racist and aswered based on that on a “preachy” long answer in a scolding tone to one of her viewers. That is probably something the TV channel didn’t appreciate. It’s not the first time that people have been warned about facebook posts.

  • Vero

    Mr Emmitt’s Vascocu’s FB page is up, perhaps it’s time we made comments on his page about his looks…. Let’s see how that’s going to make him feel.

  • Emmitt The Hick

    Give this girl her job back, NOW.

  • LaLa

    Yes that is what I was thinking after graduating from university I decided social media is a danger field. I’ve been to interviews that have looked me up on facebook and know more about me than I know myself

  • Kris Black

    She handled herself very well. She responded to hateful, hurtful, racist comments in a classy, dignified, respectable way. Maybe the news station fees that she should have not responded at all which is understandable as well, but I guarantee with that attitude, she will bounce back and find an even better job without having to apologize or take back any of what she said. I’m proud of that sista.

  • Mardiva

    I found Ms. Lee’s post quite educational and friendly, especially since she thanked Mr. Vascocu directly and told him to have a nice weekend. It seems the station is shady here.

  • http://www.clutchmagoline.com Denise Bland

    White folks have still have not gotten over Our President being elected a second time! People of color should expect more of a backlash to come. The United States can no longer state that we are a Moral Society when we allow such flagrant violation of human rights!

  • Girl

    When you are on TV the public will have opinions about your hair, etc. That’s what the public does. She’s not the first newscaster that has had comments made to her about hair clothes, etc. If you don’t like it, or you can’t take the comments, then don’t be on TV. The person simply doesn’t like her hair. Not the first time that a member of the public has commented on someones hair, dress, etc. that’s on TV and won’t be the last. For her to write some long essay “well I’m black and proud”…….that’s just childish. Then she gets fired and says – well it’s because it’s a white man’s game? Really, Sounds like she is using her race and sex as an excuse. She obviously can’t handle the pressure of being on TV and being a public figure. There is a different standard that you have to accept. If you want to be a public figure you have to do things that present yourself in a way the public will like. That includes the way you dress, wear your hair, and the comments you make to the public. That’s called ratings. And ratings are based on the public’s opinion.

  • joeland7

    Rhonda posed a treat to the plantation mentality that is prevalent in La. Truth is power. It is very refreshing to know that Ms. Lee is in touch of her roots and in harmony with the times, unlike many people in La who are 30-50 years behind time. Ms. Lee make be very proud. Most if not all main stream media is own by owners with a plantation mentality.

  • Kay

    My thoughts exactly. This is the one thing I hate about third wave feminism. This movement is just as exclusionary as its predecessor. They ride the coat tails of civil rights, but when Black women and other women of color are violated all you hear are crickets. This is what happens when multiple types of oppression intersect, folks choose the side they benefit the most from.

  • T

    Yes, Ms. Lee should have responded. No, she should not have been fired especially since they have no policy on the matter. That’s the way black people have always been treated. They fire you just because they can.She will probably get a better job in a better environment.

  • http://aol Honey Boo Boo

    There is nothing racist on either’s comments. Be proud of who you are and be quiet. If I don’t agree with a black – I am a racist, If I don’t agree with a woman – I am sexist, If I don’t agree with a gay – I am a homophobe, If I don’t agree with a hispanic – I am against immigration. GET OVER YOUR SELF CENTERED LIVE’S ALREADY.

  • G. Brown

    Now what if the viewer had instead said “I like your hair…” and she responded with a simple “Thank you”. Would that have been a violation of the unwritten phantom policy too ???

  • Chris

    She seemed a bit uppity.

  • Berman

    Granted she didn’t have to write an article in reply to the h8r, however that’s not enough reason to fire some1. Write her up, reprimand her or even give her a few days suspension just to drive d message home that she’s in the public eye, but not FIRE HER FFS! What then are u going to do if she steals or tells us there’ll be snow in summer? Shoot her or kill her, dead :) ? (according to Raids insecticide Ad). C’mon, KT whatever station, this can’t be a zero tolerance issue!

  • Anne

    There is no “racist” comments in either of their posts. Her reply was informational and educational about the short hair style she was wearing. The station is reacting because of some underlying issues they have that involves “racism”. It is probably better for her career to be out of there!!!

  • Lydia Curet

    Y luego hablan de la libertad de expresion. Que pena lo que le sucedio a esta Senora.

  • Shaniqua

    chick shut up b/c u sound really ignorant. She was dignified in her response and was not rude at all. Who r u to tell her she has to wear her hair straightened our just a wig?? I wouldn’t care if I was the 1st female president I would still rock my ‘fro n dare u to make me change. He came at her w/ an ignorant comment in a racist tone; didn’t even try to figure out wut her name was and just referred to her as the ‘black lady’ like wtf? Shut up n kill yoself . . . See I can be ignorant as well :) have a nice day

  • http://www.facebook.com/mahogani Mahogani Dyan Webber

    As an individual from Shreveport, Louisiana this is not surprising. They were probably waiting on her to give them the smallest excuse to get her out of that job. Racism is very much alive in Shreveport-Bossier City.
    A similar situation happened in Dallas where a white news anchor responded to comments made by a viewer regarding her weight, she was not fired and they actually made a story about it. Her response was much more emotional than Rhonda’s, but she still has her job.

  • ?

    Just curious, what are you doing on a black womens’ site?

  • Barbara2

    First, we could not be on TV because of our skin color. When they finally allowed us on TV, we were so light skinned, it was hard to distinguish us from Europeans. Now, they want us to have European hair. We keep fighting this racist battle over and over.

    They are even trying to bring back BLACKFACE.
    Europeans

  • S

    “weather is [a] white boy business.”

    Yeah, totally professional. If that’s her attitude, then she deserves what she got

  • EST. 1986

    If she were White, do you think he would have addressed her as the ‘White lady’? No, she would have just been ‘the lady’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mahogani Mahogani Dyan Webber

    That was her attitude upon her being fired….let’s see who she’s replaced with before you make that statement. Bet it won’t be another black woman with ethnic hair.

  • EST. 1986

    She’s a woman, not a girl.

  • Maria

    Any statement that begins with “i’m not a racist, but…” is always either racist or have racist intentions. Always.

  • Rachel

    This is disgraceful. We should not all have to conform to one beauty standard, which is clearly white in its manifestation. Ms Lee is inspirational for standing up for her herself – white people often have natural hair texture so why shouldn’t she? This is clear racism in every way – it’s a disgrace that this attitude should be so prevalent in such a supposedly modern, liberal democratic society. And although it should not matter, I am white. Racism should be tackled by all ethnicities not left to black people. Disgrace.

  • http://www.clutchmagoline.com Denise Bland

    Thank you Rachel !

  • GlowBelle

    This is a lawsuit just boiling in the pot and I hope Ms. Lee takes action and sues their asses off!!! How DARE they fire her over something pretty damn trivial and to where she really did nothing but defend herself and also attempt to educate ignorant folks. It would have been nice and cushy if Lee had gotten a platform and a segment like the newscaster in Portland who discussed about her weight. It could have been a teachable moment to discuss about Black hairstyles and the ignorance people have about them. But nooooo, we can’t have nice and sparkly things like that.

    Actually I’m not surprised of Lee’s treatment considering she was doing the news in Shreveport, but what rages me is those “mystery” policies about the station’s stance on social media. Now I don’t know about the station’s policies towards social media, but I feel, as someone who’s in the journalism business myself, that those policies, written or implied, are stupid and pointless, because um, you ARE the media, Facebook is just another form of it and everybody is going to use some form of it to express themselves, even your employees. It wasn’t like Lee was a raging racist or saying vile things or acting a fool on her FB page, she was addressing a viewer and did it with class…and isn’t that the fuel to media platforms, don’t they want viewer feedback?? Sounds to me like Lee had been targeted to be fired because she was a threat (black, pretty and educated), and someone was waiting for an opportunity to fire her and this happened to be that opportunity because that is a lame ass excuse talking about an “unwritten policy” that they discussed at some meeting she didn’t attend. What a bunch of crap they shilled to her!

    To be honest, maybe they did her a favor, why work for an obviously bigoted and sexist station who certainly didn’t have her back? She’s pretty and seems like an intelligent person, she should have no trouble finding another station to work for while she sues the other one.

  • jess

    S, (Which I am guessing stands for stupid) Only a racist would find something as dumb as your comment to justify the situation. Because being addressed as ‘The Black lady’ is just so appropriate. A beautiful example of the pot calling the kettle black.

  • ODELL D. TALLEY

    THAT WAS A CIVIL CONVERSATION OF BEING EDUCATED ABOUT ONEs ETHNIC HERITAGE…CLEARLY THERE ARE ISSUES WITHIN THE STATION THAT WERE USED TO GET THIS YOUNG REPORTED FIRED…IF YOU WANT TO SEE AN ACTUAL SALOON BRAWL OF A SCENARIO, VIEW THIS MESS THAT I WENT THROUGH LAST MONTH IN MY HOMETOWN WITH WDAF/TV4…
    …HEREs THE LINK: https://www.facebook.com/fox4morningnews/posts/10151169918228645?comment_id=24556664&notif_t=like

  • http://beautifulmindtss.wordpress.com beautifulmind

    FOOLISHNESS FOOLISHNESS FOOLISHNESS! I’m sooo sick of white institutions sensoring us! They need to boycott that station! Ugh!

  • http://www.clutchmagoline.com Denise Bland

    @ GlowBelle – I believe that the perception of some whites is: they may realize that Black people have an opinion, but, they don’t want us to articulate if it is counter to their belief system. Most are still in denial about Obama’s second victory and they are having a hard time accepting that this election was a game changer! They feel threatened and will lash out for any reason! Pray for them – they will have to come to terms with a society that is far different than their parents! ps I absolutely loved your reply!

  • http://www.clutchmagoline.com Denise Bland

    @beautifulmind – I agree totally!

  • Arriana

    What is not mentioned here in this article is the email written and sent out to all employees of KTBS on August 30th of this year saying that any comment was to be simply ignored and to not respond to them at all and if you did feel the need to respond then you are ONLY to say thank you for your input and direct them to pass their concerns on to the Network Director. I am all for Ms. Lee having the right to defend herself and feel she should be able to do just that, BUT it was clearly against policy and therefore the station had the right to fire her. She WAS forewarned.

  • http://twitter.com/Client_Finders Rick Nappier (@Client_Finders)

    I agree. She should have just ignored it, but she took the bait. If her firing was a setup, she fell for it.

  • Becky

    Ok, so I live in the KTBS news service area, and actually watch KTBS for morning news before getting ready for work everyday, and I just recently noticed Rhonda Lee not reporting the news and weather this past week. Since the same station just lost another (white) female weather reporter earlier this fall, who was replacing yet another(white) female weather reporter who had previously left – I figured either she was on vacation or perhaps they had managed to run off another of their female weather reports, for what I can only assume is a terrible working environment and inadequate pay.

    Now, I may be just another chainsmoking, foul mouthed, ignorant, skanky little white girl who grew up in a trashy trailer-park in the South where everyone else’s pickup truck had confederate flags on them; but its 100% plain as day to me that what they did to Rhonda was just plain WRONG, and RACIST and she deserved better than this.

    Rhonda Lee was an outstanding newscaster, and I thought her hair, her demeanor and everything about her presentation and performance on the tv station was completely professional!

    I hope she gets a lawyer and takes her employers to task for what they’ve done!

    Her reply on facebook was not only completely professional, but I thought also a very elegant response to what at the very least clearly an implicitly race-related comment.

    This is exactly the kind of race based discimination case that should be taken to Court. She was a well-liked newscaster, and any Jury in the area is almost certian to find sympathy for her situation at being wrongfully terminated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.beidlerbailey Ashley Bailey

    I agree….she could have very easily replied to that viewer in a way that was totally nasty and inappropriate. Instead she held it together and kept her cool. She should not have lost her job for standing up for herself, especially in the way she responded.

  • http://twitter.com/Sir_Geechie J.Newell (@Sir_Geechie)

    While I dont find his comments racist. No one has to like anyone elses hairs. I cant for the life of me see what she said wrong, how she could be fired, its inane. Unless there was some sort of rule dictating one can not interaction on social networks, which I highly doubt.

  • http://gravatar.com/churflap churflap

    She explains delicately but clearly why there IS a racial subtext to what he’s saying — he doesn’t like her hair because she doesn’t try to make it more like white women’s hair, but wears it “naturally” as a black woman’s hair grows. Not all white people are aware of this but attempts to “police” black women’s bodies and appearances to make them feel bad about their race and think they are inferior to white women (and therefore only good or attractive to the extent they can “look white”) are a significant part of the historical culture of racial oppression in the US. So whether he intended racism or not, racism was the effect.

  • Dionne

    This is Ridiculous, the lady did nothing wrong, they probably want to get rid of her long time ago. You should Sue Them, they are worst than the person that write the comment.

  • Michelle

    They don’t work for the same people. With that being said I do think she was fired for race or because they just didn’t like her. Her response was well written and a lot more respectful than he deserved.

  • Billy Paul

    This is yet another example as to why one should not engage in a truth campaign. There are real tangible rewards to be garnered, which leaves those that are intangible and ambiguous. This particular Colored women may have won that particular battle only to have lost the war. However, I wish her the best and hoes that she continues to wear her beautiful hairdo.

  • Twilliam

    Being a South Louisiana 50 year old white guy, I think her response was pretty tame. I don’t think the comment was racist and she didn’t respond that way. I think it was a goofy comment, who watches the weather and critiques hair styles? I could see if it was skanky, with stripes or knots and I wouldn’t want that to be a role model for my daughter so I would change channels, but I certainly wouldn’t comment on the look….By the way, I think her hair looks good, she is a pretty woman and probably very talented, good luck to her in the future.

  • Billy Paul

    Actually, the “fat white lady” is a member of a powerful group and Ms. Lee is not. Indeed, individualism is a concept only miseducated Coloreds believe in.

    We are a subjugated group (not matter what our dear president would have us to believe) and other groups know this fact and act accordingly.

  • Billy Paul

    “Complete.Bull#$%^!”

    Not exactly, see there is this concept of ownership that says when you own something you can almost do with it that which you please. In this particular case, the owner decided that Ms. Lee’s employment had run its course.

    Indeed, life is cruel and cold.

  • http://www.facebook.com/VeGandolf Manchershaw Engineer

    Besides the comment obviously being racist as it is a mock on hair that is natural to african americans, your comments are also offensive. Hair cannot be skanky (a word mostly used to mock and undermine women), and to insinuate that stripes, knots, or any other life choice including having sex with other people is a negative only shows how little you respect indiviuals rights to lead their own lives.

  • http://gravatar.com/clauniverse clauniverse
  • http://www.facebook.com/VeGandolf Manchershaw Engineer

    Maybe in the dark ages. Nowadays, we have these things called labor laws that protect against wrongful dismissal. That includes racism.

  • GlowBelle

    Thanks :) and you are SO right, there are still some Whites out there who HATE seeing a minority show them up and they get raging jealous on top of it. And the Obama re-election is a perfect example of seeing all those fussy racists squirm knowing full well that things weren’t going to go in their favor as it had ALWAYS been going. Racists hate anything or anybody that is different or provokes change on their game.

    Someone very close to me lost a prestigious position in a similar way as Lee, which I can’t describe other than “ethnic cleansing”. They almost ruined his career because they were simply upset and jealous that he was showing them up in their field. So yeah, I pray for them like you, even though sometimes I don’t want to because those types of people are beyond prayers!

  • Go!

    I can see why she lost her job. One thing that black women do that sabotage them is always having a MOUTHFUL to say. She could have made her point in 2-3 sentences. Saying all that “I’m 37, 5’6, healthy, happy blah blah blah, made her come off as someone who is unprofessional and even ghetto. That long response was terrible. I feel bad for her getting fired but I’m sure it would have been prevented had she kept her response curt or even ignored him. Once you’re in the public eye, you are open to scrutiny of all sorts. And the man’s response wasn’t even racist. He simply told her to grow more hair or wear a wig. She is wearing a buzz cut which many (especially men) find unattractive on women. It’s not like he told her to straighten her hair or something. She just took it that he was attacking her natural hair texture, which I’m sure he wasn’t.

  • Go!

    Exactly!!

  • http://www.clutchmagoline.com Denise Bland

    everyone is entitled to redemption – sometimes I get weary with the Grace period! What’s so damned funny is the collective conscience of the racist mindset is in a tailspin ; I am actually witnessing their implosions! It makes me tingly all over! lmao

  • http://www.clutchmagoline.com Denise Bland

    Hey Go !
    Do the world a favor – don’t breed! If you have already, please stop! You owe that to humanity

  • Love my chocolate

    How come nobody is asking what this individual looks like for them to judge another individual? I hope he is the best thing since rice & bread, all that & a bag of chips for him to have the balls to point fingers at another person. Who told him to be watching when Rhonda is on if her hair bothers him that much? Some of you folks need help, just b/c your having a bad day or you can’t perform like you use to does not mean you have to take your anger out on someone else. Just stupidity really. No wonder most of these white kids end up being addicted to drugs & shooting their own parents, I mean if this is how you raise them, to be filled w/hate for what is not considered to be in the norm for them. Ignorance!!!!

  • http://www.clutchmagoline.com Denise Bland

    @ Lovemychocolate!
    OOH SNAP!!!!!!
    You had the cajones to say what I was thinking! Sending you much love – keep the ‘FIRE BURNING’!!! LMAO

  • http://yahoo chuck

    Disappointed in the network. She should not!!!! Have lost her job.

  • Paul Tatara

    OF COURSE she shouldn’t have lost her job. I hope she lawyers up and sues the pants off of them.

  • Blackmon

    Saying the way that Black people’s hair naturally grows is not suitable for television is racist. It was not a simple, “I don’t like her hair”, it suggested that she wear a wig…or grow some more hair, so maybe it was sexist too, to assume that a woman’s hair has to be long. But would she have a problem with a white woman’s short hair? Is Ellen DeGeneres unsuitable for television?

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    @Janae- White feminists chose the divide by their selfish actions. Why do you think so many women of colour refuse to ally themselves with the likes of mainstream feminists and either choose to identify as either womanist or not a feminist at all? So put the blame where it belongs.

  • http://gravatar.com/oldies4mari2004 oldies4mari2004

    I am a white older lady and this is terrible for her to be fired as she spoke up for herself in a elegant way and she should be proud of her roots.This man Emmitt is in the wrong to say this to her and being totally disrespectful to her.If it is racial it is wrong and time for it to stop and hate for others is wrong.We are all God’s children created equally and people who keep being this way it ill come back at them.I hope this lady sues hem big time.

  • Rio VonWolf

    I came over from another site to understand more about this action. You helped in that it was the station’s site not her personal one. Now I understand the problem.
    In this time with social media we forget that it is not private. Nor a soapbox.

  • http://hearmytruths.wordpress.com Hurit Nitika

    Exactly! Show me the policy!!!

  • http://hearmytruths.wordpress.com Hurit Nitika

    Enticement…you’d be surprised how much money folk spend (or don’t) to see that others don’t rise above.

  • Dave

    @ cupcakes and shiraz

    She didn’t downplay the racism, she acknowledged the observation of its existence while defending both women in each case mentioned. If anything, you are belittling the white woman’s grievance and prioritizing your own…which is both divisive and dismissive (dear, I even say ‘selfish’) and the point of her comment in the first place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sidneyeugenemontgomery Sidney Eugene Montgomery

    there are no racists comments made by the woman who was talking about the African American meteorologist. I don’t get it….. She was commenting about her hair; NOT her ethnicity

    The reporter who was fired turned the viewers comment into a racist topic (in which it wasn’t) and she was fired for her response towards the viewer; which is perfectly fine because she was representing the news station when she commented back so negative. that’s like if i worked at walmart and wore a walmart polo shirt and then got into a fight with someone out in town. walmart can fire me because i am wearing a walmart shirt and i am still somewhat representing walmart.

  • Okay

    There was another news reporter that went on air and spoke far more words than she did when she was criticised for being overweight. Many men dont find overweight women attractive either. But she still has her job. No one insinuated that she was unprofessional or ghetto for defending herself. Wonder why? It seems like that is the go to way of shutting up/discrediting a black woman when she dares to defend herself — your ghetto. OR my altime fave — your just an angry black woman.

  • Love Sosa

    his comment was very un-racist. she responded with a pro-black agenda.

    although her response was tame, she didn’t need to go into a history lesson.

    she made it a black thing, not him.

  • kj

    In my opinion his comment was inappropriate making references that she is a nice lady but she should grow some hair was very unnecessary and bias. We are all unique and beautiful and as long as she has a professional attire and articulates her words well and does her job well that is all that matters and the fact that he expressed his disapproval of her short hair was inappropriate again, because she was professional looking!!!!! The network was wrong for firing her especially when asked to produce what policy she violated the network could not produce the evidence!!! HMMM SOUNDS LIKE LOTS OF DOOKIE DOO DOO IN THE GAME!!!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/jaineblaize Caydence James

    She didn’t “make” it a black thing- it IS a black thing.

    I am not someone who wears her hair natural but even I can see that many black women who wear their hair natural do so simply because that’s how it grows out of our heads and they want to keep in line with that. Since it grows out of our hair differently from how HIS hair grows and it does so because she is black, THAT my dear is what makes it a black thing.
    She gave him a history lesson because anyone who would say something like that and not know that this is a heritage issue probably NEEDED a history lesson.*****

  • Latoya

    How did she make it a black thing? He lead with “the black lady…” he could have said the weather lady, the meteorologist etc…so please read before you speak

  • CiCi

    Really? He, Emmitt Vascocu came out first with calling her “the black lady” rather than even bothering to address her by her name Rhonda A. Lee. “The black lady” as he so referenced has a name first and it does not matter if he didn’t know. Out of respect if one mention’s someone they should address them properly, this was disrespectful. And his comments in general were ignorant. What if she did have cancer? It’s none of his business and is insensitive. What is she prefers to wear short natural hair, none of his business. Unfortunately, the internet has become a place where people just say whatever nonsense is on their mind. And there was no reason to fire her over this malarkey.

  • http://gravatar.com/manuelamage manuelamage- LMSW

    The comment( The watcher’s not the meteorologist’s) was inappropriate in a myriad ways. Since when is it not ok to let it be known that you might have lost your hair due to cancer or some other health condition. This woman is showing up for work and doing her job, isn’t she? As for the hair thing, when I read the initial news, I was visualizing an Angela Davies beautiful Afro (of which having limp and lame European hair I am very envious), and when I looked at the picture I saw a woman with short hair framed in a very nice face. What is the problem and why would she be fired for her answer? It was extremely well mannered, clear and non-judgmental. I hope she sues the station because that was blatant racism and sexism all in one horrendous ugly package.

  • Sara

    At least she can apply for unemployment. She can’t be at fault for violating an ambiguous policy that her employer did not tell her about. Moreover, she acted politely and reasonably under the circumstances.

  • Charles Houghton

    I don’t think the man ment anything bigoted. He just doesn’t like women with short hair. Me, I think Ms. Lee is beautiful what ever the hair style. But, I just don’t get them letting her go.

  • http://gravatar.com/cajungram cajungram

    The beautiful news lady was very gracious with her response to the person who criticized her hair. She should not have been fired. There is a white lady on Fox News who wears her hair as short as this lady and there is not one commenting on it. Why should Emmitt Vascocu be concerned with how Ms. Rhonda A. Lee wears her hair anyway as long as she does her job? If he doesn’t like the way she looks, he can always turn the channel. People in Shreveport should boycott KTBS-TV until she gets her job back.

  • Love Sosa

    is she not black? is that not a description for her? he could have said the bald lady. she still would have been offended.

    the black guy, would not offend me. i am black and i am a guy. it’s descriptive. the “n-word” on tv. would offend me.

    he said she’s not cute because she’s got low hair. most women aren’t cute because of low cuts. black, brown, purple, white, orange, or blue.

    she shouldn’t have been fired, though. that’s extreme.

  • yulanda

    She did nothing wrong she responded in a very polite manor so what’s the problem?

  • Gail

    4 1/2 years ago, I cut my hair to full natural, like shorter than my brother, one summer after a major chemical burn from a perm and subsequentialy having massive hair loss due to being ill for nearly 2 months. It was a health decision that was affecting my work as I missed nearly 2 weeks of work at a top Major oil company due to the illness and inability to eat anything so I had no nutrients in my body which most likely also contributed to my hair falling out. I had a final presentation for finishing my internship in the company’s base city where my parents lived at the end of the summer, and that night after I got an immediate permanent offer to work at the company that day, I went home and asked my mom to shave my head. I flew to my job city the next day and my coworkers, all white except a Trini friend, loved it and when I went to school on the West Coast, whites loved it and blacks did not. To me, now I am back in the south, its becoming more acceptable but still I honestly find it harder to find blacks who support my natural hair versus (cultured) whites. Hair is dead anyways, but the fuss surrounding it is shocking and unfortunate, and often times a waste of time but it clearly, from this article, is something that can affect our jobs, both black men and women. But I believe if physical appearance is what is preventing you or scaring you from a job, it probably isn’t the place for you. I hope this woman sues because of this. Most corporate companies have regulations against this, its annoying that the highest level managers of her job are who she is up against but a good lawyer well versed in the company ethics and discrimination guidelines should be able to defend her well. Wish her all the best.

  • http://gravatar.com/apurplefist DanaT

    Oh man, I wish the entire history of the reporter’s responses and occurrences with racism were presented. Maybe it would changes some minds? Another viewer wrote about how a holiday production had too many black kids:

    “Not to start any trouble, because I think that the annual ‘Three Minute Smile’ is a great function and I love to see kids so happy. Am I the only one that has noticed that this year, all the kids, lets say, are people of color? This is Channel 3, not KSLA, the ‘Project Pride’ network, that might as well be part of the BET Channel. Did KTBS slip up on a news story, and owe S’port’s criminal mayor Cedric, a favor? Seems like some racism going on to me. Just saying…..” (found on gawker)

    She also responded with tact and precision. It seems like this reporter has endured racism indeed…

  • Patti

    I did not find anything racist in her comment. She was very nice in explaining why she wears her hair the way she does. I cannot believe the KTBS has fired her over her comment…shame on them. I really like Rhonda, she was a breath of fresh air on the news. We are going to miss her her in our house. Good luck and God bless Rhonda!

  • Diva

    *sighs* I can’t understand why calling her the black lady with the short hair made this about race, this was his way of IDENTIFYING who he was talking about. Personally, as a black woman with natural hair, I think she was out of line. But that’s JMO.. And while I feel she was out of line, I do not feel it warranted her firing. THAT I do believe was race based considering her Bosses could not provide documentation of the rule in which they CLAIM she violated. As for addressing her by name, maybe he didn’t know her name or remember her name, heck I don’t even know her and I’d probably done and said the same thing, AS A BLACK WOMAN. Come on people! Racism? REALLY???

  • x employee

    This is not a black issue…it is a power issue. He thinks he is untouchable. I am a white female and left KTBS because of problems just like this and could not work in the market for TWO YEARS!!!

  • ObamaIsAGayCokeHead

    Frankly I don’t mind her hair, I just think she’s a horrible weather reporter.

  • http://gravatar.com/pamelawhitelow pamelawhitelow

    You should know. But everyone isn’t like you, some people actually like freedom, maybe if your owner’s would let you off your leash, you just might enjoy it. just ask, it won’t hurt anything, oh wait I forgot you can’t speak. Smh.

  • anon

    you go girl! way to state your case in a mature and polite fashion – and you are more than right. hey, if your employers cant recognize your quality of person, then heck, maybe it’s time to move on.

  • http://gravatar.com/pamelawhitelow pamelawhitelow

    @Love Sosa.. Are you serious! could you not comprehend CiCi’s statement. What she is saying is that Ronda A. Lee is indeed a Black Woman, but instead of using her name to describe her he simply chose to call he that black woman, which isn’t her name. You would think that if one would go through the trouble of insulting someone they would at the least mention them by name. The fact that he watch the news broadcast says that he probably new her name but in order be underhandedly racist, this is how he refer’s to her, compliments mix with insults is what you call sweet and nasty. I bothers me that you a supposed black man don’t understand the racial undercurrent in Emmitt Vascocu’s comment. he could have called her by her name and she wouldn’t have been offended. Because you don’t find women who wear their hair short doesn’t mean that they are not beautiful, that’s just your opinion, and everybody has one, A man does not define a women’s beauty by the length of her hair. Why be offend when you hear the -N- word on T.V. if it doesn’t apply to you. just a little something to think about.

  • evelyn reed

    She should not gave been fired for her response to criticism. She actually responded very well.

  • Nate Higgers

    N1ggers gonna n1g…..

  • sara

    I believe she had every right to respond. She did it in a professional manner also. I think it is complete BS that they fired her. I would go straight to a lawyer if I were her. If they don’t want to give her a paycheck anymore….they can be forced to pay for that bad decision.

  • http://traciedavis22atyahoo.wordpress.com traciedavis22atyahoo

    @Hurit Nitika , I completely agree with you . Sounds like someone was working from the inside . They tried to sabotage her success . and although it may have slowed her down , I believe that what God has planned for you is yours . Everything happens for a reason , as they say . She stated that , where some are given a platform ,she was given a pink slip . Well maybe she was really given a much bigger platform than she thought . That will be my prayer . You have to fight injustice ,no matter where you live . It breaks my heart that things like this happen. I am from Birmingham Alabama , as I’m sure that anyone who knows about the civil rights movement is familiar with . Yet I can not imagine something like that happening to one of our local news reporters . It seems unreal . By the way , where can we sign this petition? Even though if I were her is never go back there . they need to know that she has supporters .

  • http://traciedavis22atyahoo.wordpress.com traciedavis22atyahoo

    You obviously didn’t even read the story thoroughly . Because it was a He not a she the made the comments . The meteorologists only explained why she chose to wear her hair in that style , and that it was not because she was sick . I don’t see anything wrong with enlightening someone that was clearly in the dark .

  • http://traciedavis22atyahoo.wordpress.com traciedavis22atyahoo

    So sorry , I Do agree with you . My thumb touched the wrong thumb when I tried to like your comment .

  • http://traciedavis22atyahoo.wordpress.com traciedavis22atyahoo

    If he could not recall her name . shouldn’t he have at least addressed her as the meteorologist or weather lady . I am not black , but it has ALWAYS bothered me when I hear people addressed by using their race . for example . that white lady in the blue car , that black guy that lives in the brick house . Seriously ? Why is that necessary . I can’t stand that sort of thing . That’s JMO !

  • http://traciedavis22atyahoo.wordpress.com traciedavis22atyahoo

    YOU should probably reach out to Ms. Lee in an effort to putting an end to this abuse of power . Hopefully , and probably she has retained legal assistance for this matter . I am sure your story could be a huge help to her and to yourself as well . Is sound like you probably have a lot to say . Please don’t allow this to continue . Think of all the people that may suffer from this man’s behavior in the future . you could prevent that . If someone had spoken up before the two of you were employed there . You and Ms. Lee would probably be very happy co-workers right now . But I think that God must have bigger plans for the two of you . Like fighting this enemy . INJUSTICE!

  • Pingback: Black meteorologist fired for responding to racist commenter who said she ‘need to wear a wig or grow some more hair’ | CNCnws.com

  • David Twitchell

    Neither one did anything wrong.

  • http://clutch.com jayvroon jones jennkumm

    Dats racist,id be getting my gibs me dat if is hers. Mudafuggaz.

  • James D

    I apologize if someone made this comment already, but I’m not certain of the state laws in LA, and whether they allow businesses to hire on an “employee at will” basis. Should this be the case, however ethically wrong it may be, KTBS would not need to site/provide any reason for their decision to terminate. That said, I do hope that justice is served for this anchor. Based on the fact that this was not a formally documented rule she allegedly broke, I have a feeling she would win should this go to court.

  • http://m gar8990

    how about her comment: ita a white boys business. thats a racist comment itself. of course in america she claims racism what else is new in the “minority” coomunity?

  • Ange B

    I think her reply to that awful comment was thoughtful,accurate and last but not the least professional. She even thanked the individual for watching the program for goodness sakes! It is unfortunate that her employers clearly don’t support her and have her back and instead fire her? That is really messed up. I think her response anyone should be proud to stand behind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SweetCocoa86 Zaina Amirah Shakur

    THEY’RE FUCKING RACIST ASSHOLES. SHE DIDN’T DO NOTHING WRONG!

  • http://www.facebook.com/SweetCocoa86 Zaina Amirah Shakur

    I HOPE SHE GET A LAWYER AND SUE THEM!

  • Negrodamous

    Sheboons see racism in a ham sandwich. Her hair looks like a brillo pad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lizzamay Lisa Erin

    Look at the way he responded to her comment – how can anybody say he wasn’t being racist? He essentially compared being black to coming from a third world country. Also, usually the phrase “not a racist, but” is followed by a racist comment.

  • MoGibsmedats

    She looks like a nappy headed Ho! All these boons scream racism over any percieved slight. She still looks like a gorilla in a dress!

  • Darrell

    What a shame. Losing your job for freedom of expression in a very professional and non-offensive manner. And if you believe that’s why she loss her job I have a host of others.
    My prayers goes out to Ms. Lee. That she moves on to greater opportunities and that God exposes this situation for what it truly is.

  • http://twitter.com/JumpJunkieJoe Geechee Goddess (@JumpJunkieJoe)

    I feel a lawsuit coming on. We’ve come too far to still have to deal with this ignorance. The company is way way wrong for this. This woman is a professional and a great example for our young women. Either way, I think a lot of companies would be willing to hire her.

  • http://gravatar.com/obonaga amy

    Ms. Lee is a professional and proud woman. The station was cowardly–at best and did not support their colleague. Poor showinl KTBS. I think rather than writing making a few comments on this blog, we should contact the station directly and help her get her job back.

    And facebook about it too.

    http://www.ktbs.com/contact-us/contact-ktbs

  • Ms. Write

    A setup if I ever did see one. I would be willing to bet money that the television station orchestrated the whole thing. Unfortunately, she entertained it. However eloquent her response they seem to have gotten her on some vague BS employee policy. My only question is, was the policy in writing? I hope she sues them, then gets transferred to a better broadcast market.

  • Ms. Write

    What’s up with all of these trolls on the comment feed? :-\

  • http://www.kenney-mencher.com/ Kenney Mencher

    Rhonda A. Lee has got some real integrity and intelligence! After reading her intelligent, kind, informed, and well written response. I think she was heroic in how she responded. (She informed rather that retaliated.) Now I hope that there will be enough media coverage to compensate her and use the incident to help her career as a professional reporter. This woman clearly is someone I would trust to tell the truth.

  • amanda

    Although everything Rhonda said may have been true. She should not have responded to the disrespectful bastard. Some people are not worth your time or your job. As a public figure and a professional you don’t respond to people like that. You don’t see Obama and Oprah responding publicly to racist, ignorant men, do you?

    Unfortunately, we as black people in our subordinate position need to operate within certain norms in our society in order to get ahead. Not every loser is worth lashing out at, especially not publicly and if it is going to cost you your job. F.Y.I social media is considered a public domain.

  • Diva

    I read this response from Emmitt a few times. I saw that he didn’t articulate his sentences well. Then a friend, trying to show me he was white, posted Emmitt’s FB page on my FB page. I was able to read some of his posts. So I stand by what I said, I do not believe his intent was racism, nor do I believe he’s racist, what I know from reading his page is he has brain damage and dementia. So it makes sense why he didn’t ELABORATE the way everyone wanted him to. Why didn’t he say this, why didn’t he say that.. hush up..

    She shouldn’t have responded. She took it further than it needed to go because she got wrapped up in her emotions. We all do that, but we need to do better, and she should have done better.

    It wasn’t about race, even though he described her as the black lady, that was just his way of trying to identify who he was talking about. From what I read of his comments, she could have been white and he’d have said the same thing except the white lady with the short hair..

  • kuhlmann

    This will certainly run contrary to popular opinion, but while I think firing Ms. Lee for her reply would have been overkill (it is not established that this was the reason given for her dismissal), I support the station’s decision to discipline her.

    While Mr. Vascocu’s comment was in poor taste, it isn’t provably racially biased. We may never know what he intended, but his only reference to race was the term “black,” which was used to describe Ms. Lee, not to impugn her. Given that fact, her (over)reaction, while understandable, was not advisable. What she should have done is to assume good faith and respond in a brief, positive fashion.

    The only overt, provable example of racism described in this article came from Ms. Lee herself, who wrongly referred to meteorology as a “white boy business.”

  • kuhlmann

    This will certainly run contrary to popular opinion, but while I think firing Ms. Lee for her reply would have been overkill (though that may be what occurred, it has not been positively established that this was the reason given for her dismissal), I support the station’s decision to discipline her.

    While Mr. Vascocu’s comment was in poor taste, it isn’t provably racially biased. We may never know what he intended, but his only reference to race was the term “black,” which was used to describe Ms. Lee, not to impugn her. Given that fact, her (over)reaction, while understandable, was not advisable. What she should have done is to assume good faith and respond in a brief, positive fashion.

    The only overt, provable example of racism described in this article came from Ms. Lee herself, who wrongly characterized meteorology as a “white boy business.”

  • James Hollingsworth

    Not sure why she brought race into it. The guy just did’nt like short hair. Not sure what her black roots had to do with it. Just seems she automatically deceided this guy was a racist!

  • Diva

    Actually an email was sent out the day before this took place, outlining the proper way to respond to complaints. She didn’t adhere to that email. I further read she had issues about race while working at another station because of her perception of a comment made to her about her hair by her boss. The comment was “is there something you can do to make it more appealing to a mass audience.” I personally think she has issues with people saying things about her hair. That’s the problem with most of us as black women who are natural (I’m natural with Kinky Coily hair). *shrugs* I’m beginning to see the whole story. It pays to research.. I’ll reserve my full opinion but even not knowing what I know now, I still believe she overreacted…

  • take their medals away

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! BLACKS ARE SO STUPID!!!!!

  • Eileena

    I see that this went over your head. She said nothing wrong and should not have been fired. The policy wasn’t written. She gave an excellent response. My friend you don’t get it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/EzerSed Seddy Sed

    I am glad she responded the way she did. I really hope she sues the mess out of them. I hate that we still live in a world that applauds ignorance and belittles professionalism. They fired this lady for responding to someone that was trying to question her hair style and heritage. Don Imus called the Rutgers girls basketball team as “Nappy headed whores”. It took them days to fire him then they hired him back and gave him a 5 million dollar raise. Rush Limbaugh talks down about minorities all the time. These two racist bastards are still on the air and continue to let everyone knows how they feel. Please sue them just to let them know that this is not acceptable.

  • c. sally

    here’s a petition insisting KTBS-TV rehire Rhonda Lee
    http://www.causes.com/actions/1714107

  • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.arak Victoria Arak

    She brought race into it because the guy assumed that she ‘needs’ to have long hair or a wig in order to be presentable on TV and she thus felt the need to explain to him the reason why she chose not to grow her hair – a reason that’s directly linked to her ethnicity. Hell, it’s actually explained in the article itself.

    So I dunno, mate. If someone told you that something about your physical appearance was off in some way, like your eyes were too brown or your eyebrows were too thick, wouldn’t you instruct them that it’s just the way your DNA shaped you to be?

    Maybe he didn’t mean to imply anything racist with his comment, but it was still ignorant and offensive as hell. And just because you don’t mean to be racist, doesn’t mean you can’t say something problematic, something that definitely can be racist no matter what your intent…

  • http://gravatar.com/barbararuth barbararuth

    Now that I read the whole exchange, I think she definitely did overreact. I agree with the commenter that the writer’s phrase “the black lady” had more to do with identifying her than making a comment about her hair type or texture. His aesthetic complaint is clearly stated: he doesn’t like women with short hair (or men with long hair) and associates short hair on women with cancer treatment. She introduced the racial element.

  • Tamara Shade

    I see the racists have used this article as a reason to spew racism in the comment section, meanwhile, trying to claim that this article is ”not about race” and that the women ”overreacted”. Yeah, right.

    Some of you racists just come here to aggravate. Log out. We’re not here for you heauxs. Damn

  • Pingback: METEOROLOGIST FIRED AFTER RESPONSE TO FACEBOOK HAIR POST

  • http://gravatar.com/melinflorida Whiteone

    ….and it is comments like yours that forces blacks to answer ignorant people like you and this Emmitt person. Her well written response was very appropriate!

  • Tami J. Friedman
  • Beautiful Mic

    What, exactly, did the facebook poster post. Did he say something about her hair texture, did he actually call it an Afro? Because all I’m getting is that the poster didn’t like her hair because it is short. If that’s all they stated, and if she then went on a diatribe about her race/ethnicity and how her hair grows…it makes sense that she was fired. That would have been unnecessary.

  • is

    Shame on the station. It was a professional response. What about the white news woman who was called FAT by a commenter and was allowed to address her weight and the comment on her show? Kudos to her producers for the support, and FAIL to the KTBS people behind this one that didnt have the courage to stand behind one of their own when bullied online. Social Media Bullying is an issue and I think her response was above board.

  • jcabana

    “the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient.”

    When you question whether or not a woman who wears her hair naturally is a ‘”cancer patient”, that’s racist. It implies that any black woman with short, curly hair looks sick. How long does a black woman’s hair have to be in order for her to avoid such condescending criticism? It’s not like she’s bald.

    Kinky hair doesn’t grow like straight hair: it is much thicker, and the maintenance requires completely different products. This meteorologist’s haircut is the kinky-haired equivalent of a European woman with Rachel Maddow’s hair. But I’m willing to bet that Rachel Maddow hasn’t been asked if she’s a cancer patient — because her hair is straight and grows high off her head even when it’s short. Black women shouldn’t be penalized because their hair grows different.

  • ChiHou

    Sue ‘em! Wrongful termination.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    Dave,

    Obviously you haven’t been around enough white feminists to know how truly irritating and one-dimensional they are. I don’t trust anything they say or do because it all boils down to *only* their agenda. She might mean well, but they’re all snakes in the grass and not to be trusted. So let’s just agree to disagree, k?

  • Reeses Keya

    Unbelievable. A better postion is awaiting Ms. Lee. she must take what she learned from this position, and keep it moving! They are the ones at a loss. this was just a stepping stone in her career not set back because another door will be opened as long as she keeps on knocking.

  • Nakia

    From the article: “. . . this world has . . . certain standerd (cq). if youve come from a world of being poor are you going to dress in rags?. . .”

    Implicit racism. If a “certain standard” that does not include a black woman’s natural, nature-given hair does not reek of racism to you, then you need to engage in some introspection about your views on Black people. He is essentially saying “just because you come from a world of being black, you don’t have to wear your hair like a black woman. That is unpleasant to white (read: better, professional, smart) eyes.”

  • Nakia

    Sure, she should sue for wrongful termination, however, I for one would not want my job back. I would not want to be affiliated with such an entity. A strong argument for why we need our own media outlets, in my opinion.

  • Dave

    Whatever your views on white feminists are, they are are irrelevant to the legitimacy of her comment, the correctness of her point, and the hypocrisy of your response. We are not in disagreement because quite simply you are having a completely different conversation.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    No Dave,

    It’s unfortunate that your only solution to this debate is to call me a “hypocrite” or “selfish” because really don’t have anything substantial to add to the conversation- it’s childish, really. Also, what you think of me is quite irrelevant, as you’re nothing but an anonymous face behind a computer monitor.

    The fact is that Alexandra derailed the conversation about the injustice of Ms. Lee’s firing (and the inequity of the media industry) by complaining about how Ako called another reporter “fat”. Derailing is a typical white feminist response to anything that has to do with race. Obviously, you don’t see that and don’t care to, so that’s pretty much on you, not me. Have a good day.

  • http://www.youtube.com abbyissocoollike

    This is a case of wrongful termination! This woman was just sticking up for herself, and if she can’t even do that, I don’t know what the world has come down to. Part of me is ashamed (of the station), and part of me is very, very, very, very, VERY, proud. (Of the woman) So let’s call or email the station. Tell them what they did was wrong. If enough people call, email, write letters, or STOP WATCHING, this woman could maybe be re-hired. If all else fails, just sue ‘em.

  • http://hearmytruths.wordpress.com Hurit Nitika

    Truth indeed!

  • Dave

    You are clearly having a failure to comprehend the point of her comment and how your response has done exactly what you have (falsely) criticized her of doing. At this point, I have to question whether you are actually reacting to what was said or the whiteness of the person who said it.

  • Dave

    @ cupcakes and shiraz (not Billy Paul)

  • Dave

    This comment appears below, re-posting here to avoid confusion:

    Cupcakes, you are clearly having a failure to comprehend the point of her comment and how your response has done exactly what you have (falsely) criticized her of doing. At this point, I have to question whether you are actually reacting to what was said or the whiteness of the person who said it.

  • Diva

    So the “FACT” that he has brain damage and dementia means nothing? I’m black with kinkier hair than hers WAY KINKIER and I feel she overreacted, so now I’m racist? The fact that people over look all of the facts, dont research and will allow one article to sway them says a lot about this society. Its sad. Oh and all employees were told the proper way to engage negative comments and she chose no to abide by the guidance given which was very SPECIFIC.

  • jcross

    People keep saying that she’s the one who made it a racial issue, but I guess they didn’t read his response, which made what he meant very clear: “…this world has…certain standards.” Even after she explained to him the nature of our hair, and how it doesn’t grow in a way that makes it fall downward, he still tells her that she needs to adhere to ‘standards’? We all know what ‘standards’ he’s talking about.

  • Wendy Gardner

    This woman should never have been put in a position to have felt obligated to defend her heritage in the first place. It started with the ignorance of the original viewer/commenter that clearly is judgemental toward the African American race and most likely women in general. The 2nd part of this is the employer making an ignorant quick decision to fire this woman when clearly her response to the viewer was very professional, well manored and in no way shape or form racist or descriminating toward any race. She felt she needed to explain her reason as to why she is comfortable with her choice of hair style which is any persons grown decision to choose. My comment to her would be is your a very beautiful woman doesnt matter black, white, brown, albino, bald, make up, no make up your grown and your reason gor wearing your hair the way you do is very noble and you should feel very proud of the response you gave. Now get a good. Attorney and sue for wrongful termination and descrimination! Put those people in their place and show them they cant get away eith this kind of ignorance and behavior!

  • Medusa

    This bullshit right here? Why I will never, ever live in the States again. Even with all the intelligent, thoughtful, open-minded, educated people around me, I could never, ever, ever, escape the racism and the “it’s not about race” justifications of racist statements. So fucking obtuse and willfully ignorant.

    Not saying I live now is a post-racial utopia, just that I cannot stand this shit and will never deal with it again.

  • Tara

    translation:
    And then they talk about freedom of expression. What a shame that it happened to this lady.

  • http://twitter.com/el_jefe_one Jeff LaPointe (@el_jefe_one)

    I think she was rightfully fired. Why should she be allowed to respond to Facebook on company time?

  • http://twitter.com/el_jefe_one Jeff LaPointe (@el_jefe_one)

    Also, just because the guy used “black lady” in his comment does not make his entire statement racial. I didn’t find his comment to be racial at all in fact he expressed concern that he may be offending a cancer patient that may have had no choice in the length of their hair. His comments do not appear to be racially motivated out of prejudice but rather an observation made from public display. The fact still remains, a public figure responded to a Facebook post using company resources without first gaining permission from her editor or producer. It is a well known fact that is taboo in almost every corporate setting, written policy or not.

  • Heidi

    Why do you say “white”? The man who made the comment was white, but how do you know that the station is owned by “white” men?
    You do know who actually owns the media in America, right? They are a small ethnic minority that like to pose as “white men” so that other ethnic minorities will hate “whitey” — The Nation of Islam did a wonderful series, that is completely documented, as to who owned, bought, and brought slaves to America. “White” Gentile households were the least percentage to own black people or other peoples of colors in slavery or servitude.

    The LA Times also did a wonderful piece on how the Je ws own Hollywood, banking, industry…. Joel Stein, I believe was the author of the article….

  • http://www.facebook.com/geahk Geahk Burchill

    What she did was certainly activist but that’s no criticism. You may call it overreaction, but I call it a necessary step towards breaking down flawed beauty/gender/racial standards. What she did was educate. Did she HAVE to? No. Does anyone HAVE to work towards civil rights and equality? No. But I’m damn glad they do.

  • http://www.constantcrisisnews.com Hamilton

    Constant Crisis News & Opinion podcast discusses Clutch’s story on Rhonda Lee and the absurdity of her firing for not following the unknown rules! You can listen at constantcrisisnews dot com.

  • Velma

    I don’t understand why she needed to give a history lesson. She instigated the racial overtone.

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  • Brandon

    The comment given was offensive to her hair/culture.. thus a history lesson. I feel African hair make people uncomfortable really..

  • silkynaps

    As a Black woman with short natural hair, I’m hard-pressed to see how the viewer’s comments were interpreted as racist. Not everything is racist. His complaint was that her was too short for his taste…which is not an uncommon opinion coming from a man. Regardless of race.

    Want to complain about something? Complain that the viewer was a sexist pig, probably jerking it to the thought of her having long hair to pull on.

    I know people are really heated about this and really want it to be about race, but the post omits that the lady has been reprimanded for the same behavior in the past. My job would never have to tell me twice to stay off Facebook.

    It sucks that she chose the wrong battle and lost her job over a misinterpreted comment. Maybe we, as a people, need to be a little less sensitive, more objective, and learn to understand others as well as helping people understand us. That and stay the f*ck off Facebook…

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  • http://www.prettynoire.com TK

    I used to work in television news and I think that her response was fine until she said “GOD”. Usually media outlets, or companies in general don’t want to affiliate themselves with religion. She also said “Confirming isn’t what being American is about” which is tantamount to calling a viewer a terrorist as far as a news station is concerned. You do have to think about how far reaching your comments can be, even if you are rightfully educating someone who is ignorant about your culture. There is a time and place for everything and although I agree with what she said in her “history lesson” it was unprofessional to do so. She should have responded under another name or anonymously, because when you’re a public figure (working for a news station), it’s not all about you. Your image is the company’s image and she could have potentially cost the station viewers.

  • kuhlmann

    Absolutely! Mr. Vascocu might indeed have some kind of racial bias, but it would be a terrible world if we assumed that were always the case whenever it might be. Either way, professionals do not jump down customers’ throats when they encounter a comment that might be interpreted as offensive.

  • Smith

    “…If you’ve come from a world of being poor are you going to dress in rags?…” Are you SERIOUS??? MY AFRO is not poor and NEVER equate it to RAGS… IT IS PART OF HER BODY AND WHO SHE NATURALLY IS!! WHY others find it so hard to accept that other people are BORN different? Another example of how against actual, natural black beings are discriminated against just for showing themselves as they are. THAT’S racist. Not necessarily maliciously, but very ignorant which is why yes, I think it was good that she gave a ‘history lesson’… these poor people need educating. Just cos other people arent used it seeing it, doesnt mean she hates herself. How arrogant. Should the people born straight haired put frizzy wigs or curl enhancers in? I think that would improve the standard, no?! THINK.

  • Joe Nadukkudiyil

    I would imagine that you could well get the ACLU interested in championing the beautiful Ms. Lee. In the absence of a written directive I believe this would be considered wrongful termination. I thought Ms. Lee’s response was well articulated and well argued and mature.

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