woman has been fired and reported to the Secret Service for her President Barack Obama racial slur and assassination comment on Facebook. California
The Modesto Bee says 22-year-old Denise Helms of Turlock posted the inflammatory comments on the social media site shortly after the president's re-election on Tuesday.
She used the n-word in referring to Obama and wrote that maybe he will be assassinated this term.
Helms then told a Sacramento TV station that she wouldn't mind a bit if someone assassinated Obama.
Helms was fired Thursday from her job at the Stone Cold Creamery store.
Store director Chris Kegle says the comments are disgusting.
Secret Service Agent Scott Gillingham in says the incident is being investigated. Sacramento
Threats against the president can lead to felony charges.
Two part debate: was the store right to fire her? And is saying that "she wouldn't mind a bit if someone assassinated Obama" enough to be charged with threatening the President?
Sorry I can't make that part at the top a proper quote, it's making each sentence into a separate quote for some reason...
Last edited by Spacers; 11-09-2012 at 01:57 PM.
David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!
Yes, grounds for firing. An employee (no matter how low on the totem pole) is a representation of a company, and I wouldn't want her to be a representation of my company!
For assassination threat - doesn't seem like one to me. But being reported, and being charged with it is different. "they are investigating" doesn't mean much, i'm sure they'll look at it, do an insane amount of paperwork, then call it benign.
Everyone knows employers are looking at fb these days....to say something so offensive so publicly was just asking for it.
I have no problems with the store firing her...at-will employment and all. Last i checked sufferers of highly offensive diarrhea of the mouth is not a protected class of citizen. I'm not sure its what i would do, but I think its his prerogative to do so.
And i don't know if its enough to charge her with anything, but i think its fair to say it warrants an investigation. Its probably ridiculously unlikely that she is a true threat but i'm okay with investigations of this such as a matter of standard policy.
First lets take the legal aspect of it. Saying I wouldn't mind someone being assassinated is different than planning to assassinate someone. For example, if someone really did not like some average Joe and said "I can not stand Billy Bob. I wish he would take a long walk off a short cliff", that person might have been being mean, but he was not threatening to kill Billy Bob.
To be honest I personally know someone who said the day after the election that they wished Obama would be assassinated. That person was very upset and I know they did not mean it and never, ever would have personally assassinated Obama. Just that they could not stand him and wished that he was out of the picture. To be honest, I think that is a terrible attitude to have, but it is a fact that people feel that way. I am sure every president from the begining of time has had a certain amount of people that did not like him and wished he would die. That does not mean each of those people were threatening to personally kill the president.
As for loosing your job, I think a boss should be able to fire who ever they want for whatever reason. I also think you should be able to put whatever you want on FB. The prudent thing to do would to not be friends on FB with your boss.
For the record, I think that is an awful thing to call someone for any reason.
Yes she can be fired and yes it can warrant an investigation.
You can't threaten the Pres. at all like that especially in public. It's always cause to warrant a review. Rightfully so. What if they didn't follow up and she really meant it? I'm sure like everyone said it was vomit of words but still.
I have a hard time with the firing thing, simply because I doubt that anyone was confused about whether she was representing her company when she said it. If a news station interviewed her while she was at work, or while she was wearing her uniform, or something like that, then I would feel differently.
Having said that, I know full well that if I posted something inappropriate or unprofessional on FB and my employers found out (and god forbid, it got back to my clients especially) I might well lose my job over it. You will never EVER see a drunk picture of me on FB and I am careful about what I post on there, for that reason among others. So I do get it. I don't necessarily think it's fair, but I do think it's reality.
No, I do not believe saying "I wish someone would assissinate the President" is the same thing as a threat. It's a terrible thing to say, and people who say that should really take a long hard look at themselves and question how they have let themselves get so worked up that they are wishing death on someone simply for having different political values, but I don't think it really constitutes a serious threat.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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If the woman actually did something illegal then yes she should be totally accountable for that. If she put the company's reputation in jeopardy then I imagine the company would be upset. They have the right to hire and fire at their pleasure.
In general though I think we live in a time where we have freedom of speech but we also get held accountable and punished if we actually have something to say.
It was a pretty stupid thing to say but I think firing her from an ice cream shop is a bit overboard. I really don't think it would have affected her job and it happened off the clock. If they want to investigate her that is fine but lots of people say stupid things they don't really mean, so I don't think they should spend a lot of money investigating her.
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Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013
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