Excellent and disturbing article by Yascha Mounk in the Atlantic. Companies are so eager to signal their virtue, and so desperate to avoid the attentions of the Twitter mob, that they’re firing people at the mere suggestion of racial impropriety.
The article tells the story of a number of people who have suffered this fate including David Shor who we’ve already mentioned and others like Emmanuel Cafferty a San Diego Gas and Electric employee with Latin and Mexican heritage who happened to be photographed making the “okay” sign with his hand:
When Cafferty was wrongly accused of being a white supremacist, he fought hard to keep his job. He said he explained to the people carrying out the investigation—all of them were white—that he had no earthly idea some racists had tried to appropriate the “okay” sign for their sinister purposes. He told them he simply wasn’t interested in politics; as far as he remembered, he had not voted in a single election. Eventually, he told me, “I got so desperate, I was showing them the color of my skin. I was saying, ‘Look at me. Look at the color of my skin.’”
It was all to no avail. SDG&E, Cafferty told me, never presented him with any evidence that he held racist beliefs or knew about the meaning of his gesture. Yet he was terminated.