White Anchor Fired For Using The N-Word Sues For Racial Discrimination
Tom Burlington, a white former news anchor for FOX29 in Philadelphia, is suing the station in response to having been fired in 2007 for saying the n-word.
You see, in response to a discussion about a story about the Philadelphia NAACP performing a symbolic funeral for the word, Burlington asked “Does this mean we can finally say the word n—–?” He did this in front of several co-workers, some of whom were black and rather taken aback by this. Word got out to his co-anchor, Joyce Evans, who also just so happened to be black. Understandably, she wasn’t too pleased either.
According to Burlington’s suit, Evans confronted him by saying “Because you’re white, you can never understand what it’s like to be called a n—–, and … you cannot use the word n—–.”
He is claiming that the station is guilty of “racial discrimination” for firing him for saying the n-word, but not black employees who have said it.
In his lawsuit, Burlington said he had been unable to find work as a TV newscaster because of his termination and the subsequent publicity. He is seeking unspecified damages. A court filing contends that he lost nearly $3 million in past and future earnings.
Burlington took the stand [Monday] afternoon before the all-white jury.
Fox29 attorneys at Dechert LLP did not return calls for comment on Friday. In court papers filed last month, they asserted there was no evidence that race played a role in the decision to end Burlington’s contract. They attributed his firing to “his admitted misconduct, his poor judgment, the upset it caused in the newsroom, and the resulting negative publicity.”
On the stand, Burlington lamented not only his lost paychecks and career opportunities, but also his fear that his daughters would read about this on the internet and think he’s a racist rather than an upstanding journalist. You know, because doing or saying something racist is not as bad as people suggesting you might be one, of course.
Yes, it is racist to want to use the n-word. It is also racist, and ignorant, to whine about how you don’t understand why black people can say it and you, a white dude, cannot. It is racist to sue a company for firing you, claiming that you were “discriminated” against for your race, because black people can use the n-word and you can’t because you’re a white guy.
Is it really, really possible that this dude somehow doesn’t understand the difference between a black person saying the n-word and a white person saying it? I do not believe it is. I just don’t think it is humanly possible to be that stupid. We all regularly say things about ourselves that would be incredibly hurtful if it came from someone else. We understand this in every other context in life, and yet for some reason, this is a really tough one for some people.
I have to know. I just… I have to know. What is it that is so incredibly desirable about saying a word that you know hurts people? What is it that they think will happen if they are suddenly “allowed” to say this word? Will they have healthier, shinier hair? Will they win the lotto? Will the sky open up and the angels rejoice? Will the colors surrounding them seem brighter? Will the ginger ale be more Schweppervescent?
Advice for Burlington in the future? If you don’t want your daughters to think you’re racist, or if you don’t want to get fired from your job for being racist, don’t do or say racist shit–definitely don’t sue for your “right” to say racial slurs. That should be a given. Also, don’t say racial slurs, unless you are a member of that group. Duh.