Some weeks, the news just doesn't get any better, and this week is no exception when it comes to gross misconduct and contravention of human rights. Here are a few gems to put in your WTF file.
Michael Young, a caucasian Whataburger employee from Euless, Texas, was fired for marrying a black woman. The last time I checked, it was 2010. While I am not a bright-eyed Pollyanna who believes the world is, at heart, a good and decent place, I am shocked that race continues to be such an issue. Whataburger is denying the claim of discrimination, but who wouldn't when they are facing a federal court hearing? I'm not buying it, considering that the man was a 10-year employee earning six figures until he started dating outside his race. The so-called "old school" Whataburger management might want to educate themselves in what constitutes 21st century decency.
Laine Tadlock was fired from her position at Benedictine University when she chose to celebrate her same-sex nuptials by placing a wedding announcement in the local paper. Benedictine President William Carroll, in an open and galling defence of his institution's prejudice, wrote, "...By publicizing the marriage ceremony in which she participated in Iowa she has significantly disregarded and flouted core religious beliefs which, as a Catholic institution, it is our mission to uphold." The university, which was already aware of Tadlock's orientation when it employed her five years ago, only took issue with it when she mentioned where she worked in the marriage announcement. Their employee handbook states that they "...provide equal employment opportunity to all persons without discrimination", but their actions state that they are duplicitous bigots. Benedictine University apparently has no problem with homosexuals as long as people don't know about said homosexuals. If you've got a hankering for some good old institutionally enforced closeting, Benedictine University will help you out!
Lawrence County Children and Youth Services (LCCYS) in Pennsylvania seized a newborn baby from her parents because the mother ate an "everything" bagel from Dunkin' Donuts. It's true. And I thought Elaine's plight in the classic Seinfeld episode in which she's labeled an opium addict after eating poppyseed muffins was implausible. The cut-off level for opiate tests at Jameson Hospital is so low that even eating poppy seeds can trigger it, and the county and hospital made no effort to find corroborating evidence before they delivered Isabella Rodriguez into foster care for five days following her birth, effectively depriving her parents of their 14th Amendment rights. Couple the unnecessarily sensitive opiate testing with the LCCYS' "seize first, ask questions later" policy, and you've got to wonder how many expecting families have been similarly terrorized after innocently lunching on Dunkin' Donuts' bagels.
A woman was coerced into stating that her rape was not, in fact, a rape in Marion, South Carolina. Police officers at the scene went so far as to read her her Miranda rights and told her that she would spend five years in prison away from her child if her story did not hold up, pressuring her to write in her statement "Though I didn’t agree or consent to it (it) was not rape." Non-consensual sex IS rape by definition, but just not when the violent criminal in question is a police officer in Marion, apparently. What is particularly galling in this incident is that one of the officers who reportedly coerced the rape victim to recant her accusation is a woman, Lt. Betty Gause. I may be no Pollyanna, but one woman actively furthering the victimization of another woman who has just been raped is so beyond unjust I've lost my words.
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