A Texas reporter has been sacked by her employer after she wrote a private Facebook post celebrating President-Elect Donald Trump’s victory. Scarlett Fakhar, who previously worked for Fox 26 Houston, took to social media to express her personal views about the election results and lost her job because of it.
In the offending post, Fakhar revealed that she was “happy and relieved” that Trump had triumphed over Hillary Clinton, whom she believed would have simply maintained the status quo that President Barack Obama created during his administration.
“Want to talk about going downhill?” Fakhar’s post read in part. “Look what Obama has done… how he has made the entire country hate one another. Were you happy with how many people were killing each other in our country?”
“I work in news… and I hate to say it.. but the number of African Americans killing one another far outweighs the number of them being killed by whites,” she continued. “And now you have groups murdering police officers both black and white. How did this happen under the Obama administration? You guys wanted another administration like that?”
The post went on to blast “all of the college kids who wanted Hillary’s free education,” insisting that “no one is entitled to anything.” She also pointed to her multiracial background, noting that her father “came to America when he was 17… alone.. with $500 in his pocket” and “found a way to get a college degree WHILE working full time… [and] is now one of the best engineers in our country.”
Fakhar hails from Wilmington, Delaware and studied broadcast journalism at North Carolina’s Elon University. She began her career in journalism as an intern at “NBC Nightly News” with Brian Williams and at KTRK-TV Houston before landing gigs at television stations in Austin and Lubbock. She began working for Fox 26 Houston last year as an evening news reporter who occasionally covered politics.
In the days following her firing, Fakhar has blasted critics for accusing her of racism for her remarks, singling out the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of her firing as inaccurate and biased.
“The LIBERAL Houston Chronicle is WRONGFULLY saying I chastised African Americans,” she wrote on Thursday. “The media has made this a RACE issue when in reality the matter boils down to a difference in political philosophy. As a multiracial person myself, I never have been or never will be racist. I simply stated the fact that the media continues to misrepresent the factual realities that there is NO more white on black crime than there is black on black crime.”
Fakhar attached a screenshot of the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of the incident, which claimed that she was fired for “extolling U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and chastising President Barack Obama and African-Americans.” As of this writing, the Houston Chronicle’s story has been revised to exclude the racial angle.
While FOX 26 Houston has confirmed Fakhar’s termination, the network has yet to comment. By not making clear the reason why Fakhar was fired after expressing her personal political opinions in a private Facebook post that was only made public after the fact, the network becomes the latest employer to stifle free speech in the name of demagoguery.
Last week, Grubhub CEO and Co-Founder Matt Maloney sent out a company-wide memo that called for employees who supported Trump to resign.
“I absolutely reject the nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics of Donald Trump and will work to shield our community from this movement as best as I can,” Maloney wrote.
“While demeaning, insulting, and ridiculing minorities, immigrants, and the physically/mentally disabled worked for Mr. Trump, I want to be clear that this behavior — and these views — have no place at Grubhub,” he continued.
“If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here,” Maloney concluded.
Maloney’s comments are emblematic of a culture that no longer fosters freedom of speech and opinion. The Founding Fathers envisioned a country where vigorous political debate would allow clashing beliefs to come to some form of compromise, and the structure of the government was designed to give equal representation to all via the democratic process.
People like Maloney and Fakhar’s former employers, however, have become so consumed in their ideological narcissism that they’d rather silence voices of dissent instead of hearing them out. Civil discourse is meaningless in a society where it’s perfectly acceptable for your employer to disregard your professional capabilities because he or she does not agree with your First Amendment-sanctioned freedom of speech.