Friday, 16 October 2009

I don't like to think about it

A story with a few minor changes. I find that swapping a few semantic tokens is a useful tool in examining contentious issues.
Depositions filed in the case of a racially mixed woman who was fired from her job as an editor for the Georgia General Assembly are shedding new light on the causes for her dismissal as she attempts to regain her job.

The NAACP filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Vandy Beth Glenn after she was fired from her job as a legislative editor in 2007 when she announced that she was of mixed race rather than being white.

At issue is whether Georgia Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby acted legally when he fired Glenn.

During his May 11 deposition, filed with the U.S. District Court of Northern Georgia on Sept. 21, Brumby candidly discusses his distaste for Glenn’s mongrelisation, and acknowledges that he fired Glenn knowing that it would likely result in a lawsuit.
“I think it would have made it very uncomfortable and emotionally upsetting for me to communicate with Mr. Morrison under those circumstances, and I imagined that some other number of our employees would feel likewise,” Brumby said of Vandy Beth Glenn’s intention to transition on the job.

He also expressed personal concerns about his reaction to Glenn’s revelation that she was "passing for white".

“It makes me think about things I don’t like to think about, particularly at work … I think it’s unsettling to think of someone who looks white but is actually black” Brumby said.

Brumby couldn’t explain to Cole Thaler, the NAACP attorney representing Glenn, why it was upsetting.

“It's not something that I enjoy thinking about, and I think it would have been unsettling to have a constant reminder to think about something I don’t like to think about,” he said.
Although legislative editors work in a windowless room that is not accessible to the public, rarely leave their offices during the General Assembly, and have negligible contact with lawmakers, Brumby thought Glenn’s revelation could cause problems for his office.

“I think some members of the legislature would view that having a black in our office as perhaps immoral, perhaps unnatural, and perhaps, if you will, liberal or ultra-liberal,” he said. “Our office works for 236 members of the legislature from all political persuasions, and I think some of those members would have diminished confidence in the operation if that happened.”

The legislative counsel writes the actual bills that legislators propose, and occasionally defends lawmakers in court. Since the office works with all members of the House and Senate, Brumby said he had to avoid actions that could seem partisan.

To see just how few the changes made were, read the Southern Voice.


Anonymous said...

Brumby couldn’t explain to Cole Thaler, the Lambda Legal attorney representing Glenn, why it was upsetting.

bobendzoo said...

yeah, thats the south for ya!


Anonymous said...

you transition, you pretty much count on losing your job was the old rule.

Hell, I lost my business....

My advice to her, woman up...find new work.....cause you'll get canned eventually even if it isn't immediate.

Lux Mentis said...

The ridiculous part of this (ridiculous and thoroughly offensive) is that in either the term-shifted case the good Brain uses or the original, the problem seems to boil down to the inDUHvidual who feels the fact he is disconcerted and forced to think about things that might be uncomfortable is in any way a sufficient reason to terminate an employee.

Essentially, his own limited world view and inability to contemplate things that may be surprising and not fit into said world view without some adjustment somehow justifies his unconsconscionable and likely illegal decision to fire the individual in question.

Admittedly, I'm sometimes at a loss to really understand the whole ts/tg situation, but my perplexity would never justify treating another human being poorly or prejudicially. That's my baggage to carry and my row to plow. Maybe I'll never fully grok this part of the universe. But just because I don't fully understand it doesn't excuse crapulent behaviour to another human being.

At the root of it, most forms of bigotry spring from ignorance and an unwillingness to deal with personal discomfort in facing these situations. And they're all inexcusable because your own discomfort and lazyness is no excuse to inflict discomfort, disjunction, or misery upon another human.

It's a pity I can't borrow the Almighty's SMITE button occasionally to slap some sense into offending parties like the one in this case. He needs a boot in the lazy, non-thinking, provincial, bigoted @$$.

Laserlight said...

LOL at the unwitting irony of comment #2. Bigotry is bad, and of course all _______ people are bigots.

Anonymous said...

Translation: 'what will the neighbours think?' It constantly amazes me that people will actually stand up in public and say things like that, and their cheeks don't burn with shame. They degrade themselves with such speech.

I didn't get 'canned' from my job, but it was due more to careful planning than anything else.

Zoe Brain said...

laserlight - I myself have been known to concentrate on the splinters in other's eyes rather than the lumberyard in my own.

Although I think comment #2 was said mainly in jest, thanks for the reminder. Not so much for gina, as for me. I can use such hints from friends now and then.

Anonymous said...

“It makes me think about things I don’t like to think about, particularly at work … I think it’s unsettling to think of someone dressed in women’s clothing with male sexual organs inside that clothing,” said Brumby

Yeah right, what ever's the world coming to when high-powered, heterosexist alpha-males like Sewell R. Brumby can't mentally undress a female colleague without worrying whether she has a penis or not!

Katie xxx