Hospital worker fired after being photographed wearing a confederate t-shirt with noose to the polls
America may pride itself on being the land of the free and the home of the brave, but freedom to make outlandish statements does not come without consequences.
Clayton Hickey, a hospital worker from Olive Branch, Mississippi, lost his job this week after photos emerged of him at the polls wearing a racist T-shirt.
For some reason, the former police officer believed it was totally fine to wear a shirt depicting the confederate flag and a noose - an obvious callback to the horrific lynching of Black people carried out by racists during the civil war - with the words "Mississippi Justice" emblazoned across the front.
Twitter users who saw the picture were quick to share their disgust at Hickey's choice of attire.
"I was in line with my boys at the same time," said one person. "I was disgusted and horrified. We all were. He does not speak for the majority of our city. I wish I had spoken up but I didn’t want to bring attention to him."
Meanwhile, others pointed out that it's actually illegal to wear something like this to the polls, as it counts as voter intimidation.
In a response to the picture, Regional One Health - Hickey's employer - posted this statement:
"We take the health and well-being of our patients & the community we serve seriously. All allegations of inappropriate behavior involving employees are reviewed & investigated. We are aware of a photograph in circulation, we are investigating and will take appropriate action."
This was soon followed by multiple calls for Hickey to lose his position, as his racism would clearly impede his duty to provide adequate care to people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.
"What is there to investigate? Fire that racist piece of s**t," said one person.
To this, Regional One Health responded: "We're actively investigating the allegation related to an employee to verify the truth & will have another update by 5:00 PM today. We understand the very intense feelings around this serious situation & know everyone wants updates. We will provide them as soon as we can."
Sure enough, after reviewing the situation, Regional One Health provided an update. Hickey was fired.
"As of today, November 8, 2018, we have completed our investigation and what we learned led to the termination of the employee in question. Regional One Health holds employees to a high standard. We are committed to upholding our mission to provide compassionate care and exceptional services to all. This includes fostering a safe and protected work and care environment for all. Behaviors contrary to these principles are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
Though the matter has now been dealt with, it is disconcerting to know that Hickey was allowed to hold positions as a police officer and a healthcare worker while maintaining such extremely bigoted views. This incident is a surefire sign that more thorough background checks are needed when hiring people whose opinions may negatively affect the way they interact with vulnerable individuals, as racists should have no place in society.