The woman who flipped off Trump's motorcade while on her bike has been fired
Remember the woman who flipped the President the bird while cruising on her bike alongside his motorcade? Well, her name is Julie Briskman, and she's just been fired. For the full context, here's exactly what went down during the middle finger incident, according to the official White House press pool:
“POTUS’s motorcade departed the Trump National Golf Club at 3:12, passing two pedestrians, one of whom gave a thumbs-down sign. Then it overtook a female cyclist, wearing a white top and cycling helmet, who responded by giving the middle finger. The motorcade had to slow and the cyclist caught up, still offering the finger, before turning off in a different direction.”
Briskman, a 50-year-old mother with two children, was shocked to find that anyone had photographed the incident, and even more shocked to find her employment terminated with Akima LLC.
Julie Briskman explained:
“They said, ‘We’re separating from you.' Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things on your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”
She was reportedly using the photographs of her flipping off the President's motorcade as her profile images on Facebook and Twitter. Working for Akima, she was in the sales and marketing department.
The Hill reported that she saw her actions as driven by conscience, and does not regret them:
“I’m thinking, DACA recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in ObamaCare...Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again...I flipped off the motorcade a number of times.
"In some ways, I'm doing better than ever. I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something.”
In the state of Virginia, employers have the right to fire any employee for any reason. It is understandable that Briskman's social media profiles may put off potential clients, especially in the DC area. However, it is also upsetting that she was fired for an act of protest, and that her company holds hypocritical double-standards.
She said that a male colleague had gotten into political arguments on Facebook, even calling someone a "fucking libtard asshole". He was asked to delete the post and remained employed. Perhaps Briskman has become more of an anti-Trump symbol than that single post afforded her male colleague?
The reaction to this will be pretty predictable. Trump supporters will consider it an act of justice, and say that flipping off the President is an obscene act that makes you fair game for firing. Liberals will say that she was fired for exercising her freedom of speech, and criticize corporate control over peoples' employment.
There's a kernel of truth to both responses, but what do you think? People will be partisans, so we should defend or condemn this decision out of principle. Do corporations have the right to fire employees for their views? Or was the act likely to politicize the company in their dealings if they kept her onboard?