Will those stellar free-speech advocates on the right stand up for Dr. Misee Harris, or will they remain silent?
Dr. Misee Harris, who also was the Black Bachelorette, just found herself in an impossible situation after posting support for Ferguson and Mike Brown's family on her private Facebook page. Dr. Harris was given a choice to resign or shut up. Here's the story:
On Thursday, September 4th, Dr. Misee Harris (the Black Bachelorette) was called into an unannounced meeting at the dental practice where she has worked as a Pediatric Dentist and was recently offered a partnership in the practice. Dr. Harris, the sole African American dentist in the practice, has worked tirelessly with underprivileged young patients on Medicaid to ensure their smiles remain healthy, and the quality of Dr. Harris’s work has never been called into question. Once in the meeting, Dr. Harris was ambushed and presented with screenshots from her private Facebook page. Being that Misee had blocked work colleagues from accessing her account, it was explained to Misee that a doctor who is a partner at the office, and who led the meeting, had been having a friend spy on Misee’s Facebook page. Screenshots were taken of Misee’s Facebook posts and were sent to the doctor who led the meeting. Misee was then told that some of her Facebook posts about recent racial issues in America were “unprofessional.” The biggest bone of contention to the partners was a cartoon (see graphic below) related to the recent police murders of several innocent African-Americans across the nation. The partner held up the picture and asked Misee “Do you think we (meaning Misee’s white colleagues) are all like this?”
The graphic at the top is what those good white (Republican) dentists were so upset about. It wasn't the first time they had confronted her, either.
Case in point: Right before the last presidential election, in 2012 Dr. Misee Harris was invited to a dinner with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as part of her involvement on an Obama campaign team. At that time, her employer advised her not to go because, “We’re all Republicans here,” and that “President Obama was the one responsible for the financial ruin of his office.” I was expressly told at the time, “People who wanted to work for him should not be siding with Obama.”
This time around, she chose her right to speak over their delicate sensibilities.
Dr. Misee Harris composed herself and asked the partner if she had any idea what was going on in black America, namely regarding the murder of Michael Brown. The partner did not know the name Mike Brown, nor did she seem to understand Misee’s outrage at being attacked for her personal views. Dr. Harris’s racial discrimination concerns voiced on her personal and private Facebook page was meant solely for the eyes of her friends and family whom Misee thought she could trust. Misee was then told flat out that she would have to choose between her “style of social media communication” and her job as a pediatric dentist in their practice.
Misee felt unable to continue working under such conditions and decided to quit the dental practice on the spot, much to the dismay of her bosses. They assumed Misee would simply promise to stop voicing her opinions on social media about racial injustice. In a nutshell, Dr. Misee Harris feels she has been discriminated against as the sole African-American member of her now former dental practice. Dr. Harris believes she has been pushed out of her job for simply being a black woman in America.
I think she has that exactly right. Her colleagues were shocked at her choice, and sorry to see her go. Sorrier still were the employees in that office, who finally had someone who treated them decently instead of like robots.
To summarize, Dr. Misee Harris posted support for Mike Brown and other social justice commentary on her private Facebook page which was for friends and family and not public. She was ordered to stop posting things her employers didn't like, and when she refused, was forced to make the choice between her job and her principles. Finally, the only reason her employers saw those posts at all is because they actually spied on her account via someone she thought was a friend.
“It is as though the partners at my former dental practice believe that a black person who has made it to success in a white-dominated field like dentistry is expected to show gratitude and humility, and to ‘act white,’” expresses a devastated Dr. Harris.
Good for her for choosing her principles.