Monday, March 15, 2010

CEO fired for racist email

Recently in the news, we’ve heard racism occurring everywhere. I found an interesting video clip of a CEO who was fired for forwarding racist images comparing the first lady, Michelle Obama and a chimpanzee, not to mention that along with the images was a quote from Larry the cable guy, “I don’t care who you are, this is funny.” Walt Baker, the CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality Association who forwards the images claims that this was only supposed to be between him and his friends. He says that he is not racist but I think others see it differently. Jerry Maynard, a Tennessee city council man spoke out against Baker and made it clear to the public that the people of Tennessee are not like Baker .Baker is aware that his action caused him to lose his friends and possibly his job according to the Convention Business Bureau. There was another case that involved a senator forwarding a group image with one image that is plain black with two eyes floating. It is clear that the issue of racism is still at large and it seems to get worse rather than getting better. I found it funny how Baker claims that he is not racist yet he was willing to forward these racist images to his friends. In my opinion, I think these actions were done to reiterate what group holds hierarchical position or known as racial formation; to establish a hierarchy and target certain groups for discrimination” (Marsiglia 2009). Another thing I want to point out is that looking back on the history of racism, Martin Luther King Jr. made a very good point in how people should be judge; “People are judge by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin” (MLK, Rothenberg 2010).It’s obvious that Baker and the secretary ignored this. In addition to past history, race has been conducted through scientific processes and found nothing to prove any differences yet, Baker and the secretary seems to ignore the facts and continue to perpetrate the idea that there is a distinction between the groups based on their phenotypes (Marsiglia 2009) in which people of color are then continued to be oppressed.
-Maikou Vang

Marsiglia, F. F. & Kulis, S. (2009). Diversity, oppression and change: Culturally grounded social work. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, Inc.

Rothenberg, Paula S., (2010) Race, class and gender in the United States: An integrated study (8th Ed). New York: St. Martin’s Press.


  1. Many people claim they are not racist, but think it is ok to treat other races badly. In other words, they are not racist, yet they are racist. Because they are not doing overt forms of racism, they assume its not at all racist. I wonder if this CEO would have been willing to forward this email to a black person. If he would not, then it is clearly a form of racism.

    -Deidre Smith

  2. I think most people like to think they're not racist but when they do actions such as these, people are going to see them as racist even if they didn't mean any harm by it. Hopefully this guy learned a new lesson by all of this and thinks before he does risky things such as this.

    -Nicole Gorr