Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Natural Hair and Loss of a Job (The Rhonda Lee Story): Thoughts?

This morning, I was watching Soledad Obrien's show, Starting Point, at which time I learned about a woman named Rhonda Lee

Rhonda Lee is a Meteorologist who recently lost her job at KTBS TV in Shrevport, LA.  Ms. Lee has filed a discrimination suit because she says she was fired for violating a social media policy that she says was never communicated to her. Last month, Ms. Lee responded, on Facebook, to a viewer.  Here is the commentary that led to her being fired:

“the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still its not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news.what about that (cq).”

Rhonda’s response –   “Hello Emmitt–I am the ‘black lady’ to which you are referring. I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer. I’m a non-smoking, 5’3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I’m in perfectly healthy physical condition.
I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don’t find it necessary. I’m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn’t a reason to not achieve their goals.
Conforming to one standard isn’t what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that.
“Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching.

Since the focus of her firing was the commentary on Facebook, rather than her actual hair, my question is what do you think about the content of her commentary above.  Do you agree or disagree with her response about why she has chosen to wear her hair naturally?

Also, below is an excellent piece on this issue that provides insight into other Black women in the media who have chosen to wear their hair naturally Black women, in general, who are naturalistas in the workplace http://sportyafros.com/hair/rhonda-lee-fired-her-responding-to-comments-about-her-natural-hair/

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