Firing of Charlotte City Employee over Facebook Post Highlights First Amendment Debate

Lisa Worf, WFAE (Charlotte), December 18, 2014

A City of Charlotte fire investigator is out of a job because of a Facebook post in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri riots. It’s the first time a Charlotte city employee has been fired over a posting on social media. An attorney for the investigator says the city overreached.

So what are the First Amendment rights of public employees?

City Manager Ron Carlee says it’s essential the public is confident that city employees will treat all people with dignity and respect.

He believes Crystal Eschert violated that confidence shortly after police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Eschert is white. She referenced reports of another police shooting near Ferguson that said a white person was the victim. She wrote on her personal Facebook page:

Where is Obama? Where is Holder? Where is Al Sharpton? Where are Trayvon Martin’s parents? Where are all the white guy supporters? So WHY is everyone MAKING it a racial issue?!? So tired of hearing it’s a racial thing. If you are a thug and worthless to society, it’s not race–You’re just a waste no matter what religion, race or sex you are!

Eschert did not identify herself as a Charlotte Fire Department employee, but she was fired in September after someone emailed the post to city officials. Carlee says it was discriminatory and inflammatory.

Guy Charles has a different phrase for it. He co-directs Duke University’s Center on Law, Race and Politics.

“She said something that at best was racially insensitive, but on a public issue on a private page,” says Charles. “Between the hand that she’s holding and the hand that the city’s holding, I think I’d prefer to have her hand.”


The Charlotte Fire Department doesn’t give much guidance to employees about what’s considered unacceptable speech.  Its social media policy says not to use “unprofessional communication” that could negatively impact the department’s reputation, interfere with its mission, or negatively affect its employees.


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  • D.B. Cooper

    Big time lawsuit if Crystal Eschert can find just ONE black employee who posted similar comments, but didn’t get in trouble.

    • Sick of it

      Congratulations, the black paramedic in Philadelphia might just help her win her case. Whether he wants to or not. Different city, but it’s a pretty good baseline for the double standard.

      • John Smith

        It would need to be the same municipality.

        • Sick of it

          I’m sure they can find a similar case in Charlotte, NC. It’s chock full of blacks.

    • Frank_DeScushin

      They won’t have to look too long before finding a Facebook post from a black employee which is comparable or worse than the post in question. They’ll likely find a post from a black author which is far more incendiary. Hell, the below post from a black acquaintance was in my Facebook newsfeed just today…

      “In AmeriKKKa, White People who don’t have daily interactions with Blacks are AUTOMATICALLY BIGOTED AND RACIST. PERIOD.”

      I like to keep these work acquaintances in my Newsfeed for my own personal entertainment. For instance, she’s convinced the her post is true, but we know the opposite is actually true.

      I’ll also occasionally send the posts to white friends who have little or no contact with black people and wrongly assume that such comments only come from the black lower class.

      • John Smith

        With an attitude like that, I’m going to continue giving negroids a wide berth. You just couldn’t win – if you’re around them and do something they don’t like, it’s racism. If you avoid them, racism. At least with the latter situation, the potential for trouble goes way down, since the only errors possible are those of omission.

      • KyraNelson

        “In AmeriKKKa, White People who don’t have daily interactions with Blacks are AUTOMATICALLY extremely lucky.

    • Cid Campeador

      Are you suggesting that there is a double standard?

  • Frank_DeScushin

    I don’t even see that Facebook post as particularly offensive. As we all know, there’s a monumental double standard when it comes to race issues. This white public employee was fired for a benign Facebook post while the black public employee who posted a picture of black thugs pointing guns at a white cop and encouraging that behavior will likely keep his job.

    An officer trying to sell “Breathe Easy, Don’t Break the Law” was told to stop making his “divisive” shirts. Meanwhile, Obama just praised LeBron James for wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt.

    Welcome to New America.

    • mattj458

      Not offensive to any level headed human being concerned with facts. We all know the zeitgeist can’t stand up to facts. Thus the Orwellian silencing.

    • phillyguy

      Frank, the black paramedic who posted the picture of the white officer having guns held to his head by black thugs, is still one the job, the mayor said it has to go to an investigative committee, meaning that in a week people will forget about it and it’ll be swept under the rug.

    • Ograf

      Did you mean new Africa ?

  • “It’s not race”

    …is racially insensitive? If anyone tries to post that here, we would all go in for the kill.

    It has now gotten to the point where the First Amendment is substantively meaningless to most white people because of their employment situations. A genuine ethnonationalist ideology of the future is going to have to see to it that free speech protections are incorporated onto private industry as much as they are onto governments.

    • propagandaoftruth

      The thought police get bolder and more totalitarian the more power they get.

  • superlloyd

    It’s not even racially insensitive. Just an objective view of the hypocrisy of the PC anti white racist cabal in Washington politics and the Media.

    • John Smith

      Any fairly objective truth about social matters is now racist.

  • MekongDelta69

    Under this black muslim Marxist dictatorship, only blacks have free speech.

    • dmxinc

      We were there long before Obama, hence, we got Obama and of course millions of Third World invaders that made that election possible.

    • B.A_2014

      When the US finally has the conversation about race I wonder if JT, the Derb or Richard Spencer will be asked for their opinion?

      We all know the answer. They will ask great public intellectuals like Rosie O’Donnell and Katie Perry for their views. At best Bill O’Reilly will be given a couple of minutes to talk about fatherless families and how rap music made Jamaal shoot twelve homies.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    We all understand there are two standards in this country, and they are literally black and white. How many statements have blacks made, with no consequences, that if uttered by a white would have been publicly (by blacks and liberals) condemned. While we all understand this, only a few whites will dare say so publicly. But the vast majority (of whites) know this to be true and will deal with it in other ways. And blacks ask why most whites won’t create a dialog with them. I guess it’s just one of the mysteries of life.

    • See The Future

      You cannot have dialogue with idiots.

      • Chasmania

        We can’t sell short our foes.

        Yes, many are stupid beyond belief but there IS a leadership that are very bright, and they have an agenda which uses issues like this to further their goals.

        The people we are at war with are the deadliest of foes to our way of life, and we should NEVER under estimate them.

      • Speedy Steve

        Technically, an idiot is somebody who goes with the crowd so as not to stand out. But imbeciles are a different matter altogether.

  • dd121

    I wonder if these leftists are planning a crystal night for us.

    • John Smith

      Ferguson riots were the start.

  • Ronald

    Uh. What happened to the concept that public administrators don’t discuss personnel matters? Does that only apply when non-White employees are involved?

  • libertarian1234

    These black miscreants are getting to the point where they dictate almost whatever they want, and it is STRICTLY because they’re nutty, paranoid, stupid, and act like imbecilic children, but mostly it’s because they’ll tear up the neighborhood and burn it down, if their demands aren’t met.

    And it is the white, sycophantic weenies who are so terrified of them they’re willing to give them whatever they want, just as they would to any group of lunatics who have the same kind of propensity for crime and chaos. The weenie who fired the person in this story knows the protocol very well. Ignore black racist rhetoric, but come down hard on whitey if he might say something innocuous as the above employee did or that “All lives matter,” instead of “Black lives matter.”

    But this time they can’t be appeased with a gimmie, because they really haven’t articulated a specific demand. “End racism.” “Stop injustices against blacks.” “Black lives matter.” All these are things that mostly exist unfavorably in the black mind so it isn’t really possible to effect a remedy. And trying to reason with mentally challenged lunatics is like talking to the wall.

    • Sick of it

      “And trying to reason with mentally challenged lunatics is like talking to the wall.”

      I’ve noticed that trying to talk to liberals makes less sense than talking to one’s dog. The dog understands better.

  • De’Ontavious Jizzaiah Jones

    As I have learned from FB friends unfriending me, some after calling me a racist, pointing out the truth is now a racist act.

    • John Smith

      At least you have an idea about who is at least somewhat trustworthy and who isn’t.

    • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

      A known devil is better than an unknown one.

    • Itooktheredpill

      You are better off. There is only so much stupidity a sane person can handle.

    • DaveMed

      I’ve definitely seen a couple of numbers fall off my “Friends” list in the last few weeks.

      Good riddance.

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    I guess the whites have no voice now.

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    Someone tell me why do people care about black lives? Do they build or fix anything at all, nope they only destroy what the white man has built. So why are these libs acting like black lives are worthy like diamonds are?

    • B.A_2014


  • dave

    The transformation of the US is almost complete.

  • Born_In_The_Pineywoods

    And you wonder why I am self employed? The other day, I told a mexican guy I had a business dealing with to quit acting like a dick. He said it was uncalled for, and called back to talk to the boss. He was flabbergasted to find out I was the boss and that he ought to stop acting like a dick if he didn’t want to be called out for being a dick!

  • archer

    Maybe it’s me but I really didn’t see any racial hate in her post, she was pointing out the obvious.

    • LHathaway

      well, she is making the strong implication that Michael Brown is a thug, is worthless and hence deserved to die. i’m sure it’s quite OK, her strongly wording a suggestion that the worthless deserve to die. i’m guessing the problem here is the ‘racial’ angle, that it is Michael Brown she is talking about.

  • kikz2

    orwell is spinning……..

    • Speedy Steve

      Actually, I believe he’s smirking and taunting us, “told you so!”

  • Sloppo

    People who call the truth “hate” are people who hate the truth.

  • Realist

    Real freedom in this country is decades gone.

  • Paleoconn

    To paraphrase Orwell: in a world of multiculti kumbaya, telling the truth is a racist act.

  • LHathaway

    “City Manager Ron Carlee says it’s essential the public is confident that city employees will treat all people with dignity and respect”.

    It’s official, Whites are no longer considered people. Some might jest, some might wonder if it’s true. And some whites, not professionals, over the age of 40 or so and living in Charlotte, North Carolina, might suspect this statement is true. Women and people of color there know it’s true.

  • Speedy Steve

    she was fired in September after someone emailed the post to city officials.

    Mama don’t like tattle-tales.

  • MartelsGhost

    So noticing race is racist and not expecting race to be an issue is racist? Apparently anything that doesn’t show preferential treatment towards blacks is racist. Strange but I thought the definition of racism was showing a preferential treatment towards a group based on the color of their skin.

    Apparently hypocritical is also a word that the left doesn’t like much………………………..

  • Bobbala

    Freedom is an alien concept to some peoples.

    • LHathaway

      No, they’re quite happy with freedom for themselves.

  • Who Me?

    Is she a liberal (or maybe now a former liberal)? If so, she just learned a valuable lesson. Women often get lumped in with minorities as having the right to speak freely, but she’s a woman with a white hide, so it doesn’t apply to her. Most White women already know this, or are quickly waking up to the fact that when they separate us from our men, we then have no protection and we will no longer have even the pretense of free speech. Time for White women to declare themselves on the same side as their White men. Stand beside Him, not against Him.

  • DaveMed

    That’s “offensive”?

    I’ve certainly been more explicit on Facebook…

  • phishwg56

    And the saddest part in all of this is the race battle is being orchestrated by the media. Who won’t be happy until the war erupts.