A Black female reporter alleges that she was fired from her job at Kansas City, Missouri’s KSHB-TV for sharing an article on her Facebook page about White privilege, The Kansas City Star reports.
Lisa Benson, who had been with the station for 14 years and is already suing her former employer for racial discrimination, shared an article from The Guardian called “How White women who use strategic tears of silence women of colour” that discusses how White women play the victim when women of color are assertive.
Benson posted on Facebook in June telling her followers that she is no longer with the network because of the article that she shared.
“I want you to know, I did not quit my job 41 Action News – KSHB-TV
I was suspended for sharing a meme & a Guardian US article on my personal FB page and subsequently told I “shall not report to work” for the duration of my contract,” she wrote.
Ruby Hamad, who wrote The Guardian piece and had permission to share Benson’s story, said on Monday that two White women who worked at the station found out that Benson posted it on her Facebook page and contacted human resources, per the Kansas City Star.
She said that Benson was suspended because of “broad, unfair characterizations of white women as a group based on their race and gender.”
“On May 9th, Lisa shared this piece I wrote for The Guardian, about a common but only recently voiced phenomenon where WoC who raise issues about race & their mistreatment esp. at work are punished by white women who claim the WoC is ‘attacking’ them,” Hamad said on Twitter.
She has worked at for the last 14 years at 14+ years at KSHB-TV., which is an NBC affiliate owned by EW Scripps. Scripps own 33 television stations and 33 radio stations across the USA.
— Ruby Hamad (@rubyhamad) August 20, 2018
The station confirmed with the Star that Benson’s contract was not renewed.
“We can confirm that, in line with its contractual rights, KSHB did not renew Lisa Benson’s contract,” said Carrie Hofmann, the station’s news director. “We cannot comment on pending litigation. We stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our workplace.”
In her suit, Benson alleges that race was routinely used by the station on what stories to report, that she was often given urban stories to cover and that she had to interview a member of the Ku Klux Klan by herself.