Living in America affords everyone the right to say and do as they please, within the confines of the law of course. But every action, every word, has consequences. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom from responsibility or accountability. Virginia resident, Juli Briskman, is finding this out after flipping off the Trump motorcade.
Last month, Briskman was cycling in Virginia when the presidential motorcade drove past her. A photographer traveling by the motorcade, snapped Briskman’s picture just as she was giving President Trump the middle finger. The photo quickly spread across social media, with many people calling her a hero.
“He was passing by and my blood just started to boil,” she told the Huffington Post. “I’m thinking, DACA recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare and one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again.”
Enjoying the positive attention, the 50-year old mother of two used the viral picture on her Facebook and Twitter profiles. Working as a marketing and communications specialist, she also told her bosses about the hoopla. But executives at Akima, a Virginia-based federal contractor, were not amused by her behavior and they fired her.
Apparently, communicating with her middle finger was not what they had in mind.
According to Briskman, her employers told her in a private meeting “we’re separating from you.” She said management was unhappy with her decision to use the photo on her social media accounts. Her bosses also noted that it violated company policy and could hurt the company’s reputation as a government contractor.
Freedom Isn’t Free
Because Virginia is a “right to work” state, Akima didn’t need a reason to fire Briskman. Nevertheless, she handed them one on a silver platter. First Amendment protections do not extend into the private work force. The government cannot legally silence the speech of citizens, but employers are under no such obligation.
Sadly, the lesson is over Briskman’s head. She is content with being a leftist poster-child and has “no regrets” about her decision. The registered Democrat plans on looking for employment with a more like-minded organization, such as Planned Parenthood or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Maybe Colin Kaepernick can point her in the right direction.