“Central Park Karen” Sues Former Employer for Racial Discrimination Over Her Firing
The investment firm Franklin Templeton has stood by its decision to fire Amy Cooper, and many believe her legal claim proves she’s learned little from her viral encounter in Central Park last year.
Amy Cooper Sues Over Firing
Amy Cooper, a white woman who called 911 last May to falsely claim a Black man in Central Park was threatening her, filed a lawsuit against her former employer Tuesday for terminating her employment a day after the viral confrontation.
More specifically, her suit accuses the investment firm Franklin Templeton of terminating her based on her race and gender after failing to properly investigate what happened.
The incident in question started when Christian Cooper (no relation to Amy Cooper) was bird watching in the park and asked her to leash her dog as she was required to in that area.
Their confrontation escalated when Amy called 911 and claimed he was threatening her. Footage Christian recorded, however, showed otherwise, earning her the nickname “Central Park Karen” by social media users across the country.
“Please don’t come close to me,” Christian said.
“Then I’m taking pictures and calling the cops…I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Amy threatened.
“Please tell them whatever you like,” he replied.
At one point, Amy shouts a desperate plea to the 911 operator, saying, “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble! Please send the cops immediately!”
The lawsuit essentially argues that the company did not thoroughly investigate by interviewing her or Christian or obtaining her full 911 call before terminating her because she is a white woman.
It adds that “even a perfunctory investigation” would have shown she did not shout at him “because she was a racist,” but because “she was alone in the park and frightened to death.”
The lawsuit goes on to describe Amy as the next target of Christian, “an overzealous birdwatcher engaged in Central Park’s ongoing feud between birdwatchers and dog owners.”
It also claims the company’s decision to fire her effectively labeled her a racist “with reckless disregard for the destruction” of her life in the process.
Amy is requesting a jury trial and is seeking compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, attorney fees, and more.
Frankin Templeton and Public Respond
A Franklin Templeton spokesperson has since told several news outlets that it “responded appropriately” by firing her.
“We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves,” they continued. “We will defend against these baseless claims.”
However, after reading the claims in her suit, many on social media feel like Amy had learned little from the park incident. Some pointed out that she’s defending her behavior and considering herself a victim of racism that put her life in danger when she is the one who put Christin in that position.
The lawsuit already comes after the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office dropped a misdemeanor charge against her in February for filing a false report. At the time, it said she completed a therapeutic educational program that covered racial biases. Her therapist previously described their five sessions together as “a moving experience” where Amy “learned a lot.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (NBC News) (NY Magazine)
White Supremacist Propaganda Reached Record High in 2022, ADL Finds
“We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.
White supremacist propaganda in the U.S. reached record levels in 2022, according to a report published Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center of Extremism.
The ADL found over 6,700 cases of white supremacist propaganda in 2022, which marks a 38% jump from the nearly 4,900 cases the group found in 2021. It also represents the highest number of incidents ever recorded by the ADL.
The propaganda tallied by the anti-hate organization includes the distribution of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic flyers, banners, graffiti, and more. This propaganda has spread substantially since 2018, when the ADL found just over 1,200 incidents.
“There’s no question that white supremacists and antisemites are trying to terrorize and harass Americans with their propaganda,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash.”
The report found that there were at least 50 white supremacist groups behind the spread of propaganda in 2022, but 93% of it came from just three groups. One of those groups was also responsible for 43% of the white supremacist events that took place last year.
White supremacist events saw a startling uptick of their own, with the ADL documenting at least 167, a 55% jump from 2021.
Propaganda was found in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, and events were documented in 33 states, most heavily in Massachusetts, California, Ohio, and Florida.
“The sheer volume of white supremacist propaganda distributions we are documenting around the country is alarming and dangerous,” Oren Segal, Vice President of the ADL’s Center on Extremism said in a statement. “Hardly a day goes by without communities being targeted by these coordinated, hateful actions, which are designed to sow anxiety and create fear.”
“We need a whole-of-society approach to combat this activity, including elected officials, community leaders, and people of good faith coming together and condemning this activity forcefully,” Segal continued.
See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (The New York Times)
Adidas Financial Woes Continue, Company on Track for First Annual Loss in Decades
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
Adidas’ split with musician Kanye West has left the company with financial problems due to surplus Yeezy products, putting the sportswear giant in the position to potentially suffer its first annual loss in over 30 years.
Adidas dropped West last year after he made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and other broadcasts. His Yeezy line was a staple for Adidas, and the surplus product is due, in part, to the brand’s own decision to continue production during the split.
According to CEO Bjorn Gulden, Adidas continued production of only the items already in the pipeline to prevent thousands of people from losing their jobs. However, that has led to the unfortunate overabundance of Yeezy sneakers and clothes.
On Wednesday, Gulden said that selling the shoes and donating the proceeds makes more sense than giving them away due to the Yeezy resale market — which has reportedly shot up 30% since October.
“If we sell it, I promise that the people who have been hurt by this will also get something good out of this,” Gulden said in a statement to the press.
However, Gulden also said that West is entitled to a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Yeezys per his royalty agreement.
Adidas announced in February that, following its divergence from West, it is facing potential sales losses totaling around $1.2 billion and profit losses of around $500 million.
If it decides to not sell any more Yeezy products, Adidas is facing a projected annual loss of over $700 million.
Outside of West, Adidas has taken several heavy profit blows recently. Its operating profit reportedly fell by 66% last year, a total of more than $700 million. It also pulled out of Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which cost Adidas nearly $60 million dollars. Additionally, China’s “Zero Covid” lockdowns last year caused in part a 36% drop in revenue for Adidas compared to years prior.
As a step towards a solution, Gulden announced that the company is slashing its dividends from 3.30 euros to 0.70 euro cents per share pending shareholder approval.
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
“Adidas has all the ingredients to be successful. But we need to put our focus back on our core: product, consumers, retail partners, and athletes,” Gulden said. “I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)
Immigration Could Be A Solution to Nursing Home Labor Shortages
98% of nursing homes in the United States are experiencing difficulty hiring staff.
The Labor Crisis
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper has offered up a solution to the nursing home labor shortage: immigration.
According to a 2022 American Health Care Association survey, six in ten nursing homes are limiting new patients due to staffing issues. The survey also says that 87% of nursing homes have staffing shortages and 98% are experiencing difficulty hiring.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlined in their paper that increased immigration could help solve the labor shortage in nursing homes. Immigrants make up 19% of nursing home workers.
With every 10% increase in female immigration, nursing assistant hours go up by 0.7% and registered nursing hours go up by 1.1% And with that same immigration increase, short-term hospitalizations of nursing home residents go down by 0.6%.
Additionally, the State Department issued 145% more EB-3 documents, which are employment-based visas, for healthcare workers in the 2022 fiscal year than in 2019, suggesting that more people are coming to the U.S. to work in health care.
However, according to Skilled Nursing News, in August of 2022, the approval process from beginning to end for an RN can take between seven to nine months.
Displeasure about immigration has exploded since Pres. Joe Biden took office in 2021. According to a Gallup study published in February, around 40% of American adults want to see immigration decrease. That is a steep jump from 19% in 2021, and it is the highest the figure has been since 2016.
However, more than half of Democrats still are satisfied with immigration and want to see it increased. But with a divided Congress, the likelihood of any substantial immigration change happening is pretty slim.