An award-winning broadcast journalist in Kansas City Missouri by the name of Lisa Benson Cooper has been fired after 14 years with the same company for sharing an article to her private Facebook page that offended her white co-workers.
The article, titled “How White Women Use Strategic Tears to Silence Women of Color” speaks to how black women are often mistreated at work but afraid to speak up because white women too often accuse them of being combative.
When Lisa shared the article to her private Facebook page, two of her white co-workers thought it was problematic and took action.
Here’s what you need to know about Lisa Benson Cooper:
1. Lisa Filed a Lawsuit Against KSHB-TV in January 2017 For Racial Discrimination
Lisa worked as a broadcast journalist at KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Missouri for nearly 14 years. She filed a lawsuit against the company in January 2017, alleging that she’d been discriminated against multiple times because of her race.
In the lawsuit, Benson states that her race was “constantly used” in deciding what she would cover as a reporter. She claims she was “consistently” being sent to urban areas for all of her stories. She recalls being forced to cover a story that required she go to the home of a KKK member for an interview.
According to The Kansas City Star, a trial is scheduled for Aug. 13th.
“We stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our workplace,” said KSHB news director Carrie Hofmann.
2. In 2015, Lisa Was Suspended Without Pay For “Combative Behavior”
Since her hire in 2004, Lisa actively pursued promotions, but claims they were always given “to white employees with far less experience.”
Another reporter by the name of Demetrice “Dee” Jackson who also works for KSHB-TV has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit as well, claiming that he was twice overlooked for the position of sports director after senior staff lead him to believe he’d be given the position.
In 2015, Lisa started to ask her supervisor why she hadn’t seen the promotions that others have and why she was being mistreated in general. She was told her behavior was “combative” and her co-workers accused her of fighting with her supervisor. She was suspended without pay for two days.
3. Lisa Was Fired After She Shared a “Controversial” Article to Her Private Facebook Page
Ruby Hamad is the author of the piece that Lisa shared to her Facebook page back in May. When Ruby found out that Lisa’s reposting of her article cost her her job, she decided to use every ounce of influence she has to help bring Lisa justice.
According to Ruby, two white colleagues of Lisa’s contacted HR after seeing the article on her page. Lisa was suspended from her job as a reporter at KSHB-TV for making “unfair characterizations about white women.”
4. Lisa is an Emmy Award Winning Journalist
Lisa has won an Emmy Award for her journalism and lists her reporting on the inauguration of Barack Obama among her most treasured work. “From covering the inauguration of president Barack Obama to becoming an Emmy award-winning journalist, I will forever cherish my work here in Kansas City!” Lisa wrote on her Facebook page.
She announced her departure from KSHB mid-June. To her audience, things seemed to end on a high note.
“I’m not sure what’s next for me careerwise, but I’m excited about spending more time with my family, especially my two little boys! Thanks again for your support and let’s keep in touch as I navigate my next chapter!” she continued.
5. Lisa’s Lawyer is Working to Prove That The Sharing of The Article Wasn’t Discriminatory And That The Conversation Within The Article is One on Mainstream and Academic Platforms
Lisa's lawyer is working hard to prove to the court that Lisa’s sharing of Hamad's article wasn't discriminatory or offensive and that the points within the article are being discussed all over the globe on many prestigious platforms.
He also hopes that the court comes to the understanding that Lisa was unfairly dismissed from her job.
Hamad, the author of this so-called inflammatory article, has called on her readers to support Lisa and help bring her justice. She asks her followers to spread the word of Lisa’s mistreatment while at KSHB and encourage others to stand up against any discrimination they might face at work or anywhere else.