March 13, 2018
I found out last week that the Wendy Bell lawsuit, which I covered in November 2016, has been settled. Bell was a popular anchorwoman at ABC affiliate WTAE in Pittsburgh. In early 2016, a black family was massacred in the high-crime, predominantly black Pittsburgh-adjacent borough of Wilkinsburg. On her personal blog, Bell speculated that the killers were probably young black men from the neighborhood who had already cycled through the justice system for previous offenses. She described the situation as a tragedy for all involved, and she closed with a plea to her readers to do what they can to support young blacks who are trying to work their way out of poverty.
Because Bell is white, and because she speculated about the race of the killers, there was a massive outcry from black activists, and WTAE fired her. The fact that Wilkinsburg detectives were indeed seeking black suspects was irrelevant. A white woman had dared to say that a crime in a poverty-stricken black neighborhood was most likely perpetrated by poverty-stricken blacks. Soon enough, the cops arrested the killers, who turned out to be freckle-faced Norwegians. Just kidding…they were poverty-stricken blacks who had cycled through the justice system for previous offenses, just as Bell had predicted. And just as anyone who is not an anencephalic vegetable or the political equivalent (i.e., a leftist) could have predicted.
Bell, to her credit, fought back. She sued WTAE. The crux of her suit was that she was fired for being white. Her attorney’s argument was, had a black employee written Bell’s commonsense and 100% accurate post, there would have been no repercussions. Ms. Bell was not fired for the post, but for the color of the hands that typed it. In my earlier piece, I applauded her suit as a stand against those who would institute an apartheid-like racial double standard in this country. Ms. Bell corresponded with me as I wrote the piece, and after it was published, she sent me a very kind email expressing her thanks.
There was no major announcement from Bell or WTAE when the suit was settled last month. Local media only found out weeks later by obtaining court documents that revealed the suit’s disposition. Ms. Bell and WTAE have agreed to keep the terms of the settlement secret, but Bell told The Patriot-News that she was “satisfied” with the outcome. Good for her. She was fired for being white, and I hope she took WTAE to the cleaners. That said, I have to confess that I’m disappointed the case never went to trial (or that the conditions of the settlement were not revealed). Because the Bell lawsuit had significance. It could have set a precedent. A win would have scared other employers into realizing that firing someone for being white is just as bad as firing someone for being black. But if Wendy Bell received a windfall in compensation, the world will never know. And that’s a shame.
But you know that old saying about when God closes one door, He opens another? Well, it’s true. Please allow me to introduce you to a new lawsuit that may prove even more important than Bell’s. This lawsuit features another ABC affiliate—flagship station WABC in New York City. And the Ahab of this Pequod is WABC news director Camille Edwards, a black woman who—according to court documents—hunts not a white whale but rather white people. Edwards blazed into WABC six years ago on a mission to make the newsroom blacker, and to make the newscast’s content more black-friendly. To her, the “Five Ws” (who, what, when, where, why) were to be jettisoned, along with a sixth, “white.” In 2015, Edwards received a ton of negative press for canning thirty-year veteran investigative reporter Sarah Wallace, a blond woman. That same year, she was accused by the parents of reporter Lisa Colagrossi (another blond woman) of working their daughter to death. Colagrossi died of a brain hemorrhage while on assignment, after several years of what one WABC source described as “targeting” and “bullying” from Edwards. According to witnesses, Edwards was rebuked by Colagrossi’s parents at the reporter’s funeral. Indeed, Colagrossi’s mother is reported to have angrily told the news director, “You are the reason I am standing in this church.”
And now Camille Edwards, who, according to the New York Post, has been given the nickname “Camevil” by newsroom staff, is the subject of a lawsuit by Laura Behnke, a WABC weekend sports anchor and reporter. Behnke is suing Edwards and WABC over being denied a promotion to full-time sports anchor because, as fellow employees explained, “Camille will never hire you because you’re blond.” Separately, WABC media manager Matthew Lamattina, a white guy, has, according to the New York Daily News, “filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights claiming racial and gender discrimination—and retaliation—at the hands of news director Camille Edwards.” Specifically, Lamattina’s attorney claims that Edwards treats her employees differently if they are “not Caucasian.” Lamattina’s complaint details a history of abuse at the hands of Edwards. In one instance, Edwards refused him sick leave when his daughter suffered a head injury.
As of this moment, Edwards is away from her job at WABC. According to one newsroom source, she has been “banned” from the station. According to another, she is simply on “extended leave” to deal with “family matters” (considering her alleged treatment of Mr. Lamattina, how ironic if it’s due to an ill family member). Whether or not Edwards is gone for good, the “principle” for which she apparently stands lives on: “Whites oppressed ‘my people,’ and now, in the name of ‘my people,’ I must oppress whites.” Just last week, the South African parliament voted to confiscate white-owned land without compensation. Nelson Mandela’s repeated pledges of a vengeance-free, color-blind post-apartheid South Africa are as dead as he is. White people will, without question, eventually be phased out of South Africa, and anyone who didn’t believe that this would be the inescapable outcome of black majority rule is an idiot.
That said, let’s face an uncomfortable truth. Colonizing African nations and using the locals for slave labor was a bad idea, a stupid idea, an idea born of white hubris. And what doomed it was the belief that the “inferior” races would eternally submit to white domination. Over time, any people subjected to oppression and humiliation will get pissed. Even a supposedly lesser people will get pissed. So call blacks inferior if you’d like, but at the end of the day, who made the truly stupid choices? European whites in the age of colonialism thought they could continue the subjugation of indigenous blacks forever. And American whites in the aftermath of the Civil War thought that newly freed blacks could be kept uneducated and servile for perpetuity. There’s a moment near the end of Thomas Dixon’s 1902 novel The Leopard’s Spots (one of the two books used as the basis for D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation) in which two characters bicker over what to do with the emancipated blacks. The “extremist” urges immediate “repatriation,” whereas the lead character explains that the hard labor of blacks is necessary for the economy of the South, and he reassures the extremist that if blacks are simply kept uneducated and intimidated, they’ll happily plow the fields for generations to come. Although Dixon’s book is fiction, this was an actual debate that took place after the war. And we all know which point of view won.