I have to give Lindsay Stone credit. You will seldom see as pure an example of an outrageous denial of the undeniable in a public apology as the one she just authored. Brava! And good luck with the job hunt.
Stone, who is an idiot, and her friend, who is an idiot whose name has yet to be tracked down by the media, collaborated on a photo showing Stone giving an upturned middle finger to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, while yelling something by the sign there that says “Silence and Respect.” The photograph was posted on Stone’s Facebook page and naturally went viral. Thousands of protesters bombarded the website of their employer, Living Independently Forever, with demands that the two be fired. Today, they were.
Before the inevitable axe fell (more on that in a bit), Stone posted this remarkable explanation:
Obviously? I don’t think when one is intentionally disrespectful by a sign that says “Respect”, “We OBVIOUSLY meant no disrespect” qualifies as a credible or even a sane explanation. And when such conduct takes place, again intentionally, by the sacred Tomb that symbolizes all of America’s heroes lost in combat, arguing that such disrespect wasn’t aimed at that very group is just a doomed and desperate attempt to deny the obvious—in other words, a Jumbo.
Various web commentators, like Gawker, which wouldn’t know an ethic if it came with an interactive exhibit, have suggested that it’s unfair for Stone to lose her job over the incident. My father is buried at Arlington, and I don’t feel vindicated or soothed by the firing of the two women. I agree that they shouldn’t be punished by society for one epically stupid gesture. That’s not the real issue, however.
The issue is whether her employers, a company that provides care and living alternatives for the cognitively disabled, should want to have two women working for them who grievously insulted a substantial part of the country, embarrassed the company, and showed such miserable judgment that it calls into question the competence of anyone who would hire such insensitive jerks. Realistically, Living Independently Forever had to fire them; I’d be shocked if any employer short of Howard Stern or Michael Moore wouldn’t fire them. “We Employ Utter Fools” is not a helpful marketing narrative. The tw0 women aren’t being punished. Their fate is just incidental to the actions they forced their employer to take, for the employer’s own survival.
Graphic: The Other McCain