• Journalist Lisa Benson in the KSHV-TV studio. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Broadcaster Lisa Cooper is no longer employed with KSHB-TV after sharing an article by Australian writer Ruby Hamad titled 'how women use strategic tears to silence women of colour'.
By
Jessica Minshall

Source:
NITV News
22 Aug 2018 - 4:11 PM  UPDATED 22 Aug 2018 - 5:32 PM

A US journalist who had already launched a racial discrimination case against her employer has lost her job after sharing an opinion piece by Australian writer Ruby Hamad.

That piece, published in The Guardian, highlights 'a type of trauma inflicted on women of colour' when issues of racism are raised.

Ms Hamad wrote, 'it is the trauma caused by the tactic many white women employ to muster sympathy and avoid accountability, by turning the tables and accusing their accuser'.

'Often, when I have attempted to speak to or confront a white woman about something she has said or done that has impacted me adversely, I am met with tearful denials and indignant accusations that I am hurting her.'

Those words about 'white tears', even shared on a personal Facebook page, appear to have cost broadcast journalist Lisa Cooper her job with NBC affiliate KSHB-TV in Kansas, Missouri. 

In May, after sharing the article, Ms Cooper was suspended for the duration of her contract. She had been an employee at the station for 14 years.

According to Ms Hamad, who wrote on Twitter how horrified she was to find out about Ms Cooper losing her job, told two colleagues had seen the Facebook post and contacted human relations.

News Director Carrie Hofman told the Kansas City Star, "in line with its contractural rights, KSHB did not renew Lisa Benson's contract".

Ms Cooper had already raised issues of racism within her newsroom, and lodged a racial discrimination case in 2016.

It alleges the African American journalist was assigned stories based on her race, was denied career opportunities and was once sent to the home of a KKK member to interview them alone. 

She had also been suspended without pay for two days after an exchange with a supervisor that was seen as 'combative'. The meeting came two weeks after she had raised issues of racism with HR.

Now wrongful termination has been added to Ms Cooper's federal court case.

The case had been scheduled to begin on August 13, but has now been pushed back to the end of January.

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