A New York white woman is out of a job and has since apologized after she was accused of telling a prominent Black author and his fiancée to stay in their hood while they were out walking their dog in a now viral clip.
Frederick Joseph took to his Twitter page on Saturday, Sept. 25, detailing an encounter he had with a woman who since been identified as Emma Sarley. “At the dog park in Brooklyn with my fiancé this white woman was threatening to call police and told us to ‘stay in our hood’ because she had our dog confused with another dog who had been barking loudly,” the author of “The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person” wrote.
“So, I started recording and she tried to slap the phone out my hand,” he added.
In the clip, which begins in the midst of the exchange at McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Joseph, who is not seen but is heard, tells the young woman, who appears to be slightly inebriated, “In our hood? No, no, no, no, no.”
Sarley slurs her words before sticking her middle finger up at the camera. She attempts to grab the phone but knocks it from Joseph’s hand instead. “Stay in our hood? Stay in our hood,” Joseph asked repeatedly. “I’m sorry, what?”
Looking confused, Sarley then asks, “Oh my god! Did you just say that to me? Sh-t.”
“You just told us to leave the dog park and stay in our ’hood,” Joseph and his fiancée, Porsche Landon, responded.
A nearby white man confirms Sarley made the comment before the clip cuts off and she is seen walking away with her dog.
Sarley was fired from her job at Bevy, a virtual conference company, where she worked as an account executive. Derek Andersen, the cofounder and CEO of Bevy, confirmed that an employee was indeed fired but did not name Sarley directly.
In a Twitter post the CEO wrote, “@BevyHQ has zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind. Yesterday an employee engaged in behavior contrary to our values and has been terminated. We apologize deeply to all involved.”
However, Sarley wasn’t the only one facing backlash. Many critics online, including New York Times Magazine journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, a prominent anti-racism figure in the country, believed Sarley’s punishment to be a bit excessive.
Hannah-Jones condemned Joseph for his aggressive campaign to find Sarley’s identity following the confrontation in order to ensure she was punished. “This didn’t sit right with me and does not seem like an ethical use of one’s platform,” she wrote on Twitter.
Joseph in the past has been accused of fabricating claims of racism and was even at the center of an Airbnb scandal in which he blasted the company and a host after finding what he believed to be “seemingly satanic items” throughout the home where he was staying. The host denied the allegations, calling them “unsettling and weird.”
Sarley has since apologized, issuing press release in which she “absolutely” accepted responsibility for “how I could have handled things differently.”
“I had no intended racial undertones in my comments whatsoever,” she said in her lengthy statement, adding that it was an “unstated rule” at that particular park that owners should take their dogs away if they’re acting aggressively.
“I fully understand how my words could’ve been interpreted and I deeply wish I had chosen them more carefully. A brief and thoughtless moment in my life has now led to nationwide outrage and hurt. For that, I am sorry.”
Link to original Atlanta Black Star