The Uno Pizzeria and Grill chain fired one of its Vermont employees, Ryan Roy, for attending the rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday, the Burlington Free Press reports. Another jobless white supremacist. They're losing their jobs left and right (no pun intended, ugh).
After Vice News published a report on the Charlottesville rallies, people identified Roy, who appeared in the video wielding a torch and chanting white supremacist slogans like "Jews will not replace us!" Um, guys? That's actually not how Judaism works.
Skip Weldon, the chief marketing officer for Uno told the Free Press on Tuesday evening, "Ryan Roy has been terminated." In an emailed statement, Weldon wrote, "We are committed to the fair treatment of all people and the safety of our guests and employees at our restaurants."
Roy spoke to the Free Press via telephone on Tuesday night. He said that he attended several Charlottesville rallies over the weekend, one of which was a rally to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Roy stated the results of his participation in the rally "proved" his beliefs about the "liberal left." He was fired, and on top of that, someone allegedly called the Vermont Department for Children and Families, to try to get his kid taken away from him.
Roy explained, "I think it kind of just proves my point, proves a lot of what I think, not that I needed further proof. I think it’s group think." He admitted that he's for racial separation, and added, "Obviously I would advocate for racial separation and racial nationalism or repatriation or even a return to — our country was a white country up until the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act."
Of course, Roy obviously has some very fucked up ideas about this country and race, and deserves to be named and shamed for them. But the whole getting fired thing has given more that just white supremacists pause. As Gillian B. White wrote in the Atlantic,
Of course, the consequence of this dynamic is that taboo political ideas of all stripes can lead to workplace sanctions. While many on the political left are now lauding firings as a way to hold white supremacists accountable, it’s also worth remembering that pressuring employers to sever ties based on political activities, or social and racial beliefs, has historically been targeted in the other direction.
In the same article, White spoke to Katherine Stone, a UCLA law professor with a focus on labor law. According to Stone, it's not "uncommon or illegal" for private-sector workers (such as Roy) to get fired for activities in which they partake during their non-working hours, if it "reflects poorly on their employer." Employers in the private sector are not required to employ people who exercise their right to free speech, according to Stone.
Most reasonable people can agree that neo-Nazis are terrible and their beliefs are unAmerican. That they're repugnant and should lose their jobs. The ethical and legal aspects of the situation, meanwhile, are just food for thought. Food that racist Roy will definitely no longer be serving at Uno's Pizzeria.