gay news, gay blog, anti-discrimination, policy, offensive

82-Year-Old Fired For Saying “Faggot” In Defense of Gays

gay news, gay blog, anti-discrimination, policy, offensive
Should he stay or should he go?

During a workplace bull session (Whatever that is) about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Freddy Schmitt uttered the words that would end his 54 year career with American Airlines – “Back then, a faggot coulda saved my life.”

Schmitt, 82, was fired immediately, even though coworkers claimed he was using the word in defense of gays and lesbians, saying they should not be barred from military service under DADT.

New York Post reports:

Schmitt is appealing the termination through arbitration, but the process can take months, according to union officials.

Nobody disputes that Schmitt — a baggage crew chief — used the term, or that the pugnacious Brooklyn native didn’t exactly grovel with remorse when reprimanded by a supervisor. But the context should be taken into account, say Schmitt’s former airline crewmates.

“This guy is like everybody’s father here,” said co-worker Jack Sullivan, who said it hurts to see his colleague of 26 years tossed out.

Schmitt was just one year shy of a milestone 55 year employment with the airline, which would have given him full health benefits upon his retirement, along with free flying benefits for his wife, Viola. Now that he’s been fired, Schmitt will only retain his pension.

Look, nobody is happy about an 82-year-old being fired. Nobody. But “faggot” is a repugnant word that he had absolutely no business saying. If he had said the N word, we wouldn’t even be debating whether his firing was appropriate. Interestingly enough, the Supreme Court disagrees about the word. Last week they ruled that “fag” and “faggot” were no obscenities, and that the Westboro Baptist Church was exercising their free speech rights by picketing funerals with signs that say “God Hates Fags.”

What do you think?

[poll id=”5″]

Via New York Post

  • I don’t think a black employee who called another black employee “nigger” in the break room would have been instantly fired.

  • F*GG*T needs to be treated the same as N*GG*R. Likewise, D*K*. I censor these only to avoid offending anyone since this is an online forum. I am bi, leaning heavily toward gay, so I actually am allowed to say the gay words, but this is the internet, not my personal circle of friends. I don’t understand gays who tolerate the word. F and D and for that matter “that’s gay” (as an insult against something) spoken by straight people (who are not in close with gay friends and then only among THEM) need to be showstoppers same as N already is when spoken by a non-African-American. I don’t want to see someone suffer life altering consequences anymore than anyone else, but I am TIRED of this type of thing being TOLERATED!

  • he would have been if he were mere months from reaching his 55th year of employment. this firing has nothing to do with sensitivity or the word he said.

  • Douglas Wyatt

    and i think one of the main reasons that he was fired is because they just needed an excuse to get rid of him because he WAS about to reach that 55 year milestone and that would make the company lose money. i think he should deff have his job back. who cares? its a word ppl.

  • He’s old. The man deserves some leeway. If it had been a 20-something, or even a 30-something, then we’d have a problem. The man grew up in an age where that word was common–Cut him some slack.

  • Anonymous

    That was my instant thought as soon as that fact came up. They’re just ducking out of giving him full retirement benefits, and conveniently found a “reason” to fire him.

  • Jarrod ‘Jay’ Hughes

    It’s a damn word, which I personally use to mean an extremely feminine man. Same as callin a big hairy guy a bear, or calling a guy with long hair “dude.” Good lord, quick being such sensitive little bitches about it. It’s only offensive because you let it offend you.

    Another thing: I’m openly gay, but I call my friends fags, and they call me it. It’s an insult, sure, but the word itself doesn’t matter, it’s the INTENTION of the word we should be worried about. Just like the whole thing where calling your friends “my niggahs” is okay, but calling a black guy a nigger in spite is bad. Intentions, people, not vocal noises.