UPDATE: 12/25/2012 – Exclusive Meteorologist Rhonda Lee fails to disclose knowledge of viewer’s mental illness in hair debate
Former KXAN weather forecaster Rhonda Lee has been fired again after a bizarre Facebook attack on a brain damaged viewer who also suffers from dementia.
Lee was fired from KXAN last year, but you might have seen her on TV over the past week. She has been on just about every mainstream TV show and blog in the nation telling the story of how she was fired from Shreveport TV station KTBS for defending herself against a racist viewer who made a comment on the station’s Facebook page about her hair.
There is only one problem with Lee’s story. The viewer, Emmitt Vascocu, has dementia and also suffers from brain damage to his temporal lobe. He’s mentally ill and disabled.
Lee has gone on the media circuit, CNN, The Huffington Post, and countless others, to explain why she though it was her duty to “educate” the brain damaged white male viewer.
As a result, a firestorm of social media hatred has been unleashed on Vascocu.
The hatred is especially thick on Facebook where Lee supporters have called the mentally handicapped man “an idiot” among other things.
Here’s a sampling:
Cherrie Johnson What a bigot MORON – the Communist racist
Richard Ray vascocu-you’re an idiot..look at your self before complaining about somebody else!
Janeé Wideman What about grammar? What about writing a complete sentence? What about composing a thought with a beginning middle and an end, sir?
I forgive you though, Because you are a man.(not a very smart or considerate one).
Emmitt bowed to the media firestorm Lee unleashed on him. He humbly apologized on Facebook, misspellings and all.
Most of the legacy media agencies that covered this story failed to look at Vascocu’s Facebook page, where he clearly explained to his friends why his spelling was so bad and why his thoughts were not always clear.
Emmitt Vascocu posted the following on his Facebook page in October:
To all in ciber land.
I have Dementia an also brain damage to my temprealobe. so in saying this if i say something that hurts someone bare in mind that i have this problem.For this is not a good thing ive lost alot of good memoreys.it effects my spelling it effects my mood and many othier things.
So there it is i ecept that i a a major problem an my othier conditions.
But im Blessed By Jesus Christ to still be here to see all of my children to become groun an to see my 9 grandchildren grow.
The now twice-fired weathercaster has been on every TV show and blog in the country, attacking Emmit and making excuses as to why she was fired. And, she has thousands of uninformed social media followers aimlessly marching behind her for a fictional cause.
KTBS says they fired Lee for violating social media policy. Lee said there is no social media policy and publicly asked the the TV station to show it.
They did. The station released an internal email with Rhonda’s name and email address on it. It’s pretty clear. Rhonda’s bluff backfired.
the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the onlt thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient . but still its not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news.what about that
An angry Lee, fired back at the viewer:
Hi Emmit, My name is Rhonda Lee. Nice to meet you. I am sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer. I’m a non-smoking, 5’3, 121 lbs, 25+ mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I’m in perfectly healthy physical condition.
I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don’t find it necessary. I’m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn’t a reason to not achieve their goals.
Conforming to one standard isn’t what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that. Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching.
You don’t have to be Freud or Jung to sense that Lee has an anger problem with people who aren’t black. She even passive aggressively attacks other black women who don’t want to wear their hair the way she chooses to.
The fact that the mentally ill viewer mentioned that Lee was black and had short hair, set Lee off on an erudite and condescending tirade.
Since then, Lee has been on a high-horse, lecturing viewers and readers about African-American hair and heritage and the need for discussion on race and on, and on, and on.
The only problem for Lee is that she started the conversation by attacking a mentally ill, brain damaged man in public and humiliating him.
Lee has a reputation as a racial flamethrower. Racial incidents seem to follow her wherever she goes.
Lee was fired from KXAN last year. She filed a lawsuit claiming that she was discriminated against because she is black. The Statesman reported:
Lee, who is black, says she was “terminated” in August after being “repeatedly subjected to crude and insensitive remarks about her race.”
She also claims, according to court documents, to have been left out of advertisements and station events, such as KXAN’s fall premiere party.
When Lee asked why, she was told “she was not marketable to the audience the company was trying to reach, which was Caucasian males,” the lawsuit alleges.
Lee’s statements to the media are filled with disdain for Europeans and white males. Her Facebook page has garnered hundreds of supportive comments about the beauty of African-American hair and encouragement for Lee to continue the fight.
But Lee’s fight is baseless. It was all generated by an overreaction to a comment by a defenseless man with brain damage.
Good work Rhonda, that takes courage.