In another shitty but not surprising turn of events, my favorite cyclist was fired from her job after flipping off Donald Trump’s motorcade in Sterling, Virginia.
Juli Briskman, AKA #SHero or “she-ro,” mother of two, volunteer, and part-time yoga instructor informed the Huffington Post that her employer, Akima, recently told her “we’re separating from you” after the bird flipping photo went viral.
In an honest and raw moment of frustration with the dumpster fire of an administration, Briskman gave the president the middle finger when his motorcade passed her because “I just got angry,” Briskman told HuffPost. “I lifted my arm and started flipping him off. I started thinking, ‘You’re golfing again when there is so much going on right now.’”
Briskman continued to say, “I’m thinking, DACA recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare. Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again.”
We have all been thinking this. And it gave so many of us joy to see someone, especially a woman, giving Trump the middle finger. We’re all flipping off the television, computer, or our phone when we hear or read a news story about the latest buffoonery going on in the White House. But to see someone do it publically felt validating. I felt represented. Juli Briskman became my spirit animal.
Briskman added the now famous photo to her Facebook and Twitter accounts. But out of a sense of responsibility, she brought her actions to the attention of her employer. Her actions spoke volumes but didn’t hurt or threaten anyone.
Yet, she was fired for violating Akima’s company policy of using “lewd” or “obscene” things in personal social media feeds. I think we can all come up with more lewd or obscene things. She used her finger to give an opinion, not grab someone by the pussy. But okay.
If you doubt a man would have been fired for doing something “lewd” at Akima, your doubt would be right. According to The Washington Post, Briskman, who was in charge of Akima’s Facebook page, reported a senior company director for writing, “You’re a fucking Libtard asshole,” on his Facebook page when talking about the Black Lives Matter movement with someone.
The director was allowed to delete the post and keep working for Akima.
There is a chance a man would have been fired for giving Trump the middle finger, though. Akima did contribute to Trump’s presidential campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission. But that’s just me connecting pretty obvious dots.
As for our hero Briskman, in an interview with The Guardian, she says she has no regrets and plans to look for employment at Planned Parenthood or another advocacy group she is passionate about.
The Guardian quoted Briskman: “In some ways, I’m doing better than ever,” she said. “I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something.”
Thank you for saying something, Juli. We salute you.