When some people complain about "political correctness" what they are really demanding is the right to express bigoted views without facing condemnation or retribution.
—Ronald David Jackson
|Sydney Shelton and 3-year-old son Cayden.|
An Atlanta man was fired from Polaris Marketing Group last week after he posted racist comments on a Facebook picture of himself and a coworker's African-American son.
Gerod Roth, who was listed on Facebook as Geris Hilton, posted a selfie with Sydney Shelton's 3-year-old son Cayden on September 16. Roth's friends soon started making extremely racist comments on the picture, saying things like, "I didn't know you were a slave owner" and "But Massuh, I dindu nuffin." Roth himself commented that Cayden "was feral." The post has since been deleted, but not before countless screengrabs were taken.
After Roth was fired, his post went viral and the hashtag #HisNameIsCayden began trending on Twitter.
Michael Da Graca Pinto, president of PMG, released a statement on the company's Facebook page Friday, saying that he was "disgusted" to learn about the offensive comments.
"It breaks my heart that Sydney and her adorable son Cayden were subjected to such hateful, ignorant and despicable behavior. Cayden visits my office almost every afternoon after daycare, he's sat at my dinner table and I consider him a part of the PMG family," Pinto wrote. "The atrocious lies, slander and racism he and his mother have been forced to endure are wholly intolerable."
Shelton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution she is glad Roth was fired and thankful for all of the support she has received since the post went public.
"I never thought that it would get this big," she said. "I never imagined something like this happening in a million years. At 25, I am just trying to work and support my son."