A reporter for the Dallas Morning News was fired after addressing the black mayor of Dallas as ‘bruh’ on Twitter.
Meghan Mangrum, 31, and Mayor Eric Johnson, 47, were involved in an exchange on Twitter after the mayor complained that local media were not covering improving crime rates in the city.
‘Our local media have no interest in reporting on this data, which is why you haven’t heard about it,’ he said in a tweet last month.
Mangrum, who worked as an education reporter for the publication, responded: ‘Bruh, national news is always going to chase the trend. Cultivate relationships with quality local news partnerships.’
‘Bruh? Have we met?’ Johnson responded to Mangrum and in a subsequent tweet added: ‘Gotta love when folks let their inherent biases show. I get to be addressed as ‘bruh’ by someone who writes for my daily local paper whom I’ve never met.’
According to recent article from D Magazine, three days after referring to the mayor as ‘bruh’, she was fired.
The paper’s editor, Katrice Hardy, allegedly asked her during a meeting if she would have used that word even if the mayor had not been black, to which she responded affirmatively.
In the article published on Wednesday, D Magazine noted that on Twitter Mangrum had addressed various types of people using ‘bruh’, from ‘hockey fans’ to the ‘Oklahoma Department of Wildlife’.
‘I know my intent, and it was not at all about race. I use that word with my friends and when I tweet about hockey. It’s just part of my vernacular. I grew up in Central Florida,’ she told the magazine. ‘I’m a millennial.’
The day after the meeting she attended a demonstration in downtown Dallas organized by the Dallas News Guild, protesting various issues including equal pay for Spanish-speaking workers.
Later that day she was told she was being fired. The reason they cited was violation the paper’s social media policy, she says, and added that she was not told which part had been breached.
Mangrum told the magazine she only involved herself because she wanted to stick up for her colleagues, who she thought had been unfairly chastised by the mayor.
After his original tweet Johnson posted a series of tweets back-to-back attacking journalists, including some of Mangrum’s colleagues, who had responded defensively to his original post.
On multiple occasions he called them ‘hit dogs’.
‘Them hit dogs still hollerin’! And still clearly unable or unwilling to read carefully a simple tweet. Explains why the media is where it is in terms of public opinion: the quality has fallen off a cliff. Pathetic,’ he wrote around five hours after the original tweet.
The mayor’s chief of staff, Tristan Hallman, also chimed in, addressing the journalists defending themselves as well as Mangrum’s use of the word bruh.
‘Calling the mayor “bruh” is disrespectful. Be a pro,’ he said as part of a tweet offering advice to reporters. Mayor Johnson then commented again, this time in response to his staffer: ‘You beat me to it, bruh! The hit dogs all hollered.’
Mangrum moved to Dallas for the paper last year to work for its ‘Education Lab’. She had previously worked at the Tennessean for six years, also on education, and before that at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. She is originally from Florida.
‘He was going after local media for their coverage of crime,’ Mangrum told D. ‘I saw some of my colleagues responding to him, tweeting out stories the Dallas Morning News has done, saying, ‘Hey, Mr. Mayor, you know this isn’t quite fair.”
‘Standing up for my colleagues and the work that we do, when I know we’re doing good and honest work, is something I pride myself on and something that I look for in my colleagues and in my workplace as well,’ she added.
She added that landing the job in Dallas had been a major professional break, and that a mentor told her that her careers was starting to pick up.
‘Coming to a what historically has been one of the best newspapers in the country, it was a step up,’ she said. ‘And joining the Ed Lab team specifically was kind of a dream come true.’
- Post TagsBizarre Racism Charges