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Lindsey Stone screwed up badly. What she called just goofing around and “being a douchebag” appeared to be a show of outrageous disrespect for the deceased members of the United States military. The above photo was posted to her Facebook page, showing her giving the bird and appearing to yell in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Present is a sign asking for “Silence and Respect.”
Her Facebook friends didn’t receive the photo favorably and ripped her apart. She then removed the photo and posted the following:
The community response would be an effort to bring Stone down, beginning with getting her fired. The Facebook page, “Fire Lindsey Stone” was created and “has already amassed [almost 8,000] likes. Started by a former servicemember, the page calls for Stone to be terminated from her job at LIFE, a Cape Cod-based nonprofit that houses adults with learning disabilities.”
Her employer responded with the following:
On Nov. 19 at approximately 6 p.m., we became aware that one of our employees had posted an offensive, inappropriate photograph on her personal Facebook page. The photo was taken at a national historic site in October by a fellow employee during a trip to Washington, D.C. attended by 40 residents and eight staff. The photo has since been removed from Facebook, and both employees have been placed on unpaid leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
This photograph in no way reflects the opinions or values of the LIFE organization, which holds our nation’s veterans in the highest regard. We are proud to have veterans serving on our staff and board of trustees, and we value their service. The men and women who have selflessly fought and sacrificed their lives to protect the rights and lives of Americans deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. We are acutely aware that this photo has done a disservice to veterans and we are deeply saddened that it was taken and shared in a public medium.
Here’s my take: I don’t think she intended to be as obscenely disrespectful as she came off. She fucked up, and she deserves some public scorn. I don’t think, however, a public lynching and employment termination is a just recourse. She admitted it was dumb, affirmed support for our military, and she’s taking home a very valuable lesson in the powers of social media and the due respect of the men and women of our nation’s armed forces.
She just sucks at the internet.