“Black Bachelorette” Resigns from Dentist Practices; Alleges Discrimination

September 24, 2014  |  

Not only did she getting snubbed from having her own rose, but apparently Dr. Misee Harris is out of a job now for what she alleges was workplace discrimination.

If you recall Dr. Harris went on a full court online campaign to become the first Black bachelorette on the Eurocentric ABC reality television show of the same name, in a bizarre effort to prove to White people that Black women (and by black women, I mean mainly Harris) were above making a fool of themselves on trash television by actually going on trash television.  Well, that’s how I interpreted the matter.

Now, it seems that the good doctor of good “decorum” in front of White folks, was allegedly forced to walk out of her job as pediatric dentist at the Children Dentist Associates in Columbia, Tennessee over some pro-Justice for Mike Brown post she made on her private Facebook page.

According to the website Black Girl Nerds (and as told by Dr. Harris’ partner, who is noted in the post as “Emmy-winning producer Chris Silber”):

On Thursday, September 4th, Dr. Misee Harris (the Black Bachelorette) was called into an unannounced meeting at the dental practice where she has worked as a Pediatric Dentist and was recently offered a partnership in the practice. Dr. Harris, the sole African American dentist in the practice, has worked tirelessly with underprivileged young patients on Medicaid to ensure their smiles remain healthy, and the quality of Dr. Harris’s work has never been called into question. Once in the meeting, Dr. Harris was ambushed and presented with screenshots from her private Facebook page. Being that Misee had blocked work colleagues from accessing her account, it was explained to Misee that a doctor who is a partner at the office, and who led the meeting, had been having a friend spy on Misee’s Facebook page. Screenshots were taken of Misee’s Facebook posts and were sent to the doctor who led the meeting. Misee was then told that some of her Facebook posts about recent racial issues in America were “unprofessional.” The biggest bone of contention to the partners was a cartoon (see graphic below) related to the recent police murders of several innocent African-Americans across the nation. The partner held up the picture and asked Misee “Do you think we (meaning Misee’s White colleagues) are all like this?”

The picture is actually a viral meme of a Black boy with a bulls eye target on his chest under the caption: “OPEN SEASON ON BLACK FOLKS.” The picture then goes on to list various ways in which Black folks had been killed based solely on suspicions including “wearing a hoodie” and “asking for directions.” According to the post, Harris attempted to explain to to her all White employers the nature of the commentary however they were disinterested. Instead, they allegedly told her to either stop her “style of social media communication” or join the ranks of the unemployed.

Harris choose to resign. According to her Emmy-winning producing friend,

Dr. Misee Harris wants to go public with this unfortunate story of racial discrimination in the workplace because it has been her mission to empower Black women, many of whom, when subjected to this kind of discrimination do not have the financial freedom to leave with dignity the way Dr. Harris chose to.”

The post also reveals that this is not the first time Harris was told to tone down. The first time was when she was allegedly told by her bosses not to attend a President Obama sponsored event and the second time, during her social media campaign for The Bachelorette. Harris said, through her Emmy-winning friend, “I made it very clear that what I did in my private life was none of their business, but to keep the peace, I became very ‘robotic’ and vanilla about my views for quite some time.”

I reached out to Harris on Twitter to find out if she planned on formerly suing and if she ever found out who was spying on her page, however she did not respond. A call was also placed into the dentist office to find out if the doctors in question would want to comment, however at press time, the office also has not responded.

But in a follow-up piece with the Chicago Defender, Harris, speaking more directly, says she believes that she is a victim of racial discrimination and suspects that someone in her network dimed her out to her bosses. She also adds:

I am the least expected person that this would happen to,” she said. “If it can happen to a well respected doctor and public figure, then it can happen to other people and probably has.” “I think Blacks often feel stuck and if I were a low income single mom, I would be stuck, but I have the freedom to leave and I want other people to know this is not okay.”

What’s most comical here is that Harris believes that she is the “least expected person” discrimination could happen to. Unless she stopped being Black during work hours then yup, I would totally suspect her. Because she’s Black. And we’re in America. With that said, it does appear that this incident has served as a wake up call of sorts (listen, you can’t expect miracles), that no matter what you do,what kind of pedigree you believe you have, how much decorum you claim, White folks will trip! With that said…

If the allegations are true, it’s pretty cool that she decided to stand up for herself and her right to both privacy and personal opinion. And in particular, doing it at a time when so many of us have become so apathetic and even counterproductive in protecting our own rights. Yeah I’m still on that deplorable response from the community to the Daniele Watts/profiling situation. Folks might think she overacted but we could use more role models like that who stand for something.

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