Rhonda Lee, an African-American TV meteorologist, was fired by KTBS in Louisiana last month after responding to a viewer's criticism of her short, natural hairstyle on the station's Facebook page.
Lee appears on Democracy Now! to discuss her termination, the remarkable show of support she's received from around the nation after her story went viral, and what her case means for African-American women.
Lee had written: "I am the 'black lady' to which you are referring. I'm sorry you don't like my ethnic hair. And no I don't have cancer. ... I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair ... I'm very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society."
Democracy Now! also airs a recorded statement provided by KTBS saying Lee was terminated for violating the company's social media policy, not for defensing her appearance.
"There really is no policy. There was never anything ever written down," Lee says. "And I'll be honest with you: There have been so few criticisms of what I did, it really is difficult for me to respond to criticism. It seems like there are a lot of people, more so siding with my plight than I would have ever dreamed, frankly. And it's been such a wild ride, and I appreciate all of those reports from people coming back with, you know, inspiring messages and things like that."
Lee continues, "I don't think I would ever change a keystroke as to what it was that I said. To me, it was a message that kind of needed to get out. Of course, black female hair has always been a point of contention, since probably biblical times. And unfortunately, we haven't moved quite to where I think we should be as far as the level of beauty that's displayed and compared to with African-American women's hair. But I think we're making very important strides today, despite my circumstance."
Share your thoughts the firing of Rhonda Lee on the Democracy Now! Facebook Page and share with a friend!