Gil Mertz: GoFundMe’s double standard

Last month a photo went viral of Juli Briskman in Virginia riding her bike past the president’s motorcade while raising her middle finger. She was immediately terminated by her government contractor employer, Akima LLC, because she violated their social media policy. She later penned her concerns about getting fired, and I quote: “How and when to tell my children? (My daughter’s birthday was days away and, of course, I wanted her to have a happy one)” “How would I pay for health care?” “How much money do I have in my savings to cover our mortgage and general living expenses in Northern Virginia and how long will it last?” “How long will it take to land another job?” A responsible adult would have considered these questions before indulging in his or her irrational hatred for Donald Trump. But someone started a GoFundMe page to raise $100,000 for Juli Briskman because gesturing F– you to the president of the United States was “an inspiration to us all,” according to the host page. At this writing she was at $80,000 as her reward for her crude behavior. Contrast this to what GoFundMe did to Aaron and Melissa Klein, former owners of Sweet Cakes in Oregon. Though they served all customers who came to their store, they refused to bake a wedding cake to celebrate a gay wedding. They were fined $135,000. Someone started a GoFundMe page to support them and when it eclipsed $100,000 in a matter of hours, GoFundMe shut it down. When did gesturing F– you to the president become inspirational, but standing up for your faith become an abomination? And why would GoFundMe fully support a vulgar act as “freedom of speech” but shut down someone who was practicing “freedom of religion”? Gil Mertz is a former Agua Dulce resident.

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