During the first round of "What The Fuck Was Wendy Bell Thinking?" — the three-week-long reality show where pundits and laypeople alike put their collective brains together to determine why the former WTAE-TV anchor thought it was wise to go Full Post-Racial Scarlett O'Hara — I held tight to a morsel of hope.
"Perhaps" I thought "maybe she'll eventually realize the err in assuming the murderers are just hiding underneath the beds in the same house…and in stating that the mothers of the murderers are broke Black hoes…and in going to the Mongolian Grill, seeing a Black server there, and assigning him an "OJ in a Hertz commercial" status for literally doing nothing other than his freakin job…and in implying that if more White people treated Black people how White people treated Hertz commercial OJ, we wouldn't have a need to make America great again. Because it would be great enough already."
Why did I remain a tiny bit hopeful despite all evidence that I shouldn't be? I don't know. Maybe because abject cynicism, while safe, can be exhausting. Maybe because I saw this as a valuable teaching moment, and assumed she'd do the same. And maybe because I'd just watched Carlito's Way again. And if Carlito Brigante could believe in a better future, why couldn't I?
Unfortunately, after talking to a woman who actually spoke to Bell, that modicum of hope dissipated like a mouse fart in a strong wind. During our conversation, she mentioned that Bell was doubling down on how history would prove her to be right and how all she cares about are the children. The little colored and father-less ghetto children. (I made that last part up.)
Which is why I wasn't the least bit surprised when hearing that Wendy Bell has decided to baptize herself in a shallow creek of Brita-filtered White Tears.
A newscaster fired after her comments in a Facebook post about a shooting were deemed racially insensitive sued her former employer on Monday, saying the television station let her go because she is white. Wendy Bell said her federal lawsuit that Pittsburgh-based WTAE fired her on March 30 "because of her race," violating her civil rights.
"Had Ms. Bell written the same comments about white criminal suspects or had her race not have been white, Defendant would not have fired her, much less disciplined her," the lawsuit reads. "Ms. Bell's posting of concern for the African-American community stung by mass shooting was clearly and obviously not intended to be racially offensive."
A message left with station management was not immediately returned. Bell is seeking back pay, punitive damages and her old job.
The irony here is that while Bell alleges that she lost her job because she was White, the things she did to lose her job are specific to her capital letter Whiteness. Suggesting that a person of color wouldn't have received the same treatment is a red herring. As is the thought that she wouldn't have been criticized if she made the same comments about White people. Because she wouldn't have said what she said and said it the way she said it if she wasn't speaking about Black people and if she wasn't so specifically and pervasively White. So unable to process and access information without a lens of Whiteness and so unwilling to even begin to acknowledge that this lens of Whiteness even exists.
Wendy Bell didn't lose her job because she happens to be White. She lost it because White is all she happens to be.