A photo taken by a White House photographer of a woman who flipped off President Donald Trump has gone viral. What's worse is, as a result, she got fired for it, according to the Huffington Post. The woman, Juli Briskman, was pictured with her back to the camera on a bicycle flipping off Trump while the president's motorcade passed by her, leaving a golf course in Sterling, Virginia.
The information first appeared on a White House pool report that read, according to the Guardian, “POTUS’s motorcade departed the Trump National Golf Club at 3.12pm, passing two pedestrians, one of whom gave a thumbs-down sign. Then it overtook a female cyclist, wearing a white top and cycling helmet, who responded by giving the middle finger. The motorcade had to slow and the cyclist caught up, still offering the finger, before turning off in a different direction. Motorcade is now gathering speed and heading for DC.”
Briskman explained her motive for flipping off the president, making her a social media phenomenon. She told HuffPost,
He was passing by and my blood just started to boil. I’m thinking, DACA recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare. Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again. I flipped off the motorcade a number of times.
News outlets and late-night talk shows picked the story up immediately, causing the photo to go viral. On social media, users praised her and called her a "Shero" or "she-hero," and then coining the hashtag #Her2020 for flipping off the president.
All the fun and games quickly came to a halt when Briskman's employers saw the photo and were less than pleased. Briskman notified her employer, government contractor Akima LLC, of what was happening in the media... and she was quickly fired. Briskman told the Huffington Post she was fired on the grounds of violating her company’s social media policy when she used the photo as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook.
Briskman, a 50-year-old mother of two told HuffPost that her employers said they're "separating" from her because employees "cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media."
Part of the controversy also comes from Briskman's claims that her male colleague kept his job after posting lewd Facebook comments, while she was fired. Briskman told HuffPost that she was fired because it looked bad for business, although she reassured her employers that she did not list her place of employment on social media. On the other hand, her male colleague supposedly had a company photo for his feature photo and was able to keep his job after deleting his lewd comment on Facebook.
She commented on this unfair treatment saying, “How is that any less ‘obscene’ than me flipping off the president? How is that fair?”
Twitter users also seemed to share her frustration by proposing GoFundMe's for Briskman and recruiting her for employment.
Despite being a mother of two who is currently out of a job, Briskman said she was pleased to represent a symbol of protest that many Americans supported, and she is planning to look for a new job with an advocacy group like Planned Parenthood or PETA.
“In some ways, I’m doing better than ever,” she said to HuffPost. “I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something."
Based on the feedback and overwhelming support that Briskman has received on social media, I'm sure this "shero" will have no problem finding a job with an advocacy group that probably would have done the same thing to Trump's motorcade.