You should be able to love the one you’re with, and it’s no one’s business, right? I know that’s crazy talk for the 21st century, but that’s exactly what at stake in Orlando, Florida right now according to a lawsuit filed last week.
In the lawsuit, a former teacher, Audrey Dudek, is suing the Orange County Public School system for discrimination. Ms. Dudek claims she was fired for socializing with African American teachers and dating an African American man, Stacy Cobb.
Welcome to the year 1956, where, as Ms. Dudek claims, Edgewater High School Principal, Michelle Erickson was “shocked and offended” at meeting Mr. Cobb and after that meeting Erikson treated Ms. Dudek “different” (sic).
Old America in the year 1956, where the teachers of Edgewater High School stuck to “segregated” groups. Where a talent show featured teachers in teachers in black face, weave extensions, and gold teeth. Where Ms. Erikson and Assistant Principal Anthony Serrianni can allegedly bring Ms. Dudek to tears by berating her for associating with “those people” and the staff took to calling Ms. Dudek’s classroom “Club Audrey”, because she played “black music”. I’m willing to bet those staffers we just a little bit jealous that those students probably LOVED that “black music”.
I want to be surprised by this behavior, but it is Florida. However, it’s also Orlando and I guess I was under the false impression that Orlando was a utopia because of Disney and all that other family crap. Hell, I’ve vacationed there twice myself and the racism I experienced was only half as bad as the stuff in this story.
Ms. Dudek was fired in 2013 and she is suing for loss of wages, emotional pain, and reputational injury. If you’re wondering if Mr. Cobb has suffered any “reputational injury”, well… he is a black man now married to a white woman and it’s made national news. Historically speaking, his friends are probably giving him a pat on the back. Hopefully his job is safe.
It may be normal to many of us, but the world still has a long way to go when it comes to accepting and understand interracial romances. This case still has to see its day in court, but other couples (mine included) have to face daily scrutiny from ignorant people. Who, by definition, should not be able to intelligently scrutinize a damn thing. Despite the morons they’ve encountered, at least Ms. Dudek and Mr. Cobb have each other. Perhaps at the end of this, they’ll have a fat we’re-sorry-we’re-racists settlement as well.