A series of controversial Facebook posts condemning African-Americans have cost the bartender at a high-end Chicago nightclub her job. After posting a status on her personal Facebook page about “one race of people” being “incompetent and disgusting,” former Proof Chicago bartender Jessica Elizabeth posted a series of vitriolic comments calling African-Americans “ignorant,” “apes,” “animals” and using racial slurs. While the exchange has been removed and her account made private, Chicago restaurant and nightlife blogger 312 Dining Diva has posted screenshots of Elizabeth’s comments, which include a post from an apparent Proof representative calling Elizabeth “Hitler” and requesting that she remove the posts, citing a violation of the nightclub’s social media contract. “r u joking? i have a life outside the club,” Elizabeth posted in response. Shortly after the comments began circulating online, Proof reportedly terminated Elizabeth’s life inside the club, and issued the following statement, from owner Mike Bloem: “Proof would like to confirm its belief in equality, fairness and tolerance to all our friends and partners.,” Bloem said, according to Eater Chicago. “Sadly, on occasion, we are all exposed to ignorance and racism. We believe that by continuing to be true to our ideals and leading through our actions that each of us can be an agent for positive change.” Several commenters on 312 Dining Diva and Proof’s Yelp profile cited additional instances of purported mistreatment based on their race from other staff members at the club.


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This blog and its accompanying Twitter account have been established as social media learning tools for the Internal Communications and Employee Engagement class at Columbia College Chicago. Through this blog, we will share our observations about current events, change management and employee communications theory, and the application of social media in shaping employee engagement.
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