Choosing a Watermelon instead of donuts cost him his job

A Detroit firefighter lost his job before he could even officially begin for allegedly being “racially insensitive” after bringing in a watermelon as a gift to his co-workers. (Image source: Fox video screenshot)

Beware of choosing healthy gifts of food to share with your new colleagues because these days even tough firefighters can be easily offended snowflakes. Food apparently can have racist overtones and can offend people. In America, a firefighter decided that instead of the more traditional shout of donuts for his new teammates he would instead bring in a large watermelon to share with them all. Keen to make a good impression on his new colleagues he even put a fun pink bow on the top.

I am sure he was as shocked as I was to learn that firstly, some of the black firemen were offended by his gift and secondly that he was fired. The third shock no doubt was learning that the fireman’s union instead of supporting him agreed that firing him was the right thing to do.

DETROIT (WJBK)?- Earlier this month, 41-year-old Robert Pattison went to introduce himself to his fellow firefighters at Engine 55 at Joy and Southfield in Detroit. Second Battalion Chief Shawn McCarty calls it a tradition for firefighters.

“It’s not mandatory, it’s voluntary,” he says. “You come in bearing gifts. The usual gift is doughnuts, but you are allowed to bring whatever you want to bring in.”

And Pattison, a probationary firefighter, decided to bring a watermelon wrapped in a pink ribbon. We’re told some African-American firefighters were instantly offended, since 90 percent of the people who work at Engine 55 are black.

“When you get your first detail at a firehouse you pretty much know what you are getting yourself into,” says Patrick Trout. “So you would have to say it was probably a bad call.”

If Pattison was an African-American I bet no one would have been offended by his?gift of a watermelon. Poor Pattison as far as I can see is guilty only of being a white man in charge of a watermelon.

FOX 2: “Is it racially insensitive to bring a watermelon into a fire house?”

“To some people,” McCarty says.

What about bananas? Is it safe to bring banana’s or are they racist too? What about apples, pears, pineapples and oranges? Why are donuts which are associated with overweight police officers not considered offensive? Why are fatty sugary treats okay but naturally sweet watermelons condemned as raaaaaacist?

Student arrested after wearing gorilla mask, handing out bananas at Black Lives Matter protest – The Washington Post

FOX 2 spoke to Pattison by phone, who claims it was not a joke – and he did not mean to offend his fellow firefighters. […]

In a statement Jones says: “There is zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior inside the Detroit Fire Department. On Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at Engine 55, a trial firefighter (probationary employee) engaged in unsatisfactory work behavior which was deemed offensive and racially insensitive to members of the Detroit Fire Department.

“After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the best course of action was to terminate the employment of this probationary employee.”

[…] FOX 2: “Should he have lost his job over a watermelon?”

“I don’t think so,” McCarty says. “Between what he did and what was there are a few things that could have been done.”