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GitHub reportedly fires Jewish employee who warned of ‘Nazis’ at Capitol siege

Hundreds of workers at Microsoft-owned tech company protest termination of colleague who used term to describe pro-Trump rioters

US Capitol Police push back demonstrators who were trying to enter the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
US Capitol Police push back demonstrators who were trying to enter the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

JTA — GitHub, a software developing host owned by Microsoft, reportedly fired a Jewish employee days after he warned of “Nazis” among the mob that stormed the Capitol last week.

According to Business Insider, the Jewish employee posted on January 6 on a company channel on Slack, the work messaging platform, that colleagues in the Washington, DC area should “stay safe homies, Nazis are about.”

Another employee then criticized the statement, leading to an internal debate. The Jewish employee was reprimanded by human resources that same day for using the word “Nazi” on Slack. Two days later, according to Business Insider, the company fired the Jewish employee, citing “patterns of behavior.”

The employee has asked to remain anonymous out of fears of harassment.

In the days since the insurrection, extremism watchdogs and media outlets have documented the clear presence of neo-Nazis and other hate groups in the Capitol mob and the rallies that preceded it.

Now hundreds of GitHub employees are protesting the termination. GitHub CEO Nat Friedman sent out a message to the company pledging that management “will take any and all appropriate action following a thorough investigation” of the employee’s termination.

Friedman also denounced the insurrection and wrote that “Anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis and white supremacy – along with all other forms of racism – are vile and have no place in the world, and especially no place in our community.”

In a message to coworkers regarding his firing, the employee wrote, “This can be an opportunity for people to see white supremacy is a problem. It’s not just a cultural thing. It can be a structural thing.”

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