Racial Facebook Comments by Cold Stone Manager Prove Costly

TURLOCK-

Denise Helms is another victim to ill-advised use of posts on social media sites.

She was fired from a manager’s job after the owner of the Turlock Cold Stone Creamery franchise became incensed over her use of the N-word in describing President Obama’s re-election and the comment that “maybe he will be assassinated.”

Those who use Facebook are surprised that she messaged her friends her opinions. Jessica Escarcega was walking by the Cold Stone store today and was fascinated with the whole affair.

“If I want you to know my information and you’re a close friend, I will tell you. I don’t need to post it on Facebook,” said Escarcega.

She said once the quotes hit the internet, they are fair play for Helm’s bosses.

“I think employers should look at the Facebook and see what kind of employees they’re going to be,” said Escarcega.

Helm’s mother told FOX40 News that an ex-boyfriend re-posted a screen shot of her comments allowing everyone on the internet to see the comments.

“It definitely got big real fast so social media played a huge part in it,” said store director Chris Kegle.

Friday, Kegle apologized to customers and the community on behalf of store owner Duane Costa, who was disgusted by Helm’s Facebook post.

“We’re all about community and treating our customers nice and when you have something like that you have to do something about it,” said Kegle.

The Modesto/Stanislaus NAACP contacted Cold Stone Creamery officials about the incident and are satisfied that the comments weren’t representative of the corporation or its views.  They met with the Turlock store’s director and said the store took appropriate actions.

“We as community leaders and patrons of the business needs to continue to support the business that is handling a very negative situation,” said NAACP Branch 1048 President Frank Johnson.

Kegle said Helms never expressed her opinions in the store or to her friends, but Facebook users we talked with say some people are more comfortable expressing their views on social media than in person, where face to face feedback is more immediate.

“For some people the impulse is not to say mean things or rude things to someone in person,” said University of the Pacific student Iggy Lindsey.

Lindsey says it works both ways because some people are more careful with words when they write opinions out. But in Helm’s, case she admitted to FOX40 that her comments were impulsive.

Lindsey says he’s careful with his Facebook account because he will be looking for a job soon.

“Once you post that in writing on the internet somebody’s got it somehow.  It really is around forever at that point,” said Lindsey.

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