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What did Michael Graham say about people with dwarfism and why did Felix Arroyo stick around?

Apparently, Michael Graham thinks a Texas Starbucks franchise was within its rights to fire a woman with dwarfism. Dan Kennedy wants to know just what went down on a Graham segment on 96.9 yesterday for which City Councilor Felix Arroyo was a guest:

Councilor Arroyo, you appeared on Michael Graham's show yesterday while Graham and his fellow guest Rob Eno were making fun of people with dwarfism. What do you have to say about that? Will you be issuing a statement? Will you appear again? Will you demand that WTKK post the audio on its website so that we can judge whether your own comments were appropriate or not? Thank you.

Arroyo responds (in the same discussion):

I was the only who disagreed with the woman being fired because of her dwarfism. I believe Starbucks should have found work she could have performed.Should I be invited, I will appear on the program again. Our democracy depends on deferring opinions in debate. If liberals cede talk radio to conservatives, then only one side gets heard. We can’t allow one ideology to dominate the airwaves.

He adds he wants the station to post a copy of the segment.

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Comments

Michael Graham considers himself a politicly active and astute member of the public dialogue - he writes op-eds for the Boston Hearald - and yet he has never heard of the Americans with Disabilitities Act? It requires employers to make reasonable accomodations to do their jobs.

On what grounds does nice guy but by ignorant Michaeel Graham think its ok to fire a short person from a job at Starbucks... for being short?

Conservatives like Graham appeal to the most base, divisive and selfish human instincts, ignore contemporary law, and hold everyone and everything different from themselves as worthy of distain and discrimination. Someone tell Graham he cant be an asshole and liked at the same time.

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of asking questions along the lines of "How would I feel if that was me?" or "What would my life have been like if I was born into different circumstances?"
In order to have empathy, or even a rational moral code, it helps to have a certain amount of imagination- which many of these folks seem to lack.

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A corporation or person should be allowed to associate with or employ or fire anyone they please for any reason. Freedom of association is not just a good idea, it's a fundamental human right!

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I Googled Ron Paul and all I got was this T-shirt.

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Explain why Graham still has any job after his little stunt?

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Why would he lose it? He didn't do anything wrong. All he did was speak his mind and take a stand for employer rights.

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He was arrested for driving with a suspended license. I think that's what SwirlyGrrl was referring to.

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You mean like my sister who was just fired from her job after diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer.
So she faces chemo and with no income. Let's here it for employers ! Yea!

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employers can do that when there is no union to fight for the worker

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Arroyo is responsible for Boston shoveling laws which in part identify clearing snow so the wheel chairs can pass. I hope he wasn't part of the kewl kids making fun of short people.

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He does NOT want to mess around with Dan Kennedy on this.

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Not an expert, but it seems just having access to a stool or something could allow the individual to perform all the required tasks at Starbucks. A deli/convenience store near where I grew up had like five little people working at it at one time. They pretty much ran the joint.

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There was a lunch restaurant named K2 in Kendall Square a few years ago, and a charismatic guy who was a little person (is that the right term?) seemed to be running the place. Now in that location is some chain with a lot less character and creativity.

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She asked for a stool to stand on while she was being trained, and they denied the request and fired her. I have no idea what they thought she was going to do when they hired her; grow to a more corporate-approved height, perhaps?

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starbucks has thousands of locations. not every hiring decision is going to be a bright one. nor is every firing decision.

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Surely things like ADA are in the corporate training

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Even if Starbucks distributed posters that said "Don't fire Little People for being short" somebody would still end up firing a dwarf for being short. People have their - check out the pun here! - short comings.

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Don't you think that at least half of the training is: DON'T DO THE FOLLOWING THINGS, WHICH WILL GET US SUED AND COST US MILLIONS IN BAD P.R.

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Years ago, when Compaq bought a company here, we got a two-day training on diversity and harassment. The main lawyer in the threatening phase of it made the penalties plain.

First I'd note that she arrived at the front of the room in a tight suit with a shortish skirt and seemed to dare the guys to stare her or say something we all knew was trouble. Then she spoke of the criminal and civil risks of this or that. Finally she got into the company policy and said that violations would result in penalties up to and including dismissal, "and you can forget the up to."

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First I'd note that she arrived at the front of the room in a tight suit with a shortish skirt and seemed to dare the guys to stare her or say something we all knew was trouble.

You saved that description until she'd be unable sue you for workplace harassment for it?

Which reminds me, a friend of a friend actually did diversity corporate training for Starbucks. Holy cow, did that person have issues, from the stories I heard. I would be concerned that the class would be used to set up some twisted psych game. Hey, that would explain the stupid act of firing the little person.

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It's hard to imagine a cheaper reasonable accommodation than a stool to stand on.

Do you really thing having shorter limbs would make her unable to use an espresso machine?

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Arroyo said: "If liberals cede talk radio to conservatives, then only one side gets heard. We can’t allow one ideology to dominate the airwaves." Hey, sweet...so when do they start allowing conservatives on NPR? :)

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start allowing liberals on NPR?

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I caught the show in my car, and the guy who made the nasty joke about the dwarf woman was a comedian named Carl. I tune in to Graham/Severin/Limbaugh/etc. on occasion to hear the other side's talking points. Graham sometimes has a "color commentator" kind of guy in addition to the policy guys. He's apparently on the show to keep people laughing.

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