Employees of software development platform GitHub are in arms after Microsoft-owned company fired a Jewish employee who warned colleagues in the Washington, DC area that “ Nazis will pass ” on the day of the uprising at the Capitol.
Some 200 GitHub employees wrote a letter last week demanding a statement from management after the employee was fired for sparking fierce debate over the term “ Nazi ” used to refer to the Trump crowd.
On January 6, the United States Capitol was sacked by a mob summoned by President Trump, sparking near-universal outrage. Many were shocked to see some of the rioters wearing openly anti-Semitic clothing and symbols.
Photographs captured a man in the crowd wearing a shirt with ‘Camp Auschwitz’, a reference to the Nazi concentration camp.
The man, Robert Keith Packer, was arrested by the FBI in Virginia on Wednesday.
Packer has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without legal authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
A GitHub employee was fired last week after warning to ‘Nazis’ in Washington, DC, during the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Many were shocked to see some of the rioters wearing openly anti-Semitic clothing and symbols. In photos, a man, Robert Keith Packer (above), was captured in the crowd wearing a shirt that read ‘Camp Auschwitz’, a reference to the Nazi concentration camp. Packer (left) was arrested by the FBI in Virginia on Wednesday
Packer (left) was seen in footage shot from the Capitol when it was stormed by pro-Trump rioters
Two white nationalists known for their racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric were live-streamed to their online followers after breaking into the Capitol during the deadly uprising.
And a video circulating on social media showed a man harassing an Israeli journalist who tried to do a live report outside the building.
In response to the crisis, a Jewish GitHub employee posted a message on an internal Slack chat room addressed to colleagues who lived near the capital.
The message read, ‘stay safe homies, Nazis are approx.’
That comment sparked a rage in the chat, with a colleague struggling with what was perceived as divisive language, according to Business insider.
Other employees then joined the discussion and a fierce debate ensued.
Later that day, GitHub’s human resources department reprimanded the Jewish employee who initially issued the “ Nazis are over ” warning. The department sent the employee a strict message via Slack.
The employee told Business Insider that two days after a reprimand, he was told that he would no longer work for the company, citing “ behavioral patterns ” as the reason for his dismissal.
The dismissed employee has insisted on anonymity for fear of being harassed online if his identity becomes known.
DailyMail.com has requested comment from GitHub.
After angry employees sent a letter to management denouncing the dismissal, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman sent a response on Monday, telling his employees he had denounced the siege of the U.S. Capitol.
According to Business Insider, Friedman promised that the company would investigate the circumstances surrounding the Jewish employee’s dismissal and “take all appropriate measures after a thorough investigation.”
“I, GitHub, and everyone on our leadership team condemn last week’s attack on the Capitol and all belief systems that are discriminatory,” Friedman wrote to company employees.
“Anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis and white supremacy – along with all other forms of racism – are despicable and have no place in the world, especially our community.”
In a Slack group for Jewish workers, the laid-off worker wrote, “I didn’t know as a Jew it would be so polarizing to say this word.”
Shortly after sending that message, it was officially discontinued on GitHub. The company subsequently deactivated all of its business accounts.
‘We grew up saying [Nazi], ‘he wrote in the message.
“It was a story we told because we had to – decimating entire lineages of ancestors was in the hands of people who kept that title.”
A Jewish employee at software development company GitHub was fired by the company last week after warning colleagues in the Washington DC area to be wary of “ Nazis ” during the riot in the United States Capitol on January 6.
The laid-off employee, who says he has family members who died in the Holocaust, said he was probably done with the tech industry because of the ‘toxic’ culture.
He told Business Insider that his intent in sending the original message was to warn friends and colleagues in Washington DC to be careful with anti-Semites and neo-Nazis.
The fired employee said he was concerned about the safety of his Jewish relatives living near the country’s capital.
“I was afraid of people who were there,” said the former employee.
“After that there was confusion about my posts on it.”
Two days after the first message was sent, the employee was called up for a meeting with his manager, where an HR representative was also present.
The fired employee asks GitHub management for a written explanation of the “patterns of behavior” cited as the reason for his dismissal.
He should hear something from Wednesday.
Last weekend, GitHub COO Erica Brescia informed employees that the company was “actively looking” at the situation and “will take any appropriate action after going through a thorough process.”
“GitHub does not tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation,” Brescia wrote in the message.
In response to the crisis, a Jewish GitHub employee posted a message on an internal Slack chat room addressed to colleagues who lived near the capital. The message read, ‘stay safe homies, Nazis are approx.’ Two days later the employee was fired
‘Period. This applies to our daily interactions with other Hubbers as well as to any divorce decisions.
“If we learn of anything that violates our policies or values, we will always investigate it thoroughly and take appropriate action.”
GitHub employees have expressed dissatisfaction with the company over social and political issues in recent years.
In 2019, several GitHub employees resigned in protest of the company’s partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
GitHub signed a $ 200,000 contract with ICE, the federal agency responsible for arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants.
However, management insisted it continue to do business with ICE, but in an effort to quell workers’ unrest, it pledged $ 500,000 to nonprofits that support migrant communities.