Frederick Joseph Is Not A Victim, Just A Petty Tyrant With A Track Record

Frederick Joseph Is Not A Victim, Just A Petty Tyrant With A Track Record

If you are bullying someone's employer into terminating them within hours of tweeting a meaningless video, you are not powerless or oppressed.
Rachel Bovard
By

A woman named Emma Sarley lost her job this week after a brief run-in with a man named Frederick Joseph in a Brooklyn dog park.

Sarley’s offense was not immediately clear. The allegation, made by Joseph, was that she mistook him for someone else with a loud dog, and told Joseph and his fiancé to “stay in our ‘hood’.”

The only evidence we have is a 27-second shaky video, shot by Joseph, in which the allegation is never actually heard, just repeated by Joseph and confirmed by an unnamed man next to him, who is holding a beer. Sarley seems like she may have been drinking also, uttering some slurred words and flipping him off while reaching for his phone before ultimately walking away.

Instead of brushing off the encounter as the obnoxious but pedantic misunderstandings of urban living, Joseph proceeded to ruin Sarley’s life: first he doxxed and smeared her, then he contacted her employer, and then he got her fired. All in the name of racial justice.

“I hope this is a lesson in accountability and consequences for Emma and others” he triumphantly posted to Twitter. Ah yes, lessons in accountability — similar to “starting conversations” — not by actually having conversations, but by destroying someone’s life.

‘Accountability’ Becomes Crucifixion

What Joseph did to Sarley is not a conversation. It is not a “lesson.” It is a social execution.

These days, the stigma of being labeled a racist is almost worse than being convicted as a murderer. Because of Joseph’s allegation, Sarley hasn’t just lost her means of employment, she’s lost her reputation. The life she spent 20-odd years building is now profoundly altered. Last week, she was a relative unknown. Today, she is a viral internet felon of the highest order — accused, tried, and convicted the second Frederick Joseph, knowing exactly what he was doing, uploaded his video to his nearly 300,000 social media followers on Twitter and Instagram.

Maybe Sarley is sorry for how she behaved. But it doesn’t matter. The internet is forever. No apology will erase the stain Joseph has now written permanently into Emma Sarley’s search history. Maybe her friends will stand by her. Or maybe they will shun her; the social contagion of internet ignominy might spread to them, after all. As for her family? Well, hopefully they’re okay having an accused racist at the table come Christmas.

And Sarley can forget about getting a new job anytime soon. What employer will want to carry an employee with so much easily accessible reputational baggage? What if they get protested by Black Lives Matter? There simply aren’t enough mandated diversity and inclusion seminars in one HR department to compensate for that.

We’re living in a moment where the actual course of events matters far less than the level of perceived martyrdom and victimhood that can be applied to the accuser. After Amy Cooper’s life was upended and irreparably altered by a similar incident in Central Park last year, an investigation by “The Fifth Column’s” Kmele Foster uncovered the incident didn’t play out at all like her accuser and the viral mob he spurred on claimed it had. But it doesn’t matter. The damage to Amy Cooper — reputational, professional, emotional — was already done. Even despite this relative exoneration she’s received, she’s still living in hiding to this day.

Once the accusation is made, once the grenade is launched, it explodes. There is no setting this right for normal people — the ones who don’t have access to fancy PR firms, fleets of expensive lawyers, or senators on speed dial. And Joseph knows this, which makes his actions all the more disgusting and indefensible.

A History of Race Hustling

Joseph tries to make this about Sarley’s alleged racism, but it’s really about power. Joseph is not just an innocent bystander. In fact, the power imbalance in this situation is obvious. Joseph is a New York Times bestselling author, has a large social media presence, and political connections — he is a former national surrogate for Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Sarley, it would appear, has none of those things. Yet in one fell swoop, Joseph was able to knock out her livelihood and her personal and professional reputation — all while still claiming to be the victim.

“Imagine,” observed the writer and poet Joseph Massey, “being so oppressed that you can destroy someone’s life overnight with a tweet thread.”

But this is Frederick Joseph’s business model. Everywhere he goes, he creates viral moments of racial “oppression,” allegedly exercised by people who are in positions of far less power than he is. A woman asking him why he is standing by a car is racism. Another woman who puts her feet up on an airplane tray table? Racist.

In 2020, Joseph baselessly accused an Airbnb host of doing “satanic rituals” in the home he rented. Alex, the Airbnb host, later told Vice that the “echo chamber” of Joseph’s viral Twitter thread became overwhelming.

A lot of people saying crazy stuff, that I should be called out, asking my address. I’m a private person, I don’t post to my social media or what I’m doing with my friends, so to be thrust into this wild Twittersphere of misinformation and a story conceived completely out of context and with his imagination about what this house is — the first little while, I was pretty shocked and upset.

Alex later worried that someone would show up at his house to harass him. Sound familiar? Joseph doesn’t care whose life he upends or
destroys with his racial wrecking ball. Their lives may never be the same, but who cares, because they were stupid racists. Why? Because he said so. Also, buy his book.

Joseph is so powerless, so victimized, that he contacted and cowed Sarley’s employer into terminating her within hours of putting the video on his Twitter and Instagram. Derek Andersen, the CEO of virtual conference software firm BevyHQ, fired Sarley almost immediately. Did Andersen even hear Sarley out? Did he even make a passing attempt to uncover exactly what happened?

We don’t know. All we know is that a race hustler brought a racial victimhood narrative and a Twitter mob to his doorstep, and in an inspiring display of character and leadership, Andersen sacrificed his own employee as quickly as possible while self-righteously claiming that, after firing Sarley, he hoped he could help find some “resolution” between the two parties.

This cannot continue. There are actually meaningful conversations to be had about racial justice in America, ones that don’t involve being bullied, shamed, and put in the modern social stocks of internet infamy. But absolutely none of what Frederick Joseph hustles is about racial equality. It is purely about power. It’s about plain old bullies using race as a pretext to bludgeon the weaker people around them while claiming the mantle of victimhood to publicly sanctify themselves and sell a few more books in the process.

Shame on Frederick Joseph. Shame on Derek Andersen and BevyHQ. And shame on every one of us who will not stand up to these pathetic hucksters and petty tyrants whose perverse self-promotion has one goal: to hawk their wares and enrich themselves by destroying the lives of people chosen to be sacrificed solely because they’re powerless to stop it.

Rachel Bovard is The Federalist's senior tech columnist and the senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute.

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