It's been almost a year since Emmanuel Cafferty was fired from his job at San Diego Gas and Electric. His remedy has been raising funds for a lawsuit and to tell his story. Cafferty emphasized to Townhall he really just wants to go back to work. What warranted him losing his job was the allegation that he was holding up a white power while driving by a Black Lives Matter rally. Yes, this again. Cafferty, who is very forthcoming about his diverse heritage, including his Mexican heritage, lost his job because people keep reading the white power symbol into everything.
Cafferty emphasized that not only is he in no way a white supremacist, but that he was stretching his fingers, "a habit" of his, which he says is "subconscious" and that "half the time he doesn't even know he's doing it." Imagine losing your job for something you didn't even realize you were doing.
Numerous outlets, from the local as well as national level, have highlighted Cafferty. One of the most comprehensive and favorable features came the Atlantic, through Yascha Mounk's plea to "Stop Firing the Innocent," with Mounk writing "what happened to Emmanuel Cafferty is an especially egregious example."
As Cafferty has explained, he encountered a bizarre and aggressive driver who flipped him off at various red lights, while he was stretching out his fingers.
While reports claim that this all went down near a BLM protest, Cafferty stressed to me that what "never gets told enough" is that the protest was over a mile away, and that he wasn't even making the correct gesture. "That should be proof to exonerate me," he shared.
A mere two hours later, Cafferty got a call from his supervisor that the man had posted the photo to Twitter and people were calling the company to demand Cafferty be fired. Cafferty was suspended without pay, his colleagues came by to pick up the company truck, and he was ultimately fired, as his bosses caved to the mob.
Cafferty shared that time is getting close to running out. While his job ended in a matter of hours, thanks to how "they can crucify you quick on Twitter," Cafferty is even more frustrated because the "process still moves slow."
The situation is sad and shady all around. The man who posted the photo on Twitter has deleted his account and admitted to NBC San Diego's Priya Sridhar that he "may have gotten ‘spun up’ about the interaction and misinterpreted it," something which Cafferty emphasized to me. Again, it's another reason why he should be vindicated enough to get his job back.
SDGE has been less than forthcoming, refusing to answer specific and direct questions, and instead only issuing generic statements, such as this one sent to Mounk:
SDG&E employees are held to a high standard and are expected to live up to our values every day, whether in interactions with fellow employees or the public. The company did more than simply react to the photo. Multiple factors led to the decision to terminate. We conducted a good faith and thorough investigation that included gathering relevant information and multiple interviews, and took action in line with those values. While we are not able to reveal the full circumstances surrounding our investigation, we stand by our decision and will not be commenting any further.
Even from the briefest of interactions with Cafferty, one can tell he is a genuine and kind-hearted man, as well as one who is a hard worker. He was very candid as he shared what the loss of this job has done to him, which was a source of dependable income, in that he doesn't know where he will be getting necessities, like medical care. "I went from complete certainty, completely secure, to complete uncertainty," he mentioned.
But it was also a point of pride, to have such a position which provided benefits, certainty, and security. It "was a family affair for me to get this job," he said. "For six months I was living my best life," he said. Just as it affected his entire family to get the job, it affected them all when he lost it, too.
The emotional toll is felt as well, and Cafferty shared he's spoken to a mental health professional for the first time in his life. It's easy to see that he's discouraged, and why. Cafferty even feels "insignificant." When he's "fighting so hard, when the truth can't save you, you see how insignificant you are," he shared.
He is so candid because Cafferty wants people to see "how it really affects me." He's full of righteous indignation over how it's "so vile" that these charges are not true, but "they kind of paint me anyway," he said.
Another takeaway Cafferty wanted to leave is that he wants to highlight himself as an example of people being unfairly affected by cancel culture, especially when it saddens him how "people out there don't even believe this kind of stuff happens." He also warned, "if someone can do it to me, who is next?"
Cafferty is surely feeling discouraged. What he says he needs now, when it comes to finding that job he badly needs, and wants, is "if someone will take a chance on me."
A Go Fund Me has been set up to assist Cafferty.
Correction: A previous version of this article mentioned that "When he kept demanding that Cafferty make what looked like the 'okay' symbol, as this man himself was doing, Cafferty did so, as the other man took a picture with his phone," according to other reports. Cafferty has corrected that for Townhall to indicate that that was not the case.