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Monday, March 22, 2010

Allstate Insurance: Public Response to Itawamba Situation Is Coming

Posted by on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 6:20 PM

A Slog reader sent an email to Allstate to complain about the actions of Eddie Hood, an Allstate agent in Fulton, Mississippi, and a member of the Itawamba County School Board. Hood was conducting school board business—which includes discriminating against lesbian high school students and then going to court to lie about itusing his Allstate email address. Unlike other Slog readers who contacted Allstate, Nick didn't get a form email back from Allstate. He got a phone call from a woman at Allstate HQ:

I just got a phone call from AllState’s corporate office assuring me that they in no way condone Mr. Hood’s actions, that he should not have used his work e-mail for school board business, and that they are “filing complaints” and “investigating the matter.”

I didn’t catch the rep’s name in my morning stupor (lesson learned: always get a name for future publication and corroboration). I laughed a little when she said, “I could have sent you another form letter, but I didn’t want to do that. I had just responded to another customer with a letter but through I would give you a call directly since your number was in the e-mail.” How kind.

She went on to assure me that his “personal actions have nothing whatsoever to do with AllState” and that they do not stand for this sort of behavior. AllState is “looking into the matter.” I told her that I was glad she called me personally, but that they ought to consider a public response to this matter and letting the public know their stance on it rather than sending out form letters. She said they intend to, and then promptly got off the phone with me.

Bigotry is bad for business and Allstate gets it and Allstate is listening. Let 'em know you're pissed and paying attention and that you're anxious to see Allstate's "public response" to Eddie Hood's public bigotry. Contact Allstate at directors@allstate.com. (And for the record: Eddie Hood is the chairman of the Itawamba County School Board who appeared in a federal court today and lied his ass off.)

 

Comments (24) RSS

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doesurmindglow 3
Just awaiting the unregistered comment that confronting a guy's employer for his bigotry is intolerant...

...so that I can promptly ignore that obvious stupidity when it comes.

Because, having heard that argument before, I think we're all smart enough to realize that the guy Dan's attacking - unlike Constance McMillen - has complete control over the quality that is causing him to be attacked.

Unlike with Constance's sexual orientation, Eddie Hood has the power to choose to stop hurting Constance right this very moment. He is choosing to hate and hurt people for who they are; and for that choice he will suffer consequences. He will be brought to justice, for it is him that denied justice to others.

Constance IS a lesbian. Constance will never be able to decide stop loving other women, nor should she. Her gayness is hurting nobody, and those "offended" by her expression of love for another woman can simply choose to ignore it.
Posted by doesurmindglow on March 22, 2010 at 7:06 PM · Report this
4
If All State were smart, it would sponsor an alternative prom hosted by Constance. I'm sure a company that bilks that many people out of so much money could get a celebrity or musical artist to perform. Schedule it against the invitation-only 'bashers' ball, and they would probably earn Constance some points with her schoolmates, draw additional attention to the issue, slam Hood back into whatever hole he crawled out of, and earn a lot of good press from the LGBT community...
Posted by dcpa22 on March 22, 2010 at 7:15 PM · Report this
Aly 6
@4 Constance has had plenty of offers for private proms, and from what I've heard, she has kindly turned all of them down. She isn't interested in having a private (even if everyone is welcome to attend) prom, but just wants to be able to attend a prom that her school is organizing.
Posted by Aly on March 22, 2010 at 7:24 PM · Report this
samktg 7
@5, Campsite Rule.

Bye bye now.
Posted by samktg on March 22, 2010 at 7:27 PM · Report this
Andrew Cole 8
@5, what a weird thing to pick apart. You're picking at... what? One comment by TVDinner in the Rush Limbaugh should leave the country thread from this afternoon? I don't think in general that SLOG can be said to be anti-May-December romances.
Posted by Andrew Cole on March 22, 2010 at 7:39 PM · Report this
doesurmindglow 9
@7: Yeah, it's not ever really possible to inoculate an internet comment board against ignorance, but at least we can start off from a point later in the argument...

Thanks to you, #5's remaining door is now firmly shut. Let's see what they come up next to try to entitle the intolerant to special protections... from intolerance?

Meanwhile, I applaud Allstate's effort to bring bigoted, hateful people to justice among their ranks. It is good business; but it's also the right thing to do.
Posted by doesurmindglow on March 22, 2010 at 7:45 PM · Report this
doesurmindglow 10
come up with* BAH
Posted by doesurmindglow on March 22, 2010 at 7:46 PM · Report this
11
The Guardian online's had good coverage, and just put up an article explaining to its readers why "prom" is so important to teens in the US. Written by a genuine "unlikely prom queen" herself.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar…
Posted by gloomy gus on March 22, 2010 at 7:58 PM · Report this
12
I don't get it - what did Hood lie about? I read the earlier blog entry about the hearing, but I didn't see anything about him lying. Not that I'm on their side, but can someone please clarify? Thanks!
Posted by nyker on March 22, 2010 at 8:05 PM · Report this
13
My exact thoughts, nyker (#12). What did Hood lie about? I get McNeese lied her ass off, but I never saw anything on SLOG quoting Hood at the hearing.

Sloppy, Dan.
Posted by MaiaD on March 22, 2010 at 8:44 PM · Report this
14
I'm an Allstate customer, and this is what I wrote:

Directors of Allstate;

You may be aware that an Allstate agent by the name of Eddie Hood (a082315@allstate.com) has recently represented himself as an Allstate agent on a public schools website in Itawamba County, Mississippi, (where he serves as member of the County School Board), acted to violate the civil rights of a young woman, Constance McMillan. I am a current Allstate customer, and this deeply distresses me and makes me wonder if this sort of policy is representative of Allstate, or other representatives of Allstate I may expect to encounter. If so, I doubt that I can further put my faith and money in the Allstate company. Further, there are indications in media reports that this same Eddie Hood has been evasive in State court about his motives and his role in the matter of the the discrimination against this young woman. This also raises my concerns about his association with Allstate.

I am a loyal, paying customer of Allstate. Please address these concerns. I do not desire to change my insurance company, but I also cannot abide by the tactics that have been employed by this person under Allstate's employment.

I left my name, policy# and phone # in the signature.
Posted by Golem on March 22, 2010 at 8:59 PM · Report this
16
@12 The lie that Dan is referring to is that Mr. Hood claimed the private prom would include all students, however it is an invitation only event.

As for persecuting this man at his job. He shouldn't have used his business email for his public one. And remember, we are consumers of a service based product. If this man is indictive of All State, and we are clients of the same company, could we be denied coverage based on our insurance representatives bias, or a bias held by the company itself as policy. As consumers, we have the right to know if we will be denied what we've paid for, and to switch to a company that doesn't endorse discrimination. The former tactic is known as a boycott. Hitting bigots where it hurts the most, the wallet.
Posted by valeanora on March 22, 2010 at 9:34 PM · Report this
doesurmindglow 17
@15: Nice try. But there's nothing wrong with "persecuting" a choice if it's a hurtful choice. Murder is a choice. Robbery is a choice. And yes, bigotry is a choice.

But there is difference between these choices - murder, robbery, and bigotry - and the choices you mention, like choosing a religion, being kinky, not having children, being green, whatever. The difference is that murder, robbery, and bigotry hurt other people. Choosing a religion, consenting to kinky sex, and not having children does not hurt another person, not like murder, robbery and acts of bigotry do.

I'll admit it was a noble try though. I'm curious if someone can actually conceive a reasonable argument to protect bigots from the consequences of their actions. So far, they've come up pretty short.

And till recently, I'll admit those of us on the side of human dignity have sometimes done a bad job of articulating why we think it's okay to go after someone for bigoted actions and not okay to go after someone for being gay.
Posted by doesurmindglow on March 22, 2010 at 10:50 PM · Report this
beckysharp 18
@15

If this man lets his bigotry affect his decisions as administrator of a public institution, how is this any guarantee that he will not discriminate against people under the cover of a private company?
Posted by beckysharp on March 22, 2010 at 11:31 PM · Report this
19
Hey, a bit of info.
1) The store that is hosting the private, invitation only prom is the Tupelo Furniture Market.
Their web page is here:
http://www.tupelofurnituremarket.com/con…
Their facebook page is here:
http://www.facebook.com/tupelofurniturem…
The list of their exhibitors (including some national companies) is here:
http://www.tupelofurnituremarket.com/exh…
A student from IAHS confirming that this is an invite only prom and that Constance is not invited is here:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?…
Posted by footnotegirl on March 23, 2010 at 12:33 AM · Report this
samktg 20
@15, Intolerance of intolerance is the only acceptable form of intolerance.
Posted by samktg on March 23, 2010 at 4:34 AM · Report this
Principessa Diannessa 22
They are all gonna feel so dumb when Constance McMillan wins the 2028 Presidential Elections to be the first lesbian president.
Posted by Principessa Diannessa on March 23, 2010 at 7:47 AM · Report this
Dingo 24
How it should have been done: http://www.macon.com/2010/03/23/1069261/…
Posted by Dingo on March 23, 2010 at 8:10 AM · Report this
Frau Blucher 25
Thanks for the link, Dingo @ 24.

Excellent read and you're correct. How it should have been done.
Posted by Frau Blucher on March 23, 2010 at 9:33 AM · Report this
libraboy 26
@20 Can I be intolerant of pedophilia? That's a condition that is way too tolerant of a certain behavior.
Posted by libraboy on March 23, 2010 at 9:36 AM · Report this
A'mael 27
@15 - Hood dragged his employer into the ring on this one, himself. He used his work email address in order to facilitate his bigotry. As such, it is entirely proper that his employer be made aware that he is associating them with a behaviour, attitude, and set of actions which may not coincide with those of the company.

Contacting All State was the right thing to do, in order to give them a chance to decide how they would be viewed in this matter, and to decide on consequences for his possible violation of their policies. End of story.
Posted by A'mael on March 23, 2010 at 10:32 AM · Report this
samktg 28
@26, When acted upon, pedophilia fucks up kids lives, so sure, be intolerant of pedophiles that act on their harmful desires. Even be extremely wary of the 'gold star' pedophiles, but don't throw them in jail for thought crime.

Oops, I may have just burned down your straw man.

Anyway, this is all completely tangential to the issue.
Posted by samktg on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM · Report this
doesurmindglow 29
@28: Yeah, and they're still missing the point. If we're not to be intolerant of the intolerant, what exactly do we believe in?

We don't tolerate people who hurt other people. Doing so would actually be intolerance. It's like saying: "It was bad that these racists killed these civil rights workers, but if we put them on trial, aren't we just prosecuting them for racism?"

This whole argument has always been stupid because their central claim is that we should be tolerant of people. If this is so, there never should be an Eddie Hood. It's self-referential; and has never made sense. Basically, they want it to be okay for Hood to penalize Constance for being gay, but not okay to penalize Hood for penalizing Constance. You can't do that. It's nonsense teabaggery of the worst kind.

Their problem is supposedly the "act of penalizing." If so, why should Eddie Hood get a pass for penalizing Constance? And if he does, why shouldn't we get a pass for penalizing Eddie Hood? I mean, you'd now be intolerant of our intolerance of his intolerance. C'mon guys, you know it's bullshit.
Posted by doesurmindglow on March 23, 2010 at 11:42 AM · Report this
30
Good work Nick.
Posted by doublejosh on March 24, 2010 at 1:11 AM · Report this

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