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Woman Fired After Queer Daughter Outed Her Participation in D.C. Riot

Helena and Therese Duke
Therese and Helena Duke

Helena Duke's tweets about her mother participating at a violent pro-Trump event near the Capitol went viral.

Therese Duke, who's lesbian daughter Helena exposed her as being a pro-Trump participant in a bloody fight near the U.S. Capitol, has been fired from her job at UMass Hospital in Worchester, Mass.

The elder Duke is a white woman caught on tape getting in a physical altercation with a Black female security guard named Ashanti Smith at the January 5 altercation. You can see Duke grabbing for Smith's phone, to which Smith reacted by punching the woman in the face.

When Helena realized it was her mother, as well as her aunt and uncle, in the footage, she went public with the information. "Hi this is the liberal lesbian of the family who has been kicked out multiple times for her views and for going to BLM protests," Helena tweeted along with pictures of the incident and her relatives' names.

UMass Memorial Medical Center, where Therese worked as a health care provider, released a statement January 8 saying the hospital had fired one of their employees for participating in the D.C. riots.

"Over the past 24 hours, we have received numerous expressions of concern through social media regarding a UMass Memorial caregiver who many have been involved in this week's violent event at the nation's Capitol," the tweet read, "The employee in question is no longer a part of our organization."

Helena Duke confirmed the statement was about her mother in a recent interview with CBC Radio's As It Happens. She said her mother was fired "because she does work at a hospital and she obviously went to a protest with many people and she wasn't wearing a mask."

Smith, the other woman in the video, has also reportedly been fired and is facing criminal charges for defending herself from the mob that hurled racial slurs at her and tried to steal her phone. "I think the woman thought she was in danger, rightfully so, and reacted accordingly," said Helena.

Helena said that her mother had previously been a lifelong Democrat. "It was unsettling seeing how quickly she had changed to a radically right ideology. The things that she was saying really didn't make sense," she said. "A lot of them were conspiracy theories, almost a delusional kind of mindset. And I think it was just her belief system entirely was focused around what President Trump was saying."

Since tweeting, Helena has only heard from her mother once, when she texted her telling her to take the tweets down. "I just feel as though she should be held accountable for her actions," Helena said.

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